In this day and age where divorce rates are high, it’s still curious why being divorced still catches flack. For most people, divorce implies failure, disaster, tragedy, neglect, nasty custody battles, nastier money issues, and irreconcilable differences. Some even cringe at the idea of dating a divorced man. Even if it’s an amicable divorce. It’s like they’re damaged goods.
However, if you’re on the hunt to find Mr. Right, don’t count out divorced men just yet. In fact, many people find happy endings after a couple *or more* divorces. Consider dating a divorced man if you’re looking for someone eligible.
14 things you should know when dating a divorced man
So while dating a divorced man may be new and exciting to you, don’t let him swoop you off your feet just yet. Think about these things first and make sure you know what you are getting when dating a divorced man.
#1 Timing is everything. Before even thinking about dating a divorced man, first know where the divorce really stands. Is he going through the divorce process? How long has the process been going on?
Knowing where the divorce stands, and where he stands in the divorce, tells you just how committed he is in a potential relationship with you, and if you should be serious about the relationship. [Read: 10 signs a past relationship is holding you from a better future]
#2 You may have to be discreet for a while. So your boyfriend may be divorced, but that doesn’t mean he’s divorced completely from his old life. He’s still friends with those who are also friends with his ex. Entertain the idea that he may not be too thrilled to integrate you into his circle too soon. He probably expects you to be discreet about your relationship for a while.
#3 So hold-off on social media. With being discreet comes social media restrictions. Discretion doesn’t just come mean hidden from public. Keep your dates to yourself, too. Simply don’t advertise your relationship on social media just yet, especially if the divorce proceedings started. Unless you want to be portrayed as the home-wrecker. [Read: The happy couple’s guide to social media etiquette]
#4 He’s been there, done that. He may not feel as excited about the whole idea of marriage, especially after coming off a rough one. So don’t date him waiting for a proposal. The thing is, he might be jaded about the whole thing after what he experienced. On the upside, everything in his life is pretty much figured out—kids, house, finances, and all that.
#5 You’ll hear all about the ex. Be prepared to have conversations about his ex, especially if the divorce proceedings are underway. You may ask him, “How was your day?” He’ll answer stoically with, “I talked to her *the soon-to-be ex-wife*, and she wouldn’t agree to the terms of the divorce.” Then he might go on an angry and bitter tirade of how selfish, awful, or stubborn his ex is. Be secure enough about yourself to hear about the ex without overanalyzing things or taking it all too personally.
#6 Don’t dig for the details. While you lend your support for whatever your boyfriend goes through, you don’t have to know every detail of the divorce and even his past relationship. While it’s natural to be curious, don’t be too pushy.
Whatever you want to know, wait until your man is comfortable enough to tell you about it. Besides, he’s trying to move on from the relationship. Stop reminding him of his ex by making him rehash the old times.
#7 You may even meet his ex. If he shared responsibilities with his ex like children or pet, be prepared to cross paths with the ex sooner or later. While awkward, be polite and learn to set boundaries for yourself and for them as a divorced couple. One or both of them may still be bitter about their past marriage or the divorce. You might find yourself in the middle of it all. Just remember to be the bigger person and don’t make the situation worse for your guy. [Read: How to get a guy to forget his ex and date you instead]
#8 His place will remind him *and you* of his ex. If you think he is pretty much set and stable in life, think again. If he still lives in his house where he used to live with his ex, then you’d have to be prepared. Showering where they may have showered together. Sleeping on the bed where they had sex. Cooking for your boyfriend in the kitchen where they might have had sex too.
#9 You may feel judged by his friends and family. Once he introduces you to his family and friends *finally*, be prepared to be scrutinized and compared. They will judge you and even stack you up against his ex. Walk through that stage where they will look you up and down, as well as talk about you behind your back.
However, keep in mind that you can’t please everyone. The important thing to focus on remains your relationship with your boyfriend, which should speak for itself in the end. [Read: 9 easy things you can do to get his mom to adore you]
#10 You may feel judged by his kids. If your boyfriend has kids, they’ll judge you too. Now how you relate with them will be tricky. Tread lightly in this department, because you consider both their well-being without overstepping any boundaries offending them and his ex-wife.
#11 Are you ready to have instant kids? Remember your boyfriend’s kids are his everything. They are his priority over you. So you have to learn to adjust to a new, and perhaps strange role of being like a stepmom to his kids. Or at least building a connection with them too.
However, if your goal in a relationship is just to enjoy the dating part and are not ready to have instant kids, rethink going out with a divorced guy. [Read: 9 naughty ways to keep romance alive when you have kids]
#12 What about your own future kids with him? When dating a divorced guy, you also have to think not only of his kids *if he has any* but also the idea of future kids with him. Having kids of his own already, do you think he’s ready/wants more kids with you? What’s his take on this anyway? On your end, are you ready for a blended family? Some divorced guys with kids don’t want to have any more kids so you have to include this into the equation. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility]
#13 He may be traumatized. A horrible marriage can be scarring. Perhaps his ex-wife has an addiction or mental disease *well, some guys would say their ex-wives are crazy*, or the whole marriage has been disastrous. Either way, no one comes out of a marriage unscathed. If you happen to be dating a divorced guy with a bad experience in his earlier marriage, he may not consider marriage again, or approach it with plenty of hesitations.
#14 He may not have learned from his mistakes. No matter how cliché it sounds, there is truth in “it takes two to tango.” The marriage may not have worked out because issues they both haven’t addressed or weren’t able to deal with.
Take a close look at your boyfriend and see just why his wife left him. Maybe he has shortcomings, such as a bad temper or he’s utterly heartless. Think about your current relationship too. Has he learned from the mistakes of his past marriage, or is he just reliving it all again?
[Read: 15 strange and unknown facts about divorce you probably don’t know]
Though it’s tough, consider what your partner is going through too. He may also be having a difficult time adjusting to a new relationship after a failed marriage. Therefore, do your best to be level-headed, kind, and considerate of what he may be going through.
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