How To Date A Divorced Woman

All in all, they may not have been right for each other, or she for him, but that in no way means the two of you couldn’t be great together. And she could be The One for you!

By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

ating a woman who’s been down the aisle in the past is a bit different than dating someone who’s never been married… but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t lead to a wonderful and fulfilling relationship. You just need to be aware of a few special concerns, says Dr. Keith Anderson, author of On Your Own Again: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Getting through a Divorce or Separation and Getting on with Your Life. For advice on how to find love with a divorced woman, consider his tips below:

How is dating a divorced woman different for men than dating a woman who has never been married?

It often depends on the divorced woman he’s dating.
You just need to be aware of a few special concerns.
If you’re dating someone who is just fresh out of a divorce, she is hurting; it’s a difficult time for her, and it probably will be for you, too—much more so than if you were dating a woman who has never been through a divorce. In essence, you’re dating someone who’s going through a grief process. That same person six months or a year from now will likely be in a much more emotionally healthy place.

Are there any issues in particular that a man dating a divorced woman should keep an eye out for?

That she’s had at least one particularly bad experience with a man. You have to be respectful of that and recognize that because of this, she may be a bit careful and sensitive. It’s likely this experience will shape her interactions with you — especially when it comes to how things start out. Another big one is the issue of kids. Someone who is divorced may have kids, and that adds a whole level of complexity to the relationship. If you’ve never had kids, being faced with the scope of her parenting responsibilities may take away from the romance.

What are your thoughts on handling a situation where both people are divorced with children?

If you both have kids, there’s a bunch of rivalries that can go on. One big happy joining of your two families will almost never happen. What you can realistically expect, however, is that the two of you can make your relationship work. The way to do this is to respect the other person’s relationship with his or her kids. Allow yourselves
Another big one is the issue of kids.
to have time with kids alone so they don’t feel you’re someone who will take their parent’s time away from them.

Additionally, have realistic expectations for the relationship you will have with her kids. You are in a precarious position; you won’t replace Dad and you can’t really be their buddy. You can, however, have a relationship with them that will be fine, even pleasant if they feel you are genuine and not a threat.

What if a man dating a divorced woman is concerned about her spending time with her ex?

Any concern depends on one factor: Are the kids involved? If so, you need to understand that there will always be events that they’ll need to be together for. Keep in mind that the better their relationship with their dad, the less likely they’ll be to see you as someone who might take his place. The less hostile you are towards her ex and her spending time with him, the less hostile the kids will be towards you.

And what if there are no kids involved?

If she and her ex never had kids and she’s still meeting him for coffee — as long as it’s not to discuss a business issue, like the sale of their house — I’d be really concerned. If this is happening, she’s probably having trouble separating and I definitely wouldn’t want to be that woman’s boyfriend.

While there can be challenges involved in dating a divorced woman, how can it be a bonus?

Someone who has been married knows what goes into having a serious, committed relationship. Before you judge that her relationship didn’t go the distance, keep in mind that it took two people to make that relationship fail, and it might not have met a dramatically terrible end. Perhaps they simply grew apart or failed to grow at all. All in all, they may not have been right for each other, or she for him, but that in no way means the two of you couldn’t be great together — she could be The One for you!

For the other side of this story, read How To Date A Divorced Man.

Chelsea Kaplan’s blog, “I’m Somebody’s Mother?” can be found at
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