This is especially true when you’re talking about remarriage. In this day and age when just under half of first marriages fail, there is a good chance you may become involved with someone who has divorced. The older you are, the more likely this is to happen.
With second marriages failing at an even higher rate
than first ones, there are a few things you should be aware of as you negotiate this relationship.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider if your potential paramour has “been there” before. Check out these tips for dating the divorced!
How Long Have They Been Divorced?
If someone has been single for several years, they’re going to be in a different place than if their divorce was finalized last week… or last month… or not at all because they’ve only just separated from their spouse. Someone who hasn’t found his or her new normal may inadvertently drag you through holdover issues from their marriage and that’s not fair to anyone. If you’re constantly being compared to the ex, it means this person is probably not ready for a meaningful relationship with you even though they’re divorced. That’s fine if you just want to have fun, but it’s not fine if you’re looking for your lifetime partner. On that note, you’ll need to know:
We all want to find love—eventually. The question is, does your date want to settle down or do they need to have a little fun first now that they’re divorced? Different people in certain situations experience different reactions. Some want to find “the one” right away (not always a wise choice) and others are gun shy (which is understandable, but can be prohibitive). Whatever the case, it’s fair to ask and you need to know before you put your heart on the line. You also may need to accept that this person doesn’t quite know what he or she wants yet. Life after divorce is a rebuilding process. And before you can contemplate whether or not you want to build on the same site, you’ll need to consider:
What’s the Deal With Their Ex?
Everyone has baggage. But how extensive is this divorced person’s baggage? Is your potential partner over their ex? Do they have children together? If so, you’ll need to accept that his or her ex-spouse is part of the package. And in a bigger sense, so are the kids (which also means it’s your potential partner’s responsibility to co-parent them). If no little ones are involved, your potential partner’s ex-spouse might not be around for the long haul, however, there are other situations (say they shared a pet or have intertwined business interests) that mean he or she isn’t totally gone either. Know what you’re dealing with so you can decide if you’re okay with everything. If you’re the jealous type, this could drive you crazy!
What Have They Learned?
Finally, it’s worth asking (or at least taking note) of your partner’s take on their divorce. It’s a painful process—whether they were the one who wanted it or had it thrust upon them and the upheaval is profound. The growth should be as well. In other words, if someone doesn’t see his or her own role in their marriage’s crumbling (which you needn’t know all about in detail) or have things they’d have done differently along the way, they might not have learned the lessons they’d need to succeed in love the next time around—with you.