Dating a divorced man and having a tough time understanding how men think? You are not alone! This post points out red flags in this reader’s situation she could have to avoided to guard her heart and how to know better next time.
Hi Dating Coach Ronnie,
I need your help! I have long distance relationship with a guy I met online. He was going through a divorce when we first met. We texted regularly and saw me twice when he came into town to see family. Both times it was a movie and then back to his hotel for sex. During the 2-year relationship he says very sweet words, that we will be together one day, wants to spend time and get to know each other, he loves me, looking forward to me being his wife, more sure every day that we are going to be a couple, says I am perfect for him.
Some concerns came up for me. We were talking on the phone for the first 3 months and then he never bothered to call anymore. When I asked him the reason, he said there was not an opportune time. Sounds like a BS answer to me. All during the relationship he would regularly disappear for 2-3 days at a time, come back and not say what he had been doing. When asked, all he ever usually said was sleeping, working, or fighting a cold.
Then I found out he was answering CL ads online. So, I posted some phony ones in the casual encounters that were primarily looking for sex. He answered ALL of them and started talking dirty. I never revealed it was me in all 5 of those ads. During that time I was playing detective, he was sending me love images that two hearts are meant