Dating A Divorcee
Stepping inside the dating pool can sometimes feel like entering a minefield ‒ you have to navigate around to not step on “bombs” that your date might drop without warning. One such plot twist not limited to K-dramas? That someone you’re seeing was actually married before.
Despite us living in a relatively open-minded society, divorcees still tend to have a harder time finding love a second time. But rather than seeing them as a no-go, dating them can also have benefits, such as them being more determined to build a strong relationship.
We spoke to five females in Singapore to gather their sentiment on divorcees, and to see if they would offer a second chance at love.
Disclaimer: Some names have been altered to protect the identities of our interviewees.
1. “More common to meet someone who’s been through a marriage”
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“With divorce rates on the rise, it’s not uncommon to meet someone who’s been through a marriage. I wouldn’t mind dating someone who’s a divorcee, especially if the reason for separation is acceptable. But if it were reasons such as infidelity and dishonesty, dating would be definitely out of the question.
Many people find it difficult to start a relationship with a divorcee because of the social stigma. Some might even worry if he would give up on the relationship like before if things get tough again.
While I can’t say for sure how my friends and family would react if they find out I’m dating a divorcee, I’d imagine receiving negative comments from them. I’m sure they would worry about the difficulties for our relationship to progress “normally”.
To even begin dating a divorcee, you have to accept the reasons why he has been through a divorce first. You will also have to understand that there will be naysayers, and during that time, you need to stay strong and not be swayed by them.”
Advice for those who are dating or thinking about dating a divorcee: “When your partner is ready and comfortable, make sure you have conversations about your concerns if they are any. This way your relationship will not fester in the long run.”
– Trisha, 30
2. “Doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a second chance at love”
“I’ve heard from one of my girlfriends that she met the “perfect” guy through online dating, but only to freak out after learning that he was a divorcee. In the end, she decided to cut ties with him for the fear of complications that might bother her in the future.
While I felt that it wasn’t exactly fair to the guy since they had a pretty good run, it all boils down to personal preferences. Sure, dating a divorcee might be challenging, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve a second chance at love. Some divorcees can change for the better if they made mistakes, and they need an opportunity to prove themselves.
There is no “right” person in life, and not all singles can be guaranteed a long-lasting relationship. You have to constantly work things out as partners, which is one of the keys to maintaining any relationship.”
Advice for those who are dating or thinking about dating a divorcee: “At least give them a chance before deciding if you wish to pursue a relationship or not. Try and understand from their point of view, and who knows if things might work out for you and the other person.”
– Jou, 29
3. “It is not a crime to go through a divorce”
“If I was in my early 20s, I don’t think I would have dated a divorcee. But now, I don’t find anything wrong with dating one — it is not a crime to go through a divorce. Plus, divorce rates are on a rise, so you are bound to meet someone who has been through one.
Many people tend to shy away from dating one because of the stereotypes formed by society like being unable to sustain a marriage. I don’t find it fair because they deserve the same respect as everyone else. Everyone makes mistakes, and society can be a better place by showing grace and understanding toward them.
Unfortunately, my friends and family are not the most open-minded people, so if they learn that I am dating a divorcee, they would probably be very confused. They believe that it is always better to date and marry a person who does not have a “history”.
Despite that being said, I won’t date a divorcee who has a child because I’m not fond of them. Since I don’t intend to have kids in the future, I’d inquire about this first before agreeing to a date to not waste each other’s time.”
Advice for those who are dating or thinking about dating a divorcee: “Don’t care too much about what others might think because it is your love life. You can reach out to different people to learn their opinions, but in the end, your decision matters the most.”
– Cindy, 29
4. “It has nothing to do with their past relationships or why it failed”
“I am engaged to my fiancé, but if I was still single, I would consider a divorcee as someone I could date. It has nothing to do with their past relationships or why they failed.
If they know where it went wrong and are willing to grow and move past it, I think it is a good sign of a healthy partner.
People tend to be uncomfortable with the idea of dating a divorcee because they see them as a person who was unable to keep a marriage together. Plus, it can be prematurely viewed as a red flag while not considering that the other partner might have been the issue.
However, there are divorcees IRL who don’t understand where things went wrong in the marriage. Most of the time, they will continue to bring an unhealthy mindset towards new relationships, and chances are, it will be difficult for them to find lasting love.”
Advice for those who are dating or thinking about dating a divorcee: “Don’t be too quick to dismiss someone just because of a person’s marital status. Just because a divorcee couldn’t hold down their past marriage, it doesn’t mean they cannot grow and commit better to a future one.”
– Isabel, 24
5. “They have a clearer idea of what they want in a relationship”
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“Based on my experience, dating a divorcee has both pros and cons, but I tend to be optimistic, especially when starting a new relationship. It doesn’t really matter to me if my partner went through a divorce or not because I only care about what happens between us.
While their past relationship might play a role in how they behave now, I always believe that there are takeaways you can learn from. Plus, they might have a clearer idea of what they want in a relationship, which is something that I really like.
Initially, my friends were surprised when I told them about how I was dating a divorcee. Rather than bombarding me with questions, they were happy for me and hoped that things would work out. I was really relieved when I heard their kind words because I wasn’t sure if they would be supportive.
I think it is challenging for divorcees to find someone who will accept them for who they are, but they need to know that such people do exist.”
Advice for those who are dating or thinking about dating a divorcee: “It is never easy to commit to a relationship, but once you take the first step, you will realise that it is not any different from the others that you might have had. Always communicate with each other and share what you feel.”
– Lina, 27
These Females In Singapore Show That Dating A Divorcee Should Be Normalised
Rather than being affected by what others say, most of these women show that they do not mind dating a divorcee and are brave enough to follow their hearts. Hopefully, through their stories, more people will view divorcees in a more positive light, and not judge them based on their marital status.
Cover images courtesy of Isabel and Cindy.
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