8 Things To Consider When Dating A Divorced Man
Updated September 11, 2019
A lot of the time, the dating pool tends to be full of perpetually single individuals that may just spend their time dating around for fun or on the hunt for something they just haven't found yet, and sometimes you come across individuals who have also been in longer-term relationships along the way too. One of the most intimidating factors when meeting someone new that you find yourself interested in though is if they've been married and are now divorced and back on the market again.
You may be experiencing some anxiety about not knowing if they're going to have a lot of baggage because of having previously made such a serious commitment, if dating them will somehow be different from dating someone else who's never been married before, how it can work if there are children involved, or especially what's going on if they still have remained on good terms with their ex-spouse.
However, even though there may be some different obstacles to overcome and a few new factors that you may not be used to, there is no reason not to date someone who is divorced, and they may even have a better understanding of relationships compared to those who have never committed so seriously to another person before.
- Don't Be Nervous About Divorced Dating
Sometimes finding yourself attracted to a divorced man can be intimidating because it may seem so unfamiliar compared to just dating around with other guys who have never been in that serious of a relationship before. Remind yourself though, some marriages don't even last as long as other long-term relationships do without a set of rings and a piece of paper binding the two partners together. Having a marriage end can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, so it's nearly the same in many ways as dating someone who has already had other relationship experiences as well.
- Marriage Can Mean Different Things For Different People
There are many reasons a person may have been married at some point in their lives. Sometimes people are young and in love and jump straight into marrying someone before the two of them both grow older and mature more and realize that they want different things out of their lives. Sometimes a couple may conceive a child, whether planned or unplanned and feel that marriage is the next step that they absolutely have to take at that point in their lives. Then they come to realize that it wasn't necessary or would not work for them even with a child in the picture and that the two of them needed to eventually part ways. Sometimes two people were happily married for a long time, but events took place in their lives that damaged their relationship, and the marriage just fell apart and had to be dissolved. Just because someone is divorced doesn't mean that they "don't know what they're doing" in their relationships or that they will be forever infatuated with their ex-wife or ex-husband. Life happens, things change, and being divorced is becoming a common occurrence and is really not much different from someone else who has been in a serious, committed relationship or been in a relationship and had children with another person but eventually had to move on to find another partner for whatever variety of reasons applied to their personal situation.
The importance and seriousness of marriage vary depending upon the individual and going through a divorce before getting involved with someone new may affect these thoughts and opinions for some people. Plenty of individuals go through life with numerous marriages and are comfortable with that level of commitment, even when it hasn't worked multiple times before.
Some people may have been married once and had it end in a divorce, but were able to find love again and remarry and then remain happily tied to their new love for the rest of their lives. In other cases, having a significantly damaging marriage leading to a divorce can be so traumatic for some that they will vow never to be married again, even if they do still plan to find someone to love and spend the rest of their lives with. If you're planning on entering into a serious relationship with someone that has been divorced, these may be a few things to take into consideration that can affect your long-term plans and goals, as far as the relationship itself is concerned.
- Dating When Children Are Involved
You don't have to have been married to have children with someone else, but divorced parents may have a bit more factors to navigate when they want to begin seeing someone else. Single individuals with children may not have custody requirements in place, but a divorced couple often has legally binding obligations when it comes to sharing their child or children, and this includes a specific schedule and sometimes even specific visitation rules, depending upon the situation. This is something that can affect a person's schedule when it comes to free time and may make them more unavailable than someone without children.
Parents can also be very particular about who they want around their offspring as well. Although a divorced man may or may not let their child meet someone they are dating before it gets more serious, the ex-spouse and another biological parent may also be capable of having a say in who is "acceptable" to be around their kid. Certain behaviors or traits may not be desired for potentially influencing any children involved, and those boundaries need to be respected.
As far as a divorced man with children not immediately letting you know about their kids or getting to meet them, this is simply out of respect for their children's lives and wishes and for a sense of security. Even if both parents are still involved, it can be difficult (regardless of age) for a child to adjust to their parent moving on or getting involved with new people on their search for finding their next love interest. Don't pressure a single parent to involve you in something as serious as being around and made known to their child until they are ready and feel that the relationship is serious enough to let their kid know.
Although younger children seem to be more capable of being accepting of their parent bringing someone new around at times, older children may struggle to cope with potential feelings of their other parent being replaced when their dad begins seeing someone else. Divorce is hard enough on a child at any age, but they can end up feeling significant resentment once one of their parents chooses to finally move on and begin to find another relationship. Whether this is tied to the feelings of their other parent being replaced or of jealousy from their dad now choosing to allot some of his time to anyone besides them when they may need his love and attention the most.
- What About When He Is Still Friends With His Ex?
Jealousy can poison any relationship, and sometimes it may be difficult to even date someone who is simply friends with a past fling or love interest despite having never been married to them. When the man you're interested in has been married before though, yet remains on good terms with his ex-spouse, this can be an area of concern, especially if you're prone to being a bit paranoid or have low self-esteem on your end. There may be doubts creeping in about if they're still secretly in love with their ex and worried about whether you'd be pushed to the side eventually or may not compare to how close or how serious their relationship once was. This can be true, in some cases, but often is something that just needs to be handled with a sense of maturity.
