If you’re a divorced woman, the last thing you have time to fool around with is dating and relationships with men who can’t be taken seriously or have more issues than Sports Illustrated! You’ve already been through the gauntlet of love, and who wants to risk a potential repeat of drama and heartache, let alone frustration or the woes of being mismatched? Sadly, some men are just too plagued with damage, vices, and other “charms” to entertain consideration as a partner.
Ten ways to know his goods might be too damaged to date:
He’s already (still) at war with an ex. You’ve had your own divorce drama, so why would you want to inherit someone else’s? He might be a great guy, but how much are the ex-games with his former partner going to interfere with the two of you getting close and how much conflict do you want to be an audience (or even a participant) to? If he’s all that, let his problems simmer down first before you jump into that fire!
He’s still attached. Oh, Lawd! Seriously, it doesn’t matter if he’s “going to leave her”, “doesn’t love her anymore”, “planning to divorce”, or whatever! If he’s still living with her or still hers (even if only on paper), you need to step away from that man ASAP! Be significantly apprehensive of any man who will start one relationship while still in bed with the previous one because either 1) his intentions toward you are questionable, at best, and 2) he’s just a little close to a big ol’ mess that he needs to clean up before proceeding down romance road!
He’s a man child. There’s young at heart, and then there’s just immature or arrested development. If he still needs to consult with his Mama before every major decision, hasn’t completed any real “adulting” yet in his life (e.g. car or home ownership, living in his own place, have a “real” job), you might need to cruise on by the junior high and don’t stop until you see a real man! This is not all about money or status. This is about stepping out in the world as his own person with the apron strings snipped and a sense of his own identity. Put the pedal to the metal if he’s never moved out from his childhood home or seems helpless in the ways of taking care of himself!
He hits the bottle too hard. If his enjoyment of vices go beyond the typical “glass or two with friends” to “every day’s a party”, your relationship might be headed down the highway to hell! You know what you’re comfortable with, so now ask yourself if he’s the same person with or without his favorite substance, does he seem to need it just a little too much to have a good time or function properly, and how does it affect his personality? Surely you don’t want a relationship with Mr. Bud Light (or his pals the Doobie Brothers), so maybe he needs to clean up his act a bit first before he’s relationship ready?
He’s bitter. We all go through hard times, and most of us will have our hearts broken a time or two. Who is he as a result of the hard knocks of life? Can he roll with the punches and still have a decent sense of humor and optimism, or is he angry and bearing a grudge at life? Just know that if everyone else pisses him off and makes him difficult to be around, eventually those laser beams will fix on you!
He has kids and baby mama drama. Sorry not sorry, I’m a step mom. I love my husband and my step kids, but holy moly can all things “step” and “ex” rock your world! Even at its best, there’s never a time it won’t be complicated, and when it’s bad, it’s very, very bad. Just take a long, hard second look at this situation before you decide to jump in because it is likely much more than what you are bargaining for. At minimum you should take your time, educate yourself as much as possible about issues effecting kids of divorce, and talk to some step moms before getting too serious!
He’s a leech. The signs might not be apparent at first, but be wary of the man who will need you to rescue him and pay his way more often than not. There’s nothing wrong with paying your fair share, treating him, or helping out in a bind so long as he returns the favor equally and you’re not becoming part of a pattern leading you toward Sugar Mama Land. Maybe you’re into that sort of thing, and sure it feels good to help out someone in need…will you still feel good about it if years from now you’re the one paying all the bills and pulling most of the load?
All his exes are crazy. Maybe all of his exes really are all psycho. If that’s the case, what does that say about his taste in women and life choices? If they’re not actually the evil harpies he describes, is there something about him that makes women do crazy things, or is he simply a narcissistic ass?
He has a record. Everyone makes mistakes, but any recent (like anything that didn’t happen within the “too young and dumb to know better years”) should be looked at with extreme caution. Definitely be wary of any violent crimes or anything like theft that reflect flaws in his moral character. If it’s truly something dumb (e.g. a littering charge for throwing away trash at the gas station dumpster), don’t automatically toss him by the wayside; but, a domestic violence, drug, or history of DUI charges should probably result in the death penalty for your relationship!
His nose is growing. If you can’t trust your partner, you have big problems! One little slip with reality might not be a biggie, but begs the question “if he would lie about that, what else will he fib about and why?” A pattern of mistruths is a definite red flag that he lives in duplicity and you may never know what you can or can’t believe in him.
Dating after divorce might require a medal for bravery. There are some truly choice fish in the sea, but also a lot of others that should be tossed back for good- or at least until they get their act in gear! Take what you’ve learned from your divorce about yourself and your relationship needs and apply them to finding a catch worthy of all you have to offer! You can, and should, be selective! Your divorced status doesn’t mean you can’t demand a top notch partner. Quite the contrary, because now you are an experienced woman who knows what she wants and can't be bothered to take less than she deserves!