There's nothing wrong with dating a divorcee – that is unless they display this one red flag that will mean your relationship is doomed.
When I sit back in my rocking chair at 80 years old with a purple perm and a wicked smile, I'll ponder back to my dating days and think, "Good lord, I had a good time!".
One of the many fond memories that I will rehash is my brief moment in time with a very love able divorcee by the name of Stu Laundy.
Now as you know, it's not my style to name and well … (not so) shame, but with the launch of my brand new podcast for news.com.au this week, I thought how better to kick it off than by interviewing someone who I've dated before.
He was the first divorcee I dated and we had an open and honest discussion about what it's like to date someone in the midst of a divorce. He brought to the discussion many truth bombs and I came away thinking, 'Wow, that's not where I thought that was where this chat was going to go.'
You see, I found it a marvellous experience. To put it simply, I like the fact that he dated old school. He called instead of texted, he really wined and dined me, and had never even heard of ghosting before, let alone given it a red hot crack.
Yep, blokes fresh from a divorce usually have been out of the game for so long that the last time they were single was most likely in the '90s and early '00s.
Back then there was an art to dating. Tinder was unheard of and the idea of dating a few people at the same time was laughable.
As far as I was concerned, dating a divorcee was pretty darn fab. Less games, more old-fashioned values.
However, upon chatting to Stu I realised I may have forgotten one tiny detail about our brief relationship back in 2018.
It always felt like there was a third party involved. That third party was a little thing known as
"heartbreak". Yep, I was dating an "unintentional" divorcee.
The unintentional divorcee is the bloke who didn't see it coming. One day he's living his best life, he has ticked all the boxes – wife, house, kids etc … then "bang!" it's all gone.
Now I adore Stu, and I know he would admit this himself, (in fact he has … on the podcast!) but he wasn't the world's best husband. I guess he just took it all for granted until it was too late to fix. Anyway, that's his story to share, and feel free to tune in to it.
What I quickly discovered about dating an "unintentional divorcee" is that there are plenty of "WTF?" moments. You see, in a rush to replace the ex-wife, these blokes tend to throw themselves straight into another relationship. Whether they are ready for it or not.
Despite a bit of head scratching, I'm happy to report that I got out fairly unscathed.
Full confession, I was at the end of a fairly toxic relationship and happy for the distraction. I guess you could say I too was looking for a rebound too. Have you ever noticed that like tends to attract like?
So sure, we had a lovely time, went on some glorious dates and the whole thing was a fun adventure, but I think we both eventually took it for what it was. A great break from reality, and a new-found friendship.
So when Stu opened up on the podcast about what it's really like to date after a divorce, well, at least an unintentional one, I found it really interesting. He highlighted many red flags we single girls need to look out for, and it's something I've never really thought about.
I guess the main whopping big red flag is this … make sure they are completely over their ex. I know this sounds like an obvious one, but it can be hard to spot.
These men tend to still be in a little bit of shock. They didn't see it coming, and they've forgotten what it's like to have to fend for themselves in this big scary dating world. So they think to themselves why not shack up quickly. The only problem is, you will forever be compared to their ex, and who can compete with a childhood sweetheart? No one, that's who.
So when venturing into divorcee territory, I would advise checking out their backstory. Have they had enough time to process it? Have they sought help from a professional to process their feelings? Have they discovered who they are without a sidekick? These are important factors that can easily be overlooked.
So yes, I still advocate dating a divorcee, but make sure the timing is right.