7 things to know before dating a divorced guy

Awhile back, a couple of friends and I were out to dinner when one of them started talking about a guy she just met and had been on a few dates with. As soon as she said, "He's divorced," my other friend cringed like she had just been told the guy had three eyes. "Are you sure you want to do that?" my friend asked. "I would never. What's wrong with him that he's divorced?" I was shocked at her response, as my friend wasn't in a bad mood and isn't one to be a buzz kill. She went on to give her opinion, basically equating the poor guy to damaged goods. That's when all the stereotypes started flying around. Although dating a guy who's divorced can be the same in some ways to dating someone who's never been married, there are quite a few differences to keep in mind before you proceed with the relationship.

He's not necessarily damaged goods

Just because two people get divorced doesn't mean they should be branded across their forehead with the word "Divorced." Sometimes things just don't work out, regardless of how hard both people try or want it to. Before you automatically assume he's damaged goods and you kick him to the curb, give him a chance to prove to you where he stands.

He may be on the rebound

If the guy is on the rebound, he could have zeroed in on you as the woman to get him through it. A divorce is a big deal, so the guy needs time to grieve and heal. Although he's the only one who knows when that will be, you don't want to get stuck in a situation with a guy who may very well still have feelings for his ex. Talk to him about it, and trust your judgment about the situation and make your decision from there.

He's learned from the experience

Although it's very well possible he hasn't learned a thing at all, more likely than not, the guy did learn quite a bit about what it takes to make a relationship and marriage work, even if it ended in divorce. It's difficult to go through something that significant and not learn from it.

His kids will always take top spot

If the guy has kids from the marriage, be prepared to take second place. His kids are always going to take priority as they should, but that's something you're going to have to deal with. Some women can't handle it, especially if it's not their own kids and they feel like they're competing. If you can't deal with it, you're better off getting out sooner than later.

He's probably going to talk to his ex

Should they still be working out the details of their assets, your guy is probably going to have to talk to and see his ex whether you like it or not. If he has kids, it's definitely going to have to happen. You have to be prepared for this and keep your insecurities in check. The only time you should worry is if they're meeting up often when the talk doesn't involve kids or assets.

You may have to deal with his ex

If your guy and his ex have kids, you're probably going to have to talk to his ex at some point. You may think you could just avoid her, but if you and your guy become serious, she's probably going to want to meet the woman who is hanging around her children and their father. Even if you want to pull her hair and bare your teeth, be sweet and nice to her regardless of how much it hurts. Being nasty to his ex is only going to make things difficult for him. She's always going to be a part of his life and you're going to have to play nice.

He may be against marriage

There are some who are totally against the idea of getting married again once they get divorced. Whether they don't want to have a second marriage under their belt, they no longer believe in the institution or they don't feel like it's right for them, you can't force people to change their minds. If he tells you outright that he's never getting married again, you have two options: either stick it out and take your chances without hoping that he'll change his mind, or you could walk away. Either way, the decision is yours.

The best thing you can do if you have concerns is to talk to the guy. You're not going to get anywhere if you keep assuming and wondering where you stand with him. The two of you need to be able to communicate about where he stands as a divorced guy. It's the only way both of you are going to know whether or not you're on the same page.

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