Live like a monk for a year – or you may live to regret it forever.

Last week, I advised women to “live like a nun” for a year following the end of their marriages to ensure they kept their eye firmly on the divorce process to ensure the best possible settlement. This week I am extending the same advice to men – but for slightly different reasons.

Because they can more easily detach sex from love, men are more likely than women to rush into the arms of someone new. They also find it easier to slam the door on their old life and start a new life.

However, men – especially older, successful men – are a magnet for women edging 40 who haven’t yet found Mr Right but are desperate for a child. A newly separated man, with a fertile track record, is a classic target for a wily, baby-hungry woman.

So I always advise new male clients to resist embarking on a new romance or even a quick fling because of the risk of getting someone pregnant. If this happens, they may find themselves having to support the child financially until the age of 21, even if the relationship with the mother has been fleeting. Not only that, they may be taken to court to provide the mother with a house.

Men are also more likely than women to want to “run away” from a failed marriage, and beginning a new relationship or having a series of flings can seem like a way of doing just that. But allowing yourself time to take stock, grieve for the past relationship and concentrate on your business are much better ways to cope with the marriage fallout.

Unlike women, many men aren’t good at coping on their own: they can’t cook, iron shirts or sort out the household bills. Hence, they are more susceptible to the attentions of someone who seems willing to fill the vacant “wifely” role.

But once the buzz of a new romance has worn off, it’s very likely the relationship will be just as underwhelming as the one that ended in divorce.

For all these reasons, it makes sense to resist the pleasures of the flesh for long enough to work out what you really want out of life – and to make sure your divorce settlement allows you to achieve that.

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