Dating the Divorcee

Hasty marriages seem to be a hallmark of the celebrity couple. But it happens more often with us regular people than you'd think. In fact, the most common time for marriages to fall apart is within the first two years. Add that to the fact that we seem to be marrying and divorcing with greater and greater speed these days, and it's no longer surprising to be dating a divorcee in her 20s or 30s.

Should you worry that your date is a love-'em-and-leave-'em type? Or impulsive and immature? Here's how to find out.

Who Did the Divorcing?

Remember, not everyone who is divorced wanted to be divorced. In fact, studies suggest that three out of four divorces are brought by one spouse - usually the wife. So maybe your date isn't a merciless heartbreaker after all. Try to suss out the circumstances of the breakup before you pass judgment.

Was Age a Factor?

The younger you are when you marry, the more likely your union is to end...but that doesn't mean you're doomed for a single life forever. Lots of times a youthful - and short-lived - marriage can make the parties involved more mature in the end. Does it seem like your date has grown from the experience?

Was It Something Else?

Fledgling marriages are even more susceptible to marital stressors like adultery or the personal issues of one of the parties. Or maybe someone's career got in the way or a health problem caused a rift. If the cause of the split was just one of unexpected circumstance, reconsider tagging your date "damaged goods."

How Do They Handle It?

Can they talk about their short-lived union without sounding hostile? Ideally, they should be able to explain, thoughtfully, what went wrong and what they've learned from it. These days, being divorced doesn't immediately mean you're carrying around any more emotional baggage than your average singleton. But you'll still want to determine if those bags are light...or need wheels.

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