Dating after divorce can be terrifying for even the bravest souls. How does one navigate singlehood again after being tied down for so long?
The good news is that there’s no deadline or textbook procedure for post-divorce dating. According to family and marriage therapist Lauren Selfridge, people re-enter the dating scene differently. “Sometimes, people are experimenting, hoping to see what being with another person is like after many years. Some people are ready for a relationship. Some people don’t know what they want,” she says.
While there’s no single correct approach to post-divorce dating, there are red flags you may want to steer clear of. Heed these warning signs and run for the nearest exit as soon as you find them:
Red Flag #1: Your match’s ex-spouse lives rent-free in their head and mouth.
Talking about broken marriages can be cathartic during appropriate occasions. Post-divorce resentment is a normal feeling, and releasing it after holding it in for a long time can be relieving.
As tempting as trashing your ex-spouse sounds, be the bigger person and keep them out of your mouth. Don’t let your rage spill over into a new relationship.
As Oasis famously sang, don’t look back in anger!
The more a person mentions them, the more they’ll come across as bitter and vindictive. The constant callbacks are a sign that they haven’t gotten over their ex-spouse, and unfortunately, they may just be using you as an emotional crutch. Ouch!
Red Flag #2: TMI Alert: your match has revealed too much too soon!
Let’s say you’re on a night out with a beautiful stranger. Things go well until they start sharing their entire life story, from their birth to their current romantic exploit.
Sound the alarm and file this case under the TMI (too much information, for the unaware) folder!
Sharing bits and pieces of your life is a-okay. Narrating your whole existence? That’s just too much.
Matches shouldn’t scare their dates off by committing this faux pas If your date wants to have a fair shot at your heart, they should learn that dumping everything on you isn’t healthy. Much like many things in life, less is more.
Red Flag #3: Things are moving too quickly!
Moving on and re-entering the post-divorce dating scene has no timetable. People cope with divorces differently.
When your match is in a hurry to get serious, take that as a red flag. You’ll know things are getting out of hand if they push you into doing things you’re not yet ready for, such as moving in together despite only dating for a few weeks. When they’re being pushy about it, head for the hills and get out while you can!
Seizing the moment is different from moving too fast. Your match should know the difference between the two things.
Red Flag #4: They’ve been discovered or outed as cheaters.
We’re all aware of the pain cheating brings, yes? You don’t want to be associated with someone with a track record of being an unremorseful cheater. If they managed to cheat on their ex-spouse while married, what makes you think they won’t pull the same stunt on you?
No matter how much they try to justify their mistake, remember this: cheating is a choice. It’s a decision they can’t take back. Save yourself from more unnecessary drama and stay away from cheaters.
These are just a few of the many post-divorce red flags you should be wary of. Be careful and keep your guard up!