It's impossible to date in the 21st century without, at some point, dating someone who’s divorced. Fortunately, most divorced singles have as many pros as they do cons. However, when it comes to dating divorced men, some are more ready to date than others. If you meet a cute divorced guy, be on the lookout for the following Red Flags:
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Red Flag #1: His Divorce is Recent
As I discuss in Dating the Divorced Man, divorce can devastate a man both financially and emotionally. Many divorced men begin dating long before they’re finished grieving, and you don’t want to be his rebound or wind up with a guy who can’t give you what you need.
While it’s difficult to assign arbitrary dates for when it’s okay for a divorced man to begin dating, those who haven’t been divorced at least six months are often still dealing with divorce fallout (e.g. grief, angry exes, hurting children, financial problems). If he’s recently divorced, be cautious, take things slow, and make sure you get your needs met before getting too involved. This is especially true if your date is still getting divorced – separated men are a far riskier group, as I will discuss in a future article.
Red Flag #2: He Talks About His Ex
Listening to your date talk about his ex is not only annoying, it’s an ironclad sign he isn’t over his marriage yet. It doesn’t matter if his comments are critical, complimentary, or just factual. Remember: you’re his date, not his shrink! A man who talks about his ex may only be grieving his marriage, but it’s also possible he’s grieving the ex herself (which means there’s no room for YOU).
Most men know to avoid talking about past relationships on a date – divorce is no exception. A divorced man should keep his mentions of the ex to a bare minimum, such as “my ex and I share custody of our son.” If he doesn’t, it may be time to move on. If things work out with him, you will have ample time to share your pasts.
Red Flag #3. He’s Working Through Stuff
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Divorced men may have a lot on their minds, including any unresolved grief, financial concerns, being a single parent, and generally trying to rebuild their lives. Some can manage these concerns and still have plenty to offer a new woman; others cannot. Those who cannot won't be as available or as giving as other men, emotionally or otherwise, but still want support, attention, and sex. In other words, they may have little to offer if you're looking for more than casual dating.
Avoid giving more than you are getting from him in the hopes he will reciprocate. He can only give as much as he can give; if it isn't enough, move on to someone who has the emotional bandwidth for a relationship.
When dating a divorced man, especially if the divorce is recent, it’s important to be cautious. If he shows any of the above red flags, it doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy, it means he’s probably not ready for a relationship at that time. Ultimately, if he can’t give you what you need, move on.