Dating a recently divorced

They’d been together for 10 years, married for two. James and I have our ups and our downs in what could be called “still the honeymoon phase.” And many of them, frankly, have to do with how he used to be married to someone else. There’s some immediate satisfaction of knowing, of course. I’m sorry to say it, but this one’s a real lose/lose. The recently divorced man is, with little exception, the recently traumatized man.

They’d met young, in their early 20s, and had decided, two months before James and I met, to divorce. James had been the one to request the divorce; his wife had been devastated by his decision. There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t think either A) I’m thrilled he’s got that experience under his belt, or B) Why god, did I have to fall in love with a guy with an ex-wife? But beyond that, it’s just a device with which to torture yourself. If he dumped her, you think, “What’s to stop him from dumping me? You’re destined to wonder – however briefly – how much of him is still in love with her. And if you’re the one who winds up with him, it will fall upon you to help him cope. A man with a now-defunct marriage under his belt has learned a few things about himself, about what he has to work on, about what he can and cannot handle.

I do believe that whole routine would be more fun that than which I’ve described above. He knows to say, “I’m not sure it does your figure justice,” in lieu of, “Eww! And seeing as how teaching a man these lessons is akin to herding stray cats, this is a valuable attribute to luck into. I’ll take him, and I’ll work to be patient when his ex-wife makes her weekly call.

Some ways to make a night on the town something to remember: You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket and you can’t meet women without getting out there. I want you to “act as if” you have an i Phone full of numbers.

Be particularly cautious if he's already looking for Spouse #2. Periods of adjustment are to be expected, especially if things heat up.

We all need time to heal and don't want to plunge blindly into the rebound relationship. But extreme discomfort, acting out, and outright interference may signal issues just beneath the surface. We would be wise to observe their reactions, heed their reasoned warnings, and consider their hesitation. If you each have children at different stages -- for example, your kids are in elementary school and his are in college -- anticipate some potential problems if you're hoping for a long-term relationship.

While you may have help that frees you up for the occasional vacation, dating with kids at different ages and stages can pose logistical and financial challenges, much like age-stage differences in the couple itself. Do listen if he says he isn't interested in helping to parent your kids, he's tired of you only being available for a weekend relationship, or he can't afford to pick up the financial slack for a single mother with children. So do Johnnie and Janie, Fido and Tabby, not to mention the hamsters, Mutt and Jeff.

And that's despite the fact that you're working two jobs already, and he may be working two jobs of his own. The neighbors like him, too, and he and his ex seem very friendly.

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Once you start moving you aren’t going to want to stop.

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