Do alarm bells go off when you think of dating a divorced man? Women often worry about dating a man who is divorced. Why did he get divorced? Will history repeat itself with you as his spouse?
Some women want to completely avoid dating divorced men because they are afraid of getting hurt and aren’t sure how to sort out these complicated questions. But once you are over a certain age, a large percentage of men are divorced. So why narrow your dating pool?
Don’t worry. You can tell the difference between the men who are keepers and the ones who will cause trouble for your love life. Keep reading to get a bonus tip at the end of this article about how to tell them apart.
Dating a divorced man doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed from the start. In fact, many divorced men marry again and have very successful second or third marriages. This is a situation where you have to make good dating decisions, because you want to protect your heart.
When dating a divorced man, watch for these 7 red flags and consider which of these men aren’t going to work for you:
#1: He says he’s “separated.”
Just because he is separated does not mean he is divorced. In fact, by saying he is separated, he is saying that he is not quite divorced. Dating a separated man should raise red flags. Men can be separated from their spouse for many years and never get divorced. Other separated men get back together with their exes. Unless you are looking for an emotional roller coaster of a relationship, make sure you clarify exactly what his marital status is. Some men think being separated or staying together for the kids won’t be a deal breaker so they may not mention the fact that they are still married. It’s not too personal for you to ask if they are divorced if they want to date you. If they are separated and ask you out, you can say, “I’d love to go out with you when your divorce is final.”
#2: He wants too much too soon.
He may want to introduce you to friends or family as though you two are a couple when you just started dating. Or he might push to be exclusive or sexual before you know each other very well. When a divorced man is overly eager, he might be trying to replace his ex-wife at all costs, which often leads to a “crash and burn” rebound relationship.
It might take a few months of dating to get the answers to why his first marriage didn’t work out. It’s way too personal and heavy for a first or second date conversation. So, it’s important to take your time to get to know a divorced man before rushing into anything with him. You can just tell him that you are enjoying getting to know him, but you aren’t ready for that yet.
#3: He’s jaded about commitment.
Divorce is often very difficult for people. He may have trouble trusting people, including you. He may tell you that all marriages are bad, and he’ll never get married again. This should help you see the writing on the wall: marriage is the last thing on his mind and his track record with relationships is less than ideal. Don’t assume that he will change his mind later on, or that you can change him.
#4: His relationship with his kids is complicated.
Divorce is messy and complicated, and children make things more complicated. It may take some time for you to sort out what is happening with his kids and whether it spells trouble for a future relationship with you. Whether it’s a problem with him having custody or being distant or estranged from his children, these are warning signs that something is amiss.
#5: He’s overly involved with his ex.
A friendly divorce seems ideal, but beware If his ex is still playing a large part in his life. If he’s texting her and seeing her often, he may be thinking of getting back together with her. Where would that leave you?
Even if he’s just talking too much about her, it is not a good sign. He may not yet be over her or ready to move on.
#6: He gets angry and defensive when you ask questions.
A divorced man can view his marriage as a failure. If you ask why his marriage failed too early in your relationship, any man might feel defensive. But if you have been dating for awhile and it looks like things are getting serious, it’s reasonable to ask what happened to end his marriage.
If he doesn’t want to open up to you about it, you have to wonder if he can understand why it is important for you to know. If talking about this doesn’t work for him, it does not bode well for bringing up other important issues in your relationship in the future.
#7: He’s been unfaithful.
There’s a reason for the phrase, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” It means that this type of behavior repeats itself. Do not take it lightly if he tells you that his divorce was caused by a series of infidelities on his part. If you hear it through the grapevine, it may be true.
If he has not recognized it as a serious problem and has not gotten some sort of therapy to address his problem, he likely will not change his behavior.
If a divorced man takes responsibility for his part in his marriage failing and has learned from his mistakes, a relationship with him may have a chance. If he blames his ex for everything, look out!
Divorced men can make good partners. Just make sure you take the time and energy to pick the right one.
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What has your experience with divorced men been? Leave us a comment. We always love to hear from you.