As painful, disappointing, love-questioning, fantasy-deflating as a divorce can be, it can also be a very beneficial thing when it comes to your next go-round.
t Yes, there are perks to dating a divorced person. That is if the divorced person has done the following:
- Is out of the “fun” zone.
- Accepted responsibility for their contributions to the dissolution.
- Has done the self-work (be it through therapy, a dating coach, reading books about breakups, going to a self-empowerment/enlightenment workshop) to extract the lessons in order to be a more evolved and better partner next time, and is ready to get serious again.
t Yes, a divorced person may have made some mistakes in his last marriage. In fact, he may be to blame for the dissolution of “till death may you part.” However, if he took the time to be at all introspective, he shouldn’t be considered damaged goods.
Experience can be a good thing! Here’s why:
t1. They may have been hurt and have a bit of baggage, which is not a bad thing. Someone who has been hurt knows what it feels like, and may therefore be more aware of your feelings.
t2. Divorced people tend to understand what it’s like to be in a committed relationship within which there are compromises and accommodations. Their resistance may have already been broken down by another partner so that you don’t have to endure the push-back yourself.
t3. Divorced people tend to be better communicators; if they went to therapy during the marriage, if not after, they should have become fairly proficient at communicating needs and feelings more clearly.
t4. They just “get” you. That’s because they’re experienced and have dealt with more attitudes, moods, issues and emotions. With experience often comes understanding.
t That said, a divorced man may also have a lot of baggage. He may be jaded, not trusting, over the whole commitment concept and just looking to have some no-strings-attached fun, be angry, feeling broken, not interested in compromise, set in his rigid ways, etc.
t So what do you do if you’re dating a divorced man and aren’t sure if he is in the better-because-of-it or in-no-shape-to-commit boat? Ask! Communicate your relationship purpose. There are three basic purposes: fun, self exploration or serious committed relationship. It’s OK to talk about the divorce. Don’t interrogate, but do ask what happened and why. I’m not saying that you should pry, but you do want and need to know what you’re getting into, what state their head and heart is currently in and where you potentially fit within it.
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