I’ve been through a couple of failed relationships, from abusive to it just not working. However I never thought I’d ever be in a position where I really clicked with someone who was going through a divorce. It just so happens, I did. It’s changed my views on relationships completely; I now have a whole new insight into how relationships work and what I really want from a partner.
When I met my current partner he had just split from his wife of 5 years. Evidently things didn’t work the way he thought, they drifted apart over a couple of years and she didn’t seem to be bothered anymore. So he took the plunge and ended it. At this point we were merely friends and work colleagues. We’d grown close and he would confide in me for advice. He leaned on me in the first few months and I helped him stay strong, work out his finances and what he was going to do about his living situation. It was during these hard times that I really grew fond of him.
He was (and still is thankfully) sweet, charming, caring and really thoughtful. All the qualities I think most people look for in a partner. Qualities that I’d never 100% found in any of my past relationships. I couldn’t believe my luck. But where do you start? He’d left his wife a few months ago, he wasn’t yet divorced, it was a situation I’d never been in before! Low and behold, we grew closer and after several months decided to take things to the next level.
It’s a totally different kettle of fish dating someone going through a divorce, but trust me, the good outweighs the bad!
Accept he has his past
Accepting that he has an ex-wife is something I never thought I’d have to do! Yes in the first few months, his ex may get talked about a lot. After all, pretty much all of his memories and adventures were with her, but be grateful that he still wants to build new memories and adventures with you! I though I’d struggle with accepting this, but like anyone you date in your lifetime, everyone has a past, it’s something we all have to accept; it comes with time.
Milestones will take time
He’s already done the proposing, marriage etc. so things like this (if you both want it) will take a bit longer. If you’re happy together then don’t count down the days till the next milestone, just roll with it and have fun! Enjoy bringing joy and excitement into each others lives. Go on adventures, travel, sample new restaurants and just take it all in. It’s one thing that my other half and I have done a lot of over the past year is travel. We visited three places that neither of us had been to before and made loads of new memories together.
Don’t compare yourself to his ex
Yeah I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t do this because I did, a lot. In the beginning it’s hard not to, it’s natural to be curious. At one point she was his entire life, world and love. Just remember that it ended, for whatever reason, and it’s not your fault. He’s with you now, and loves you. Concentrate on your relationship and not the past.
Be ready for the parents
This was a tough one. One that I wish I had prepared myself more for – meeting the parents. Remember that his parents have built up a bond with his ex over however many years and loved her too. If their anything like my partner’s parents, they’ll be very welcoming and lovely, however they will want to make sure you won’t hurt him like his ex-wife may have done. Be ready for tough questions but be honest and true to who you are. Given some time they will warm to you, just be patient.
The benefits of dating someone going through a divorce
Dating someone going through a divorce has taught me a lot admittedly. I think above everything, it’s taught me about how much I am worth and how I should be treated. My partner is fantastic, I can’t quite believe sometimes that despite going through what he has, he is still caring, loving, thoughtful and incredibly respectful.
The general view on dating a divorcee or someone going through a divorce is that they may be tarnished by what’s happened to them. I would have to disagree. They’ve made a serious commitment to someone before and will hopefully have learned from any mistakes they made. The experience may have made them a more rounded person as they’ve had to deal with grief and separation. They’ll now take time to really get to know you rather than speeding along too fast, this for me is great because no one has ever truly known me like my other half does. In fact, it’s quite refreshing to have someone know you inside and out. Just remember one thing: you’re not sloppy seconds. You’re an upgrade.