Pros and Cons of Dating a Divorced Man

Dating A Divorced Man

So I am 24 and I have dated divorced guys before. I am single, never been married or engaged, and I don't have a kid. People thought I was crazy.

Maybe I am. My divorced relationships did not work out...but I still don't think that a divorced guy would necessarily be trouble, and I would probably date divorcees in the future.

Personally I always liked older men. I think if you are a woman who likes her men a little older you will probably be more likely to like divorced men. I don't like them for the money, I just always found older men charming, sexy, felt attracted to them.

Here is my take on dating divorced men as a younger single woman.

I am not saying that these things do not apply at all to single men. Both bachelors and divorced men can be great partners or be terrible partners. This is just from my experiences dealing with several divorced men, compared to bachelors.

Pros of dating a divorced man:

1. They seem to understand women well. Their experience living with a woman shows. For example they seemed to understand emotions, how women work, how to make a woman feel comfortable and cared for. They could read my moods well, know why I want and like certain things, how I am thinking and feeling. They just seemed more in tune with me emotionally than other men did.

2. More sexual experience. They know what they are doing in bed. One of my exes really enjoyed giving pleasure to the woman, and he once spent hours trying to make me orgasm through oral and he loved it. To me knowing he had sexual experience and definitely a lot because it wasn't just one night stands with different women, but pleasing one woman, long term...was a real turn-on.

3. Maturity. They've been in real adult situations. They aren't acting like little boys anymore. The bachelors in their 30s are different than the divorcees from what I have experienced. Even though their marriages didn't last, being married made them grow up.

4. Caring. They have taken care of a wife, and maybe pets and/or children. They have a certain comfort to them, they took care of me more in certain ways, were chivalrous and protective. I did not experience certain crap with them that I did with bachelors.

5. They want a partner. They tend to like at least having a girlfriend, or having a special someone and not just many dates-they are used to monogamy and enjoy having a lady and not just hooking up with random grls.

6. They probably have a job/some stability. They had a household and probably have a steady job and care about keeping one. It does not mean RICH by any means but more likely to be stable and at least have a career.

7. They are more direct about what they want. They will admit if they want a relationship with you most likely, and not play games about it. They talk about the future and what they want it in life. They've already planned a future once, thought seriously about life. Things are less shocking to them.

8. They are realistic about people and their flaws. They know that every person comes with flaws, that a partner will never be perfect, that everyone has a past or baggage. Especially after being married, and having some themselves.

9. They aren't so freaked out by romance and intimacy. They've done the mushy gushy and they aren't as freaked out by talking about things like romance, marriage, relationships. They don't get freaked out by lovey scenes in movies or talking about these things, to them it is a part of life and one they often want.

10. You make them feel alive again. Especially if you are younger, they are proud and happy to have a new girl in their life, to feel those new feelings of attraction and passion again.

Cons of dating a divorced man

1. They may not be healed from their marriage and looking to fill a void. You have to be very careful. If he was divorced less than a year and you are the first relationship/date I would be very wary. They may just be looking to fill a void and not ready for true emotional intimacy. You really need to find out when the marriage ended, when the divorce was FINAL and why it didn't work out, as well as his dating history since the divorce. I would be hesitant to date someone who was not LEGALLY divorced for at least a year. Separation is not the same thing. And you want him to have been out of the marriage for a long time either way. If he isn't over the marriage or ready for a relationship, it may be hard to tell at first. He may still be very attentive and even extra clingy because he is lonely. But if he is not really ready for a relationship you will end up being his nurse and sex toy and even if you are his girlfriend, he will probably either realize he wants to play the field more first or maybe that you aren't really what he is looking for. It is very easy for a divorced man to find some pretty younger woman and latch onto her by giving her a lot of attention and dates, because he is lonely and desperate for affection, yet not really ready to become a real partner, because he is not over his wife yet. Watch out if he keeps talking about his ex or his marriage, it probably mean he is not over it if he brings it up a lot, especially if he sounds upset or angry about it. MAJOR red flag if he compares you to his ex in any way, shape or form. Honestly he probably will compare in his mind, we all do, but to verbalize it is a whole new issue.

2. He could have serious problems in relationships, I am not denying that. He could have been a horrible husband. He could have been controlling, abusive, mentally ill. But not always, at all. It's easy to marry the wrong person or get married for the wrong reasons and it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the person or that the person won't be a good partner. But like anyone else, you want to be very careful and aware of negative behavior patterns, especially controlling or abusive ones. You never know what really happened. Abusive men often place a lot of blame on their exes so if you see he has a temper, run, especially if he blames his ex.

