Every guy and every break-up is different, so there are no real rules that say when he is truly ready to start dating you after a divorce or split from a long-term relationship. Some are ready to date right away. Others are an emotional wreak and need a lot of time to find closure and be happy again.
But if you’re dating or thinking of getting together with a recently divorced man, there are some red flags to watch out for.
His Divorce Is Very Recent
If the man you’re dating has only recently divorced or is even still in the process of getting divorced, it’s probably not the best time for him to start a new relationship. Of course, he might have been ready for a divorce for a long time and it could be that the time since the divorce isn’t going to change his perception of you. On the other hand, if it’s still very fresh, he may not have found closure yet and may not even be entirely sure it’s all over yet.
He’s Talking A Lot About His Ex
If he’s still hung up on his divorce and former marriage, he’s not ready for you. The fact he’s divorced will probably crop up at some point when you first get to know him, but that’s about it. If he’s talking about his ex and his divorce all the time, he’s not ready for love yet and needs a listening ear and a friend, not a new relationship. In general, you don’t need to learn her name right away or find out all the details of her life. You’re trying to get to know him, not his ex, after all.
He Still Wants To Know What She’s Up To
He might say he’s just friends with her on Facebook so he can see pictures of his children or because they parted in a friendly way. But in reality, he’s just checking up on her. He gets emotional if anyone else is in her life or is suspicious of her activities; things which really shouldn’t concern him now. If you sense even the smallest amount of stalker behavior, where he’s following her online or in person excessively, you should turn and run. As long as he’s still obsessing about her, he’s not ready to move on at all.
He Has A Lot Of Contact With Her
During a divorce, there may be reasons for him to get in touch with his ex-wife to finalize the details of the split. But, unless they are an exception and really did have an amicable breakup, he shouldn’t be all that involved in her life after the divorce. If they have children, they will need to stay in contact, but other than that, there’s not really a need for them to hang out together and be always available for each other. If she expects meet up frequently, talk to him about her personal problems or call him any time, they haven’t moved on yet.
He’s Dating Under Pressure
Although a guy knows at heart he’s not ready to start dating again, he may still go out on dates because he feels he ought to be ready or because his friends are pressuring him to get back “out there”. If you detect his heart’s not in it, he’s not listening to what you’re saying, or he’s hardly talking, it may be possible that he’s just not ready to date again. He needs to take time to heal first.
It’s natural that he might get a bit down when talking about his divorce or former marriage. It’s not okay for him to be constantly sad about it, though. If he’s moping around, living in the past, he’s not ready for a relationship.
He Needs Constant Reassurance
Another warning he’s not ready to date is if you have to constantly boost his ego because he still has a sense of failure about his previous relationship. You shouldn’t be afraid of him falling apart because he’s “a terrible person”. He should be able to stand on his own, feel he’s a good guy and not lean on you all the time to boost his self-esteem.
He’s Not Ready To Get Serious
After a divorce, he might be looking just for a quick fling, want to enjoy his freedom as a single guy, and not be quite ready to settle down again. This is one of the biggest dangers in dating a divorced man. If you’re happy to have a short fling, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re looking for a relationship, pay attention to what he says. Is he hard on love, relationships, and marriage? Does he sound bitter when he talks about true love or finding a partner to stay with? Those are signs that he’s really not ready for the long haul yet, and he’s just on the rebound, looking for someone temporary to cheer him up and boost his damaged pride.
He’s Dating Other Women
If you’re not the only one he’s dating, he’s not ready to be in a relationship again. He may be in a stage where he just wants to get out there and have a good time and that’s fine as long as you are okay with it and aware of what is going on. Not sure whether he’s dating others? If he has a hard time committing to dates or can’t really make long-term plans, he’s likely not only dating you or not looking to date you exclusively. And he may not be ready to settle down for some time.
He Has Too Many Loose Ends
The divorce may be final, but that doesn’t always mean everything has been sorted yet. Has he decided where he wants to live if he’s the one that’s moving out, or is he still living somewhere temporary until he decides what to do? If he has children, has he moved into a set pattern of when he will see them and what he does when they are together? If he’s still confused and unsettled, he isn’t likely to make a good partner, unless you want to be by his side every step of the way helping him make decisions.
He Breaks Promises
A man who isn’t able to keep his promises to his ex and children isn’t mature enough to be in a relationship. If he’s supposed to be supporting his ex or children, but always finds excuses or reasons why he can’t, he’s not going to be someone you can depend on. An immature man will complain about how much of a burden it is to have to support his family, and look for sympathy rather than dealing with his own responsibilities. Is he only too eager to blow off weekend plans with his children, using you as an excuse? You don’t want to get in a relationship with someone who tries to get out of commitments or needs to be reminded he made them. Do you know the reason for his divorce? Was that a broken commitment by him too? A definite red flag.
He Complains About His Ex
If he constantly complains about his ex, that means he’s talking about her first of all, when his focus should be on the present (and possibly the future) with you. Then there’s the tone he uses when talking about her. Does he put her down all the time, raking over all her bad points and going on and on about the terrible things she’s doing or has done to him during the relationship or divorce? It’s rarely a clear case of black and white in a relationship and a more reasonable guy will see that. If he hasn’t learned from his marriage and is likely to go into a new relationship thinking he was always in the right so he has no need to change, then he’s not a good prospect for a future partner.
If any of these red flags are present, proceed with caution and avoid falling head over heels. The more red flags there are, the faster you need to think again. Just because he’s available does not mean he’s Mr Right.
Over To You: Have you noticed any other red flags with divorced guys? How do you tell when they are ready to move on? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.