Here are some startling facts about the dating world of today:
- More than 1 million people get divorced in the U.S. each year.
- The median age for a woman at her first marriage is 25.
- Most first-marriage divorces end in 7-8 years.
So, what does this mean?
It means there are a lot of divorced women out in the dating pool and that they are younger than ever. As a result, more and more men are going to encounter women whom they find attractive and may even want to date seriously, but who also come complete with the excess baggage of a divorce.
Dating a woman who has already been married is much different than dating one who has never taken that plunge. Not only are there additional issues to cope with, often including children, but divorced women also bring a fresh and unique perspective to the table when it comes to relationships that make dating them fun and easy.
Either way, when you’re dating a divorcee, there are a few key things you need to know about her general state of mind and approach to men that can make or break your experience.
1. If She Has Kids, They Will Come First
Let’s just get this one out of the way first. Many divorces have spoils (i.e. children) and when that is the case they must be the priority. It’s nothing personal.
It’s just that, by divorcing their father, this woman has already put her kids through a lot that was completely unfair. She doesn’t want to increase or expand their burden.
So, while many divorced women with children can and do find time to date, the kids are still their priority. As a potential date/boyfriend, your role here is to understand and accept this. Capitalize on the free time she does have and don’t take offense if you get ditched for the kids. If and when the relationship develops, there will be more give and take as she learns to manage your relationship and her motherhood.
2. The Phase of Her Divorce Is Important
Though it may not be appropriate to ask right away, dating a divorcee too soon can be a mistake. The emotional toll of ending a marriage, particularly if ending it was not her decision and/or if there was cheating involved, takes time.
While every woman heals at a different rate, it takes at least 6 months to process the finality of a divorce (that is, 6 months after signing the papers) and sometimes a year or more to be emotionally ready to be vulnerable again.
While many divorced women can and do date before that time, be very careful about how you approach anything serious or long term with them. Chances are, she is looking for an escape or release and not a new husband.
3. She Is Battle-Worn and Wiser For It
Divorce tests you in many ways – physically, mentally, financially — and any woman who has lived through it has triumphed over incredible odds to get there. A divorced woman who can withstand the toll of divorce and then be ready to date again is ready. All you need to do is respect the difficult journey that led her to this phase and prepare to get to know an incredibly strong, resilient, brave woman.
4. She Doesn’t Need You
The incredible strain of a divorce does not only create a strong, wise woman, it also creates a self-sufficient one. From her career to her family to her home, a divorced woman has gone through the ringer and learned to take care of herself.
She is not looking for someone to help her pay the rent, she doesn’t need a father for her children, and she certainly doesn’t want another person to care for herself. If she is dating you and interested in more, what she wants is companionship, a best friend, and a confidante. Your role is to be there for her. No more, no less.
5. This Woman Will Not Play Games
A divorced woman has high expectations when it comes to dating and relationships. She is well aware of the particulars of commitment and what that entails. When she steps out, willingly putting herself out there, knowing the outcome should she “fail”, it is with the expectation that you are doing the same.
She has very little tolerance for games and will often see right through them.
Particularly if she is a divorced mother who is already time-stressed, she will not stick around to see if you are “really interested” and have very little tolerance for being seen as anything but worthy and respected in your relationship.
In other words, if you want to date a divorcee, then you need to date her. Be yourself, be real, and be respectful.