A User’s Guide to Dating a Divorcee

  1. Do not expect to call your divorcee your girlfriend for an unreasonably long time. Well past the point at which it is clear to everyone around you that the two of you are a couple, she will still be protesting: “I’m not your… anything!”
  2. Related: your divorcee will be super cagey about making future plans. How could she possibly know whether she will want to leave the country with you 4 months from now, when she is not entirely certain if your relationship will last beyond Friday? For optimal results, make plans with her only within the scope of the next week. Or, within the same calendar month, if you’re feeling really ambitious. Suggesting she visits your family with you “later this summer”? You’re just shooting yourself in the foot.
  3. Related: she is very, very uncertain how she feels about anything falling into the category of a real relationship with no obvious end date. She will occasionally freak out about this in various unpredictable ways and try to break up with you, although she won’t be sure whether she actually wants to do that, either.
  4. She has no game. She will forget to be flirty-eyed and will instead talk to you completely earnestly, like you’re her favorite of those many platonic male friends with whom she built an easy comfort whilst still a married lady.
  5. Related: she will forget to deploy seduction techniques, and will instead roll over in bed and say “Wanna have sex?!” She knows the secret upside of married sex — getting laid with minimal upfront investment. She will not understand your vague dislike of this tactic, and will say “What? This way we’re getting straight to the good part!”.
  6. Related: her lingerie drawer will be…lacking. Oh, she won’t wear terrible underwear, something cute and colorful, but they’ll be relatively practical, not sexy. She will feel a little bad about this, but also be so over it, and she will cover her tracks by proclaiming she’d “rather be naked”. If you care, buy her slutty underwear. She’ll greatly appreciate not having to make this happen herself.
  7. She will take most things you say about her and the relationship as a joke. You want to buy a house in the Sunset with her? You want to have a baby with her? Surely you must be joking, Mr. you’re-not-my-boyfriend. Remember, she might not want to be dating you beyond Friday! At the heart of this behavior lies this truth: in a past life, she committed to a guy who promised her the world, only to have him later retract that promise. She’s more comfortable believing you’re joking; that way it doesn’t hurt as much if it turns out you don’t mean it.
  8. Related: she will more-or-less continue to believe you’re joking about the baby until you are obviously attempting to impregnate her.
  9. Expect to encounter a lot of references to ‘her terrible ex’, in a generally neutral but unavoidable context. A LOT. “That time I was road tripping in Colorado (with my terrible ex)…” “(My terrible ex and) I thought about moving to Europe but the timing wasn’t right” “I’ve seen this movie 7 times (with my terrible ex)!”. Honestly, be glad she’s slapping the modifier ‘terrible’ on there, instead of softly murmuring his name while gazing wistfully into the middle distance.
  10. She’s reluctant to tell people about you. Her college roommates wonder about this guy who shows up in her Instagram feed? Her family is in town for Christmas, and you’d maybe be interested in meeting them? Oh, HELL no. Acknowledging a relationship is totally beyond the pale, it will invite questions and lead to people wondering if she’ll actually be able to make it work this time and… NO. Her family and out of town friends will find out about your existence if (and only if) you’re on the brink of buying a house together/knocking her up/getting married. That’s plenty soon enough, thank you.

Good luck!

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