3. If he is full of too much anger and resentment you will be the one to suffer. This goes back to Number 1 on the negative list. Sometimes the man is not over his marriage and therefore is looking to fill a void with a new girlfriend. If that's the case it means you should break up or not date him, have space, and if time passes and you cross paths again when he is more stable then maybe it's meant to be. But other times he could just be permanently scarred from the marriage. His marriage may have made him bitter and you may be the one to suffer. If he has trust issues he may take them out on you. If something went very wrong in his marriage he may be paranoid about it happening again, and this fear or these negative emotions may surface with a new woman.

4. Someone was there first, in a very big way. The ex wife is the elephant in the room. She was still his WIFE and that's a big deal. As the girlfriend you will always feel in a sense threatened by her. Maybe he is comparing her to you. If he ended bitterly with her you always have to be better than her. If he loved her a lot and she hurt him you may worry he will never like you as much or that he really wants her and not you. Really, she was there first, and most likely he WILL weigh other women against her in his mind. But if he is a good man, and emotionally healthy, ready for something new, he will realize that this is a new woman, that you aren't his ex, and he can't treat you in relation to her because you are a new woman with no relation to her, this is a new part of his life where is is starting fresh, past to the side.

5. He may be scared or unwilling to marry again. The statistics are split here. Some say divorced men are likely to remarry, and statistically speaking, more divorcees who remarry are men, compared to women. However, he may have a fear of marriage, or be dragging his feet about marriage. In some cases he may not want to. If he says he does not want to get married again, don't think you will change his mind, no matter how wonderful you are. On the other hand he may like being married and want to be married again. It really depends on the guy, but some divorcees really are scared, or if they want to marry again they are "scarred" and fearful that another marriage will have problems. On the other hand there are happy married couples where one or both has been divorced before. This is another area to be careful. Keep your eyes open. He will definitely have some feelings of marriage.

6. If he has kids they are number one. If he has kids, there is a much bigger bond with the first wife that can never be forgotten. If he isn't close with his kids, it is a big red flag though. You want a guy who talks to his kids a lot, really seems to love them, and has a good relationship with them. His kids should be very important to him. But because you are not the mother of the children, it will make you feel small or like you are less important. Even if you get close with them, you aren't the mom and will probably always feel like an outsider. When I met the kids I got scared.

7. Divorce is expensive. Especially if he has to pay child support. But even divorce alone really can drain a person financially. It could take years to recover fully from a divorce, financially speaking. And that may mean he is stressed out about money, or has less to spend. He may be living more frugally, or may even feel he is not ready to get married yet because he is struggling financially or has too much debt.

8. His marriage ended and that isn't nothing. Don't fool yourself a marriage is a big deal. It is the closest type of intimate relationship two adults can have. It definitely has impacted him in many ways, both in good ones and bad ones. The trick is to know when the good is outweighed by the bad. There are two sides to every story and usually a marriage breaks up because they BOTH could not make it work. It is usually not 100% one person's fault. A guy who just blames his ex all the time is probably not emotionally mature. It is much different when a man can say why the marriage did not work out and recognize his role in that. If he can say what he did wrong without any blame or hostility, that says a lot about his character and ability to grow and mature from experience. Because the reason many divorcees fail in later relationships is that they haven't learned from their past, about what THEY need to change about themselves, between who to choose as a partner and how to make a relationship work. If they don't learn this, they can make the same mistakes over and over again. You want a mature partner who can learn from the past to make a better future without getting too jaded or full of blame.


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What Guys Said 12

  • Great mytake, as for the cons number 7 is usually one of the causes for numbers 1 and 5. When I got married, I didn't personally factor in the risks of a possible divorce. Marriage is a legally and financially binding contract, and love shouldn't require a contract in my opinion.

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  • congratulations, i do agree with most of your take.
    lucky for me, the cost of the divorce was a three digit number and we didn't have kids.
    and for the girls "that don't date divorced guys", you wouldn't even know!
    as einstein once said: "The future interests me far more than the past, as I intend living in it"
    so i don't see why i should i bother a girl i'm dating with stories of ex-girlfriends or an ex-wife, if i'm not looking for a shrink but a partner.
    if the date starts to talk extensively about her past experiences, i'm gone!

