Let me make this clear: I don’t have a problem with dating a divorced man. No problem at all.
What I do have a problem with is when a divorced man isn’t up front about it.
Menfolk of the world, I’m going to lay down some real talk right now: if your online dating profile doesn’t disclose that you are divorced, the moment you explain you are really “divorced” and not just “single,” I immediately think you are acting shady. Even if you weren’t trying to hide it! Even if you just married her so she could get a green card! Even if you have been divorced so long you’ve forgotten her middle name!
Finding out that “single” signifier on his online dating profile actually should have read “divorced” has happened to me a grand total of FIVE times. I shit you not! Yes, all the guys listed themselves as “single” online, but mentioned their divorces at some point on the first date during the whole “this is my whole resume and life recap” bit. One guy referred to an ex as his “ex-girlfriend” first before letting it slip that they had been married. And an honorable mention goes to O’Ex-Boyfriend who dated me exclusively for two whole months before he let it drop that he wasn’t actually legally divorced yet, only separated. Oh, did you just happen to forget to mention it?!?
Some of these men probably think they shouldn’t be defined by their divorce. That’s true, of course. People have long-term relationships and broken engagements and they don’t disclose those on their profiles. However, I would challenge men to assume why they think being divorced is automatically a negative on the dating market. For many women, it’s not a negative at all: a man who has a proven willingness to commit is actually an asset. But my concern is more psychologically paranoid. Nondisclosure of a piece of information so huge — they once legally bound themselves to another person, promising “’til death do us part” — makes it seem like there’s a reason they’re not being up front. And if he’s not being up front about something major like his marital status, what else isn’t he being up front about?
Here’s two other facts you must disclose in your online dating profile:
- Kids: Men are generally better about disclosing their children than their divorces. Why is that? It’s so strange, because arguably children are a bigger dealbreaker. Some women are cool with dating a man with kids, some women are not. It presents a unique set of circumstances. You should be up front from the get-go, so a lady knows whether your couch will have crushed Cheerios between the sheets.
- STD Status: Ami and I disagree on this one. She doesn’t think that going on a date with someone means there’s a presumption that sex will take place and that people should disclose once it’s clear sex is going to occur. Meanwhile, I say that you should at the very least obliquely indicate your STD status in some way prior to meeting a person for two reasons. One, so other people wirh similar STDs who may want to date someone who knows what they’re dealing with can find you, and two, so someone for whom an STD is a dealbreaker knows whether to to invest the time. For example, I was once chatting with a guy online who revealed to me that he had genital herpes. I wasn’t surprised at that disclosure, because he had indicated in his profile that he was willing to date someone who had an STD and I assumed (correctly) that meant he had one himself. We never ended up going out on a date for a reason unrelated to the herpes, but I thought he had an immense amount of integrity for fully informing me. And that immense amount of integrity only made me like him more.
What other facts do you think people should be open and honest about in their online dating profiles? Tell me what you think in the comments.