Relax and get to know your date without worrying about the future.

How to Go Slow in a Relationship With a Divorced Man

by C. Giles

Dating after divorce can be tough. The circumstances surrounding the breakdown of the marriage, whether there are children involved and how acrimonious the relationship between the formerly married couple is, are all factors that may make it even tougher. If you have concerns about dating a divorced man, there's no harm in taking things slowly. By taking the time to really get to know him before making a long-term commitment, you have a greater chance at a happy, secure relationship, says psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith on "Psychology Today."

1. Stay Busy

You may find that between your children, your job and your friends, you don't have a lot of time for dating. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, as it may force you to take it slowly with a divorced man. No matter how keen you are on him, don't give up the things you filled your free time with before he came along. Keep up your hobbies and continue spending time with your friends. Even if you only manage to see him once a week in the early stages, that's fine. Plan dates in advance so he knows you're still interested, and keep in touch with occasional texts and phone calls in between. Don't introduce him to your children until you feel confident that it is going to be a long-term relationship.

2. Recognizing a Rebound

After a divorce, it's natural to feel apprehensive about getting into another relationship. A divorced man may have a great deal of baggage from the marital breakdown. For example, he may find it difficult to trust women because his wife cheated on him. He may still feel guilty that he left his wife and children, no matter how unhappy he was. Be aware of signs that he is looking for a rebound relationship; for example, if he talks about his ex-wife a lot, if he seems bitter about the end of his marriage, or if he appears to be more interested in sex than in getting to know you as a person. Loneliness after divorce often leads to a rebound relationship, says divorce coach Kimberly Pryor Wilkes on "YourTango."

3. Feedback From Friends

When you have been dating a divorced man for a few weeks, introduce him to a couple of your friends. Don't make it a big deal -- just arrange to meet them for a quick coffee. The next time you speak to your friends, find out what they thought of your date. They may be able to see relationship red flags that you have missed, suggests the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. It's good to be aware of potential problems that may arise, and to get feedback from someone you trust to remind you to keep the brakes on and not get carried away.

4. Focus on Fun

Instead of dwelling on your man's divorce, concentrate on having fun together. You will have plenty of time to get serious later, if the relationship is meant to last. Keep things lighthearted. Watch a funny movie. Go to a comedy stand-up show. Arrange to do something adventurous and out of the ordinary to push your boundaries and give yourselves a real buzz.

About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."

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