Today as I listen to single women tell their stories about dating divorced men, I remember my experience well. I see them making choices about dating divorced men similar to ones I made. Choices based on the present but without enough regard on the past.
These similarities make me think it is wise for women to ask four questions before dating a divorced man. Every year my church hosted a singles retreat in Destin, Florida on Labor Day weekend. It was the first year I went, and even though it was for singles, I was dating someone at the time, a man previously married.
He went on the trip, too. At the time this annoyed me, and I wondered if he was as into me as I hoped. One afternoon I had been on the beach since after the morning general session, but I had not heard from my boyfriend all day.
When the night was over I went to his hotel room to see if he was there. As I stepped off of the elevator, I saw him straight ahead sitting on a glass-topped table in the hallway.
Not just crying a little bit, but sobbing. Before you date a divorced man, ask these four questions: Is he legally divorced? This seems like an obvious first question. I imagine this is evidence of our societal apathy towards the marriage covenant. That means that until a legal divorce has taken place, the person is still married, even if their separation from their spouse goes on for months or years.
A healthy purpose for a dating relationship is to discern possible marriage. Otherwise the dating relationship is nothing more than selfishness of either one or both people. How much time has passed? There are different opinions about how long it takes. Some say it takes at least a year. Some say it takes several years. And of course the time depends on the circumstances and what was done after the divorce to heal from it properly. In the story I told above, my boyfriend had been divorced for about three years and yet he was still hurting.
Dating too soon after a divorce is sometimes a sign that the man is trying to fill the void left from his marriage. He might think that finding a significant other quickly will get life back to normal quickly. But like any breakup, a man must go through a grieving and healing process before he is ready to date. What steps has he taken to heal from the divorce? Not only does an adequate amount of time need to pass before someone starts dating after a divorce, but that time should be purposeful. He needs to seek healing for himself, not just to satisfy the wishes of a new girlfriend.
What were the reasons for the divorce? Even though I have never been through a divorce, I imagine it is difficult to identify one clear reason for it. However, the question is still worth asking. Depending on your interpretation of scripture, your personal experiences with divorce, and your convictions, you may not agree with the reasons.
You will also be able to see his body language and tone of voice as he talks about the divorce. The answer to this question could potentially give you valuable insight into how the man views marriage, handles conflict, and his plans for a future relationship or marriage. Asking someone the reasons for their divorce may seem brash, but I would argue that it is wise to ask it soon after meeting someone new.
Divorce is not a subject to be taken lightly. A potential partner should offer this information willingly. If I had taken his past seriously and asked some tough questions, we may have not gone out again after the first date. The sooner you can discern whether the relationship should go on, the better.
This article is part of our larger resource: Why did Moses allow for divorce if it wasn't a part of God's plan? Now her passion is to mentor young women to live purposefully and grow in their relationship with God and others. Brenda has been married for five years to a heart transplant hero and is the mom of a toddler girl miracle. She is also the author of the eBook Fall for Him: Tweet About Relationships Today's role for a Christian woman takes many forms working together - mom, sister, wife, home maker, career women, and more.
All of these relationships demand your time and attention.