Are you ready to start dating after divorce? EliteSingles speaks to an expert on how to take the journey from heartbreak to healing and new relationships
Dating a divorced man isn’t what you grow up dreaming about. The guy in question probably didn’t envisage getting divorced either, but life happens. Happily ever after doesn’t always ring true, and we need to all be a bit more accepting of that. If you end up meeting a man with a past, here’s how to navigate getting to know him.
You’re probably here because you met someone you like who happens to be divorced, or you’re wondering whether you should ever even consider it in the future. This is probably new territory for you too. You want to be prepared for all possibilities, and know what you’re getting into.
Dating a Divorced Man: 6 Tips
So, what do you need to know before dating a divorced man?
Make sure he’s actually divorced
There’s a big difference between a divorced man and a man who’s in the process of getting divorced.
Unless you’re legally divorced, you’re technically still married. In this situation, things can get really complicated and messy, real quick.
There’s a chance he may still go back to his wife, or his ex may be trying to win him back. He may also not be in the right head-space to give you his full attention or be able to fully commit.
Dating or falling in love with a married man puts you in a really vulnerable position where you may get heartbroken. So, if it’s complicated and he’s not actually divorced, it’s worth staying clear until everything it’s official;.
His ex will be part of his life
Even once he’s legally divorced, you will never be able to fully separate him from his previous relationship, especially if he has kids. You may even start a blended family with him.
His ex may come up in conversation, you may have to meet her, and you’ll also have to meet his family who will have known her for many years. You need to accept that his relatives probably built a strong relationship with her.
If you are someone who is naturally quite insecure in relationships, then it’s worth thinking about whether dating a divorced man is something for you.
Find out when the divorce happened
There are different stages of divorcees. Look out for how often he talks about his ex. If it’s a regular occurrence it’s a sign he needs more time to get over it.
But if he’s been divorced for a few years and comfortable with his past, it’s a good signal. Remembering his past fondly, without any resentment or anger towards his ex, indicates he’s ready to date again. It also shows a degree of maturity too, a good quality to look for in a man.
Above all, remember that everyone is different. Pay attention to what they say, and trust your intuition.
He might be recovering from a traumatic experience
You won’t know about his experiences of marriage until you ask him. Be aware that when he opens up to you, there’s a possibility his former relationship was traumatic or emotionally scarring.
If he was in an abusive relationship, this will have had a direct impact on him. And even if it was nothing that extreme, he still could be left feeling wounded, and with trust issues.
It’s up to you to show him that you’re nothing like his ex and work on building trust from the get-go. But after that, it’s on him to open up. These things can take time, so if you really like him, be patient.
He may not want to get married again
If the divorce was messy, or the marriage was toxic, it may have put him off the idea of marriage altogether. So it’s important to know what you want before dating a divorced man.
If you’re looking to get hitched, would a guy who doesn’t want to get married be a deal-breaker?
Answer these questions honestly before dating a man who’s divorced, because he may want to avoid the possibility of getting divorced again at all costs.
Dating a divorced man who has kids
If you have kids of your own and you’re a divorced single mum, then you’ll understand how to navigate this.
But if you don’t, it can be really tricky. What you need to know is his kids will always come first, ahead of you, and it shouldn’t be any other way. Especially since they’ve had to go through their own trauma and healing watching their parents break up.
It’s best to put off meeting his kids until you’re serious about each other and want to commit. It’s not fair to meet them, and form a bond, only to disappear again out of their lives.
Similarly to marriage, if you don’t have kids yet, you need to be clear if you want to have kids of your own someday. If you do, then you need to make sure he is on the same page. Some men aren’t interested in having more kids, while others are more open to it. It really depends on the kind of guy he is.
These six pointers are some of the most important things you need to know before dating a divorced man. Remember, although he has a history, it means he’s experienced. Keep these points in mind and you’ll know exactly what to expect, meaning you can focus on love instead!