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  • "Older man seems to understand women well"
    Bullshit they just manipulate u better so u feel special LOL
    Recently a 16 year old girl met a guy on fCebook he was 41, the guy raped her in her ass xD
    girls are just stupid or what? XD

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    • Wow no kidding a man 41 raped a girl 16? That's very scary he sounds like a threat to the whole world. Either way how many 16 to 30 year old's have raped 16 year olds by comparison did you by chance happen to get those numbers?

    • Exactly! They know what works from trial and error so they're master manipulators.
      If you're strong and resilient maybe you won't fall for him charm

    • Yeah thats what i wanted to say without being harsh :p
      And girls are naive, especially when they are young, because they have a lot of insecurites and dont know their true values, i could of go on but it would have been to long and my English is kinda limited

  • Wow, that was an excellent post. You really do understand us divorced men. It isn't often you see someone that can see all the angles. Many women want to zero in on one or two things. They get really jealous about my ex, always worry about how the kids feel, and the part I cannot stand, keep worrying that I will get back with my ex.
    Divorce is very complicated. When I finally accepted that my ex wife had been cheating the last 2 years (at least) of the marriage, I thought I would "get back at her" and started to date. This was 3 months after the divorce. So yes, I was not ready, not thinking correctly, and it was unfair to the women. I never had a girlfriend when I was young. I went on dates with 5 women before meeting my ex. I met her Jan 10, 1989, went into the military Feb 14, 1989, then came home May 27 and proposed. So being a fiance is much deeper commitment then girlfriend.
    So I dated about 2 1/2 months and learned a lot about dating. But also realized I was not ready. I took 6 months off and concentrated on therapy and finding myself. When I finally got to the point where sitting at home alone wasn't what I really wanted to do, I knew it was time to find someone. I still waited another month to be sure. During that first trial run I never dated anyone more then 2 weeks. My first woman I dated when i was ready went a month. Then I met a woman I have fallen in love with. We have been together almost 5 months now. So the 11 other women taught me a lot.
    So your right. If it has been less then a year be wary. but that does not mean some people are not ready to date. It depends more on who wanted the divorce. I did not want the divorce in any way. however, through therapy I have come to value myself much more then I did. I was in a very co-dependent relationship. I would have changed or done anything to keep my family together. But now, I would not go back to a woman that didn't want me for who I am. There is always compromise in a relationship. But you have to have a limit.

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  • i dont date divorced people or people with kids.

    period.

    there's plenty of people of better status that lowers the risk of failure considerably than to choose to date them

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  • Very good take.
    Divorce for me was not as financially draining as it was emotionally draining.

    My ex wife:
    - cheated on me with multiple men
    - abandonded me and my 3 year old son
    - turn herself out as a prostitute
    - offered to get back with me... all sins forgiven, provided I agreed to an open marriage (her commitment wasn't to me, be to her image of herself as a mother).

    I divorced her, and obtained custody of my son. (But not before my ex kidnapped my son and denied me parental access -- 2 months is a long time to go without seeing your little one.)

    I met @GraySailorsBride as a match on eHarmony. We were so natural right from the beginning. She was also divorced with two daughters. Nine years ago this June we married & blended our families.

    I still compare her to my ex wife... but in a good way. We were reminiscing last night about our first date, our first kiss. This happened on a Saturday morning during my ex wife's court-ordered, supervised, visitation.
    How's that for a comparison? A mother who can't be trusted with her own child.

    @GraySailorsBride is superior in every way to my ex wife. A decade on, I still make sure she knows it.

    Every day I feel incredibly blessed to have a second chance at having a life any man would be proud to have.

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  • I thoroughly enjoyed this MyTake. You did a great job. I was about to disagree with one of your points but you added in of the guy was emotionally healthy and that is a ln extremely important. There are much fewer issues from an emotionally healthy man and makes the relationship so much better when he is.

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  • Great take, having been through divorce and then depression, I know from personal experience that what you're saying is pretty true. My divorce happened because I wasn't making enough money to take her where ever she wanted to go this week... so she found someone who could and would... I really wish she had have told me before she did... instead of telling me she was going away with her bff, unfortunately her devious plans got ruined when her buff turned up for a visit and knew nothing of the trip... hmmmmm wtf.. then the penny dropped and I started researching her past few trips and found that she'd been cheating for a while... I had my bags packed waiting for when she got home, she bounced in through the door all chatty bout her holiday and how great it was to be away with her bff. I looked her straight in the eye, told her that her buff visited whilst she was away... she was unashamed of her actions, so I grabbed my bags and left... basically broke me to get divorced even without kids...
    Key point is that whoever you're getting involved with, you need to know their past... especially if it's been marriage or a long term relationship.. and why / how it ended.. or lack of lasting relationships ie players...
    Trust your gut... if it looks like a bear, smells like a bear... fair chance it's a bear... and you don't wanna be around it!!!

    Big thumbs up for your take...

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    • thats a very sad life story, I hope everything is good now, but out of curiossity I wonder how did you cope with divorce, sadness, loneliness, maybe even depression (if it was the case)?

  • One crucial thing missed. Some women even exceed 10 years older and don't think about long term he's going to die a lot earlier if they're ever serious.

    Also. .. age isn't equated entirely with maturity. A lot of older guys dating much younger are generally a lot less mature

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    • Age doesn't always equate to being divorced. I know some guys (and girls) in their 20s that are divorced.

      Besides, with the way things are now who the frig knows when one will die. I could marry a 40 y. o right now and he could live to be 80 while I died of cancer 6 months from now. I wouldn't let fear of who dies first stop you!

  • It is hilarious how some women will say they prefer older men but then will resent men for wanting younger women

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  • Uhm... This is men and women.

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  • he should be more mature. But you need to find out WHY he got divorced.

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    • I agree. Age and/or divorce doesn't mean that he is particularly better than a younger and/or single man may be.

What Girls Said 9

  • I would never EVER get with a man who was previously married with children. Too much drama and hard work. Stuff it.

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  • I like this take.

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  • Defo damaged goods as most of them are.

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  • There's a reason why Patti Stanger said that divorced guys are the best kept secret.

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  • I'm young too but I've tried divorced and guys with kids out of wedlock. Big no no.

    They usually have emotional baggage and try to play you by acting all romantic because they Know how it works on women-from experience of course.

    Honestly if you're naive or gullible don't date these kinds of men. You gotta be strong and see through their BS don't let them walk all over you

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  • very nice take! This works the other way around too. Divorced women (such as myself) also have these plus points, as well as the less good things. Bottom line I think, it doesn't even have to be a divorced man to have learned how a relationship works. In some cases a long term relationship can have the same effect on men/women. Some have gotten out of really bad ones and probably made many mistakes themselves, but most of them will have learned something from it and will avoid to repeat history. To me what is very important as well is how this last big relationship ended and how he handled it. If he was mature about it and they were both civil with each other, there is a good chance that you got yourself a "good one". It takes character and maturity to handle a break up in a civil manner, and it is always in difficult situations where the true personality of a person shines through.

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  • I didn't have much issue with dating a divorcee. Sure, the aftermath of his divorce was difficult to support him through when I barely knew him, but I'm so glad I stood by him. His wife cheated on him and left his pets to die alone in their house when she ran off during his deployment, so I like to think that I am a major improvement. He was scared of marriage for a while but one day it seemed like his fears vanished into thin air and he was taking about getting married for six months before I even considered accepting his proposal.

    So maybe divorcees are "damaged goods" as some people put it, but then so is almost every other person in existence. It's just a matter of finding the damage that fits with your own.

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  • This is really thoughtfully written and rings true in my experience.

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  • This is a great take for your personal experience. These things may be true for some men, but they definitely aren't a blanket explanation for all divorced men. Each man is going to be different. I'm sure you are well aware of this, though. At least, I hope so. I will say, don't be fooled by their divorced status. There are men who are very good at making women THINK they are a certain way, but are not such in reality. I know a few divorced men who were able to pull the wool over other woman's eyes. They were able to get away with it, because they did have the experience of reading women and knowing what they could and couldn't get away with. They would wait until the new woman was hooked before showing their true colors. It tends to work better on younger women, because these women just don't have enough life experience with men and/or marriage to be able to recognize things that older and/or divorced women would see.

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    • Exactly! This recent happened to me and i was crushed! everything was great and til i knew something was up with him which made me feel uncomfortable and he finally showed his true colors towards the end of our relationship! when he dumped me i caught him with another girl and heard other girls then i heard he's getting back with his ex wife :(

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    • yes! I know because I had a gut instinct about it but I liked him too much to leave and soon later I got my heart crushed. I should have left sooner :/ now I know

    • @essiexbabe92 I have said the same thing. I have learned to ALWAYS trust your gut. It doesn't steer you wrong.

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