Falling head-over-heels in love with a divorcee? Or are you exploring dating an older divorced man/woman or are you a divorcee exploring dating again after divorce? If you are asking yourself questions like “should I date a divorced man” or “I am apprehensive about dating a woman going through a divorce”, “what are the dating rules after divorce” or is dating after divorce in your 30s easy, then read on… There is no rule book for dating a divorcee. With changing times, falling in love with people coming from different situations and backgrounds is increasingly gaining acceptance.
Dating a divorcee is about possibilities and challenges
There is no actual difference in dating someone who has never married and a divorcee. But, dating a divorcee and those exploring divorced dating present both unique possibilities and challenges. While apprehensions abound about dating a divorcee, a few pointers can help you navigate the path.
Been there, done that
Marriage is a great leveller. It tends to leave people with a better understanding of themselves and what they want from a relationship. A silver lining of dating a divorcee is that they are less likely to make the same mistakes which had led to a failed marriage. These individuals who are getting back into dating after divorce also tend to have a more sobered view of a romantic relationship.
They only build realistic expectations from their new partner.
Keen to make it work
If the relationship a divorcee is headed towards a serious commitment, then it would help to remember that they would have broken down several walls to give love a chance again in their lives. This is especially true for divorced parents dating.
In a new romance, divorcees who have seen the bitter aspects of divorce would be in for the long haul and seek love and a fulfilling relationship again.
Keeping it ‘real’
People who have a failed marriage behind them have a more ‘realistic’ way of approaching new relationships. They tend not to have unrealistic expectations and youthful fantasies once they realise that a relationship takes constant work and compatibility. They may now choose to get into romantic relationships without the rose-tinted glasses.
The slow route – Taking their time
The wisdom of marriage and separation leads many people to take their time with a new-found love. They may take the time and effort to seek out and understand a new love interest. They wouldn’t want to rush into things. This may give ease to both parties and time to understand each other fully and in meaningful ways.
Divorcees not only grapple with the emotional aftermath of a divorce, but many of their current behaviours are informed by this marriage and its breakdown.
A Hyderabad resident Sameira Joshi (36) (names changed to protect identity) says, “I was a decade younger to my current husband who was just getting out of a messy divorce. When we decided to get married, I insisted to speak to his ex-wife and specifically asked her if he was ever verbally or physically abusive. Once she confirmed that was not the case, did I give my marriage the green light.”
However, Joshi does point out that it took a long time for her husband to trust her on money issues. “The divorce was long and drained my husband financially, so it took him a long time to trust me on monetary issues. While it hurt initially, but over time I was able to build trust and gain his confidence.”
In it for the long haul
Having seen a marriage gone awry, they are likely to be more invested. They’d be serious about giving love a second chance in their lives and to get it right. The will to do better while taking second chances in love might keep them more invested and serious about a new and blossoming romance.
Marriage Counsellor Prachi Vaish gives some sound advice for dating a newly divorced woman or for those looking to tie the knot with a divorcee
She says, “If one is looking for a long term commitment from a divorcee, the first thing to keep in mind is that the commitment will happen according to his/her timeline, not yours. You can’t fathom their trauma. So you have to allow them the time to heal.”
Vaish adds a couple of things that divorced women looking for men or those dating women after divorce need to look out for. She says, “Secondly, remember you’re there to create a fresh new relationship with this person. You must accept that the ex had his/her own place in their life and that will always remain. It’s not your job to wipe that out.
If you ever feel like a replacement by your partner directly or indirectly because they make you behave as they would have had their ex do for them, or as their ex did, then it’s a red flag.
You must sit down and have a conversation about this.”
Here are some DO’s & DON’Ts for dating a divorcee
– Get to know exactly the nature of the failed marriage
– Find out from your partner if he/she has processed the feelings post-divorce and is ready to move forward
– See where they stand legally in terms of their marriage
– Find out if the separation was acrimonious and rally friends and relatives to find out both sides of the story
– Be clear about what you want from the relationship
– Those opting for online dating after divorce should ensure to check their partner’s background thoroughly and that everything they say checks out
– Rush into relationship goals, commitment or marriage. Take your time
– Keep talking about the ex and the failed marriage
– If he/she has kids, don’t rush to meet them
– Don’t use information from his previous failed marriage into your arguments
– Clear all your apprehensions regarding the past with your partner through open communication