In an increasingly digital world, with dating and hookup websites and apps running rampant, the days of having ample knowledge of your prospective love interest are long gone. Getting set up by friends and family barely ever happens anymore, meaning your entire life story has not yet been told to your date.
To your date, you are a blank slate— no drama, zero baggage, and no red flags; all these come along the further the date/relationship grows. The problem many divorcees encounter while planning to put themselves back on the market is how to avoid looking like a loser due to having already being in a failed marriage, or even when to bring up the fact that you have had a previous marriage.
What Type of Relationship Do You Want?
Is this date something you hope grows into something long-term and real, or is it just casual, and maybe even a fling? If it is the latter, a casual relationship really does not require full disclosure, there is no rush to let that out. For a date with potential however, you have to be careful about how you handle this discussion.
Be Honest and Upfront
In the end, honesty is the best policy. Be sure to lay all the cards on the table with a new date, being upfront about your past life, especially your divorce, prevent it from becoming a secret you struggle to keep. Having to lie, or omitting the truth, about details from your past as a married man, will lead you down a dangerous spiral.
Timing Is Key
Do not bring up being divorced on the very first date. The first date is for you both to get a feel for each other, do not ruin that romantic atmosphere with a blast from the past. Unless your date flat out asks you if you have been previously married, keep that information to your self for now.
If the first date goes well, and there is a second date, and then a third—showing it may be starting to get serious—it’s time to address the issue. Discuss this difficult aspect of your life with your new date, and let her decide whether or not to continue to see you. Do not hold back any information that may influence her decision to stay or leave you, you owe her that much.
Your Presentation Matters
Perhaps more important than when, how you break this news is critical. Before you start, ensure you have enough time to fully expand on the topic—you do not want to bring up being divorced 5 minutes before the date is over, and let her go home without answers to questions she will definitely have.
Tell her you understand if she does not want to deal with such circumstances, but that you would rather she continued to see you as the man who she has been having a great time with. Frame your divorce and past marriage as an experience you needed, one that has shaped you into becoming a better person. Whatever you do, do not speak negatively of your ex-wife: this may be misconstrued as still being hung up over her.
Everyone Has A Past
Keeping this news from your date will only inadvertently postpone your day of reckoning. No matter how hard you try to hide it, the truth will come out. Get out in front of it and lay bare your past before your new interest.
The worst possible outcome is she breaks it off, and if she does that, it’s better for everybody: after all you want someone who wants you with all your flaws and your past too. Divorce is no longer a taboo, and if one door shuts, keep trying, and you will eventually meet someone who does not mind your having a past.
Divorces have many difficult aspects, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side. Chad Foster is a trusted Washington lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.