Is it really that big of deal though?
The answer to this question is a little bit yes and a little bit no.
People marry, divorce and meet someone new quite commonly. While divorce brings many more complications than traditional boyfriend/girlfriend breakups, the aftermath is just like any other breakup, there is the period of adjustment. Hollywood will often depict this time with a broken down man, holed up in his apartment, unshaven, in need of a haircut, walking around in boxers and a bathrobe, eating cereal, drinking beer and playing video games. Eventually he cleans up, shaves and ventures back out into the real world. Perhaps he catches your fancy and you think he is well over the hurt and anger from the divorce, seemingly ready to date.
Be warned, though, that there is still plenty of excess baggage there and you should investigate before getting involved. You need to know what this baggage is and whether or not its something you can deal with.
One of the first dating tips in this situation is knowing what his intentions are with you. Is he really looking for something serious or is he just playing the field and seeing what his options are? Is he looking to casually date, bed at least a dozen more women before getting serious again or is he wanting another commitment?
There are some great guys coming out of a divorce that are still absolute romantics. They believe in relationships and commitment, but were just in the wrong situation previously. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some men may be all too eager to re-enter the dating world, especially if they were the one that exited the marriage. Maybe they married young and never really had a chance to date much. This guy could be looking to make up for lost time.
You will also need to know the specifics of the divorce and if he wants a relationship with you at some point. Emphatically state that you will not be the transition girl. However, if its a matter of him needing more time to know for sure, think it over because there could be so much going on with him psychologically and emotionally that he is confused. Particularly if the ex-wife left him for someone else or simply because she fell out of love with him. He may be undergoing some trust issues and will need more time to truly let someone else in. He needs to communicate this to you and you need to trust that he is not using the - oh, I am divorced - routine for sympathy or an excuse for his apparent commitment phobia. A great deal of patience, understanding and trust will be necessary if you are really into this guy.
If there are children involved you need to ask yourself if you are capable of handling this. Chances are, with children in the equation, his ex-wife will still have a regular presence in his life. Its a package deal and you must have confidence in yourself to accept it. You cant be worrying about the ex having a better body than you, making more money than you or the children preferring to be with her more than you. It really can be a difficult situation to walk into.
Here is one of the more telling signs when it comes to identifying how serious he is with you. If you are together for a few months and you have not been introduced to his parents/relatives, his ex-wife and children, or his friends, it may be safe to assume that he is not sure what sort of commitment he is prepared to make just yet.
So look out for these signs when dating a divorced man and make sure you dont misread the situation and end up hurt.