Plenty of divorced couples end up divorced for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are bad ones; sometimes, the relationship doesn't work in the long-term, romantic way it was planned to. It is perfectly acceptable and perfectly healthy for them to remain friends with their ex-spouse and stay on good terms, especially if the two of them ever had any children involved.
If this becomes a significant area of concern as you date a divorced man and you feel the nature of the relationship has become more serious, be gentle in addressing the topic, but express your concerns and ask for reassurance. If they are truly growing close to you and are ready to begin a new relationship with you, they should be willing to answer your questions honestly and help you to feel more comfortable with the friendship they still maintain from their past marriage.
- Alimony And Financial Concerns
One thing that a divorced man may have that a single man will not is legally required financial aspects, such as alimony or child support. A man that's never been married but has had children with someone else may still find himself in the position of paying child support to the other parent, but only a divorced man will have to deal with alimony payments.
Although these payments may be based upon his particular income and will fit into his current financial structure, it's something to be aware of if you were to become involved in a more serious nature and to stay with him for a long time. This monthly reduction of any money from the earnings he makes may have a slight impact on any potential savings or the ability to significantly provide in a significant manner for a future spouse or offspring.
If your dating relationship with a divorced man becomes more serious, and you seem to have a future together that includes living together, getting married, or having children, this is something to discuss with him when the time comes so the two of you can effectively plan how to approach the issue and adjust your plans and financial situation accordingly.
- Getting Divorced May Have Had An Impact On His Self-Image And Self-Esteem
Sometimes getting divorced and removing yourself from a very unhealthy marriage and relationship can be a blessing, but sometimes it could have also been a situation where one spouse desired to leave, and the other agreed but didn't truly want it to happen. Short marriages may be easy to bounce back from, but for those who were with the same person for a significant amount of time, it may turn their world on its head for a while.
Diving into a marriage and then not having it work may have a man questioning his judgment or possibly even himself. In spite of any other significant factors at play in the relationship that ended, he may feel insecure about his appearance or career if his spouse left him for someone "better." He may feel undesirable and like "no one will want him" due to having been in a relationship that he thought would last and not being able to make it work. If he was with his spouse long enough for the two to have been constantly seen as an item together instead of as individuals, he may even start questioning who he is on his own and outside of that relationship now that is has ended.
When dating a divorced man, and this even applies when dating a divorced woman as well, keep in mind that the resolution of his past marriage may have some effects on his self-esteem and self-image as he adjusts to being single again and figuring out who he is outside of that previously defining relationship. He may be unsure of himself or seem to be fickle about his thoughts, feelings, or interests as he strives to redefine himself and stand confidently on his own once again. If you're truly interested and see yourself having a future with this person, be as supportive as possible and understanding as he goes through changes on his journey of self-discovery.
- Is He Ready To Move On?
A lot of the time, people may start dating and looking for someone new directly after a relationship ends as a way to distract themselves from the disappointment and heartache of a failed relationship. They may only be looking for what's referred to as a "rebound" or may be ready to start meeting new people and starting a new chapter to their lives.
A man that's been divorced might be 100% ready to find someone else if the marriage he left was pretty unpleasant and a relief to be rid of, but sometimes that may not always be the case. Even if he knows the marriage is over and he won't be getting back with his spouse ever again, some men may attempt to date as a means of moving on but are mentally and emotionally not fully ready to commit to another person just yet.
The man you're interested may or may not be fully aware of his true feelings on the matter and at what level of moving on he's ready to proceed forward with, so this is an area to take note of and be cautious about if you find yourself getting attached. It may take some time for him to fully be ready to commit to you and let go of his emotions associated with his past relationship, or the new dating experience may be so great that he has no problems with starting a new chapter of his life with you.
- The Future With A Divorced Man
Divorce doesn't have much of a say in how a person's future will turn out, and a divorced man can find another love and live happily ever after with them. As with the topics addressed though, many possible factors may need to be taken into consideration for being involved in a long-term relationship with your new man. The best key to making it work is clear, open, and honest communication about any concerns or potential areas of misunderstanding or worry.
When things get serious, be sure to be respectful of his situation and any connections to his past marriage and any children in the picture, but express yourself truthfully so the two of you can work on making the situation as comfortable and functional as possible. A healthy relationship is a supportive and honest relationship, and any obstacles can be overcome with clear communication and the will to work at making it last truly.
How ReGain Can Help
Are you interested in dating a divorced man but nervous about how to approach all of the associated issues of the situation? Are you a divorced man wanting to get back into the dating scene and try to meet your next love, but worried about how to go about doing so, or struggling with the emotional effects leftover from your dissolved marriage? ReGain has licensed and trained professionals available from the comfort of your own home, and on whatever schedule best fit your needs, to offer advice and support through all of your relationship struggles and concerns. Don't hesitate to reach out and get the help and guidance you deserve today.