Dating a Divorced Man
So you’re thinking of dating a divorced man or maybe you already are. Or perhaps you will date one in the future and this article will help you keep an open mind about getting to know him. Well here are some things to prepare yourself for including the potential advantages and challenges. Try to keep an open mind with this as it could be you in their shoes as the divorcee and you don’t want to assume they aren’t worth dating just because they are divorced. We often get scared that a man won’t be able to fully love us if he’s already been married.
Things to Consider
If you’ve never been married it can be intimidating to date someone who has already dedicated their lives so someone and possibly had children with them but let’s look at it realistically and realize that you’ve also felt deep love for someone else and you can’t hold it against someone. First you will want to find out why his relationship failed, how long he has been divorced and if he is actually fully divorced. These are all important to find out to protect yourself against getting involved with a man who is possibly not really emotionally available. It’s important to find out why his last relationship failed so you know what baggage he might have. If he has children, you will also need to be very secure to be able to deal with his ex-wife. That means you cannot allow yourself to get jealous and speak negatively about her.
Some Good Things
Don’t worry it’s not like dating a divorced man only brings challenges, there are certain advantages too! He will understand how to deal with a woman much better having already lived with a woman. He will be more mature and communicate better since he has some experience in a serious relationship. He will most likely be less wild and not enticed by little vixens that spell trouble and expensive dinners. Chances are he will be more established as well since married men usually are settled compared to bachelors who are younger and still playing the field in their career and in love. He will probably be more compassionate, especially if he has kids which get men in touch with their nurturing side.
Steps To Start Out
Remember that a divorced man is most likely going to be turned off by immature behaviors since they value commitment and have been in a serious relationship so try to be on your best behavior. Depending on how recent his last relationship was, don’t worry if his family and friends take a while to warm up to you, they want to protect him and that’s understandable. You don’t have to go out of your way to impress them just be yourself.
Don’t Rush The Relationship
Since this man has been through some pain, he will probably (not always) want to take things slowly. On the other hand, if he is codependent you may feel like he is rushing things and trying to fill the void of his ex-wife. Stay away from men who are not independent that want to spend every waking moment with you. Let him show you that he is emotionally stable overtime and will follow through with things to the best of his ability. It’s also important that he respects you when you tell him you want to take things slow. If he is not patient enough to get to know you and pressures you then he is not someone you want to be in a relationship with anyway.
Know What He Wants
Make sure he’s not on the rebound because that will only get you hurt. Make sure you know if he is now jaded about marriage and not wanting commitment. It’s ok to ask him what he learned from his past relationship and how that has changed what he’s looking for now. Don’t bring up his past unnecessarily because it might be painful for him and you want to look towards the future and focus on positive things.
How To Act If He Has Kids
It’s really important that you don’t let him introduce you to the kids right away. Kids often are traumatized by divorce and if they get attached to another person that just leaves, it can create long-term problems for them like separation anxiety or anger. Make sure you and the man really get along and see a few seasons before you meet the kids, for their sake. Remember it’s not your place to discipline the children and you really do not need to suck up to them. Don’t be fake because you’re nervous they aren’t going to like you. Just breathe and trust that whatever is supposed to happen will and be nice.
How To Handle The Ex
If his ex-wife is mean to you, just don’t give it a second thought. She is not the person you’re in a relationship with and you can have pity on your man for having to deal with her if she’s difficult. If she tries to be buddy with you just know that she may be trying to (subconsciously) get you away from her ex. Just keep a healthy distance and always be pleasant and neutral. If she is rude to you, you don’t have to cater to it, just stand up for yourself and set a healthy boundary but don’t complain to your man about her because it will just poison the relationship. If you feel like she’s butting in unnecessarily, don’t be afraid to ask him to talk to her about respecting your space and relationship. Sometimes when two people have been really close, it’s hard to find a healthy balance between friendship and too much interaction.
It’s important that you don’t put too much thought into his ex or over analyze her because it can drive you up the wall. Don’t compare yourself to her and don’t worry about their relationship. If they are still in communication because of shared assets or other matters just be understanding and loving of the situation and try to support your man because it might be hard for him. The more mature you can be and think about his feelings, the better. Always use kind words when you need to discuss something related to her so you don’t lower yourself by showing insecurities. Remember your man likes you and there is no need to be catty or territorial. Put yourself in her shoes too and realize it’s hard for her as well.
Consider Couples Therapy
If you feel like there are some residual issues that he’s bringing to the table, before you kick him to the curb, if you really love him, suggest couples therapy. He may not know how to handle the mix of emotions he’s having and just talking it out may iron out those kinks. Chances are he’s a reasonable man but if he’s not willing to work on himself and blames you for everything, this is probably why his past relationship failed as well.
Be willing to support him in the healing process as you will also learn from it. If he has a rough time sometimes, it’s ok and you can offer support to let him talk it out.
Don’t Expect To Be His Only Priority
If a man has kids he will have to look out for them first. He will seem very distracted compared to a man who can focus only on you. He will talk about his kids a lot and he will definitely spend lots of time with them. If you don’t like to put your feet in the dirt and you don’t like children, this may not be the man for you. When a man has kids you will need to be very flexible and know that children are unpredictable because they get sick, change their minds, get upset and also need to be driven to an ever changing schedule of activities. The kids will occupy most of his time and you may feel neglected but put things in perspective and realize how caring he is to these little human beings that depend on him.
Be Ready For Kid Friendly Activities
If he has kids you won’t have to completely give up on the idea of a romantic dinner date and when you do get one it will feel that much more special. Dinner with the kiddies can also be very special and remember that their family will probably be around more too which can be fun. Try to think of fun things to do with the kids like going to see a musical, going hiking or camping and having fun movie nights. Realize that if you act like the kids don’t exist and only think about yourself, they are very sensitive to your behaviors and will openly voice their opinions to your man if they feel like you don’t care for them. Don’t sabotage your relationship by being bitter about children, embrace them!
You should feel optimistic about dating a divorced man because he may be way more prepared to treat you with respect and be a great loving companion. Take your time, be patient and just be flexible to whatever situations arise because afterall, we are all only human.