In some ways, dating a divorced guy is no different than dating a guy who has never been married. However, there may be some crucial differences. Here are three tips to keep in mind when dating a recently divorced man.
1. Marriage. A divorced man may be more cautious or even opposed to the idea of getting married again. This may be especially true if he went through an ugly divorce, he was betrayed by his wife, or if the divorce cost him a lot of money.
Although women are often portrayed as the ones likely to carry emotional baggage from previous relationships, men do too. If this is the case with the guy you are interested in, the most important thing is to not push him. If the relationship develops in a positive direction, he may very well change his attitude towards marriage. However, if you are constantly bringing up the idea of marriage, trying to pressure him into marriage, or verbally bemoaning the fact you want to get married, you are likely going to push him away.
2. His ex. The second thing you need to understand is that his ex-wife will always be part of his life story. He may still be in contact with his ex or he may have friends and family that are still in contact with her. Even if he has no contact with his ex, you may run into people when you are out together that bring up his ex or ask him questions about the divorce.
You cannot erase the fact he has an ex-wife. Getting irritated, mad, insecure or depressed every time her name comes up is going to ruin your relationship. Some men go through amicable divorces and still have a peaceful relationship with their ex-wives. Just because they couldn't make a marriage work, doesn't mean they are unable to make a friendship work.
You need to either be secure in yourself and your relationship or end things. Being jealous or demanding that he stop talking to her is not going to lead to a fulfilling relationship for the two of you.
3. His kids. Finally, if he has kids with his ex, you need to show respect for the relationship they have as co-parents and the relationship his children have with their mother. Saying negative things about her to him, or in front of the children, is the worst possible thing you can do for your relationship, for the children and for the co-parenting situation.
Even if his ex-wife isn't in the picture and he is the full-time parent, no child should have to hear dad's new girlfriend bashing their mother. If the ex-wife is actively in the picture and this is a man you hope to get serious with, your best move is to find a working relationship with his ex. You don't have to be friends, but you do need to respect the fact that you are both an active part of the children's lives.
If his ex-wife is disrespectful towards you, you should avoid confrontations and do what is in the best interest of the children. Getting in verbal arguments with his ex will spell disaster for the situation. Meanwhile, controlling yourself while she appears out of control will show your man how much you care about him and his children.
For more essential tips on how to successfully date any guy, read The 7 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors That Keep Women From Finding Mr. Right.
More Stories On YourTango:
8 Reasons Being Married Is Better