Dating after divorce? I ask Barry Selby why he thinks we need a relationship coach.

If you are looking for the physical only- great, but if you want more, then consider enjoying a few dates before sex.

A man and woman drinking coffee chatting on a park bench
First dates are easier when walking and drinking coffee

Barry Selby is a British-born, LA-based Relationship Coach.

I genuinely never thought about a relationship coach, and I don't know anyone that has either. I believe most people utilise friends, family and therapy sessions to talk about their relationships and to seek informal advice. This is why I reached out to Barry, who I started listening to on ClubHouse in 2021, locked in and awake at all hours. At first, I admit it was his voice that I found easy to listen to, but then I started to listen to his content and he had my attention.

I was unaware of how much content Barry has created on various platforms, and instead of interviewing him, we ended up having a chat.

A formal interview will happen in the future; please post your topic requests in the comments.

This is what I learnt.

People don’t seek professional relationship advice. We hire a professional trainer to get fit, a financial adviser to help our business but we don’t reach out to someone like Barry before entering, during, or leaving a relationship.

Post-divorce there are a few ways we cope with the pain;

  • Isolate and avoid relationships to protect oneself from getting hurt again. The pain can be too great to reach out for help.

“That’s it, I am done! I am finished with dating.”


  • Jump into a new relationship quickly or start dating immediately to avoid or numb the pain.


  • Serial dating- where the patterns remain the same, but with a different face.

Ideally, Barry would like us to take time to be alone to face the truth. Meaning?

People have a tendency to blame the other party and believe they are innocent. It's invaluable to see the cause or reason and to find a way to vent, forgive and resolve this feeling of hurt. It will take the pressure off of what Barry calls a ‘container bomb, a wound begging to host you again.’ When we cover up our pain, it’s as though we are adding salt into the wound, it distracts us but it won’t heal or go away until we resolve our errors or default behaviour which traps us into making the same relationship mistakes over and over again.

How we are in relationships is learnt behaviour from watching our parents from the day we are born to 5yrs, and not something we are consciously aware of. I believe the 9mnths in the womb are even more critical, but that’s for another interview. Relationships bring up our shit, and until we deal with it, we choose love on autopilot or look for the familiar. This is why in every relationship breakdown nobody is innocent because our patterns and responses turn up.

Questions to ask yourself.

Married? These questions are for you too.

  • Are you scared of getting hurt?
  • Are you scared of being vulnerable?
  • Do you hold judgement against your ex?
  • Are you vindicated and wounded, holding on to resentment?
  • Are you stuck in your emotions?
  • Do you stay on the surface?
  • Do you cover up old wounds with new people?
  • When you look in the mirror what do you see? Hurt/Guilt?
  • Can you see yourself with care and compassion?

Some obvious indicators that there are unresolved issues that could impact your future with a Divorcee.

  • Always talking about their ex.
  • Comparing situations and things their ex did or didn’t do.
  • Staying clear of emotions.
  • All about sex and don’t want to take things deeper.

Barry’s advice is simple.

  • If you are looking for the physical only- great, but if you want more, then consider enjoying a few dates before sex. Better yet, make them coffee dates. It encourages you to get to know each other with an authenticity that might be lacking on a dinner date. Some people feel a sense of owing for the money spent.
  • If you keep finding people with similar behaviours then it is time to check your own radar.
  • Healing is essential. We need to find peace and a way back to loving.

This won’t guarantee a relationship, but it will help you stop entering dysfunctional relationships with your eyes closed.

Utilising the skill of a relationship coach gives you insight into you. Your relationship patterns and behaviours are not so easy to change on your own, and you need to be aware of what your patterns are before you can make any changes. If you are tired of repeating the same mistakes, or want to improve who you are as a partner I suggest listening to Barry for his nuggets of relationship wisdom.

If you want to learn more about Barry, which inevitably means learning more about you, he can be found on the following platforms:

Barry S. Selby, MA

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