The divorce rate for men in the United States is slightly over 9 percent, according to the 2009 statistics from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. If you're considering dating one of these male divorcees, knowing which questions to ask can put you on the right road to a relationship. From his finances to his ex and kids, getting to understand your new man and his previous relationships is essential.
Ask How Long He's Been Divorced
Finding out that your new guy is a divorcee doesn't always mean that he has been sitting at home for years just waiting for you to show up. Some divorced men quickly rebound or jump to another woman shortly after divorce. Feelings of fear, anxiety or sadness at the thought of living life alone may cause this overly-timely turn-around, according to the article, "Dating After Divorce," by David Anderson, Ph.D., on the Psychology Today website. Before you take the plunge with a divorced date, ask him how long it has been since his separation and if he has dated anyone else since that time. If the ink on his divorce papers is barely dry and you are the first woman since his ex dropped him, consider that you might be a rebound. While this doesn't always mean that things won't work out, his haste to find companionship may translate into a not-so-hot relationship.
Ask About His Marriage
While his ex might be a tricky topic to discuss, knowing what went wrong may help you to make a more informed decision about dating this man. Although history doesn't always repeat itself, knowing that his marriage fell apart because he works 12 hour days, would rather go out with the boys than go on a date or is a chronic cheater is must-have information. Additionally, understanding why his marriage didn't work out can help you to see any potential issues that he may have with women or relationships. For example, if his wife left him for someone else, he may have a bruised ego or have anxiety about starting up a new relationship. Keep in mind that your man may not want to answer questions about his ex or may not want to go in-depth. Start with a simple question like, "Do you want to tell me what happened?" instead of peppering him with questions.
Ask If He Has Kids
Consider if he has kids and what that might mean. Knowing if your potential partner already has children from his past marriage is an essential piece of information that you can't go without. If he does have children, ask him when -- or if -- he wants you to meet them and what he sees your role in their life being. The American Academy of Pediatrics, on its HealthyChildren.org website, recommends that divorced parents wait about six months before they start dating after their divorce. Don't jump to the conclusion that he wants you to wait to meet his kids or that he expects you to take over the role of step-mom right away.
Ask About His Finances -- Delicately
Although you don't want to ask him, "How much do you make per year?" asking some questions about your divorced guy's finances can help you to see where your relationship is going. If he seems like marriage material, you'll want to know if he's shelling out half of his salary to his ex or has issues surrounding child support payments. Take a subtle approach and ask about money matters in a supportive way, such as, "It must be really tough having to handle your financial responsibilities to your ex. Is that why you have to work overtime?"
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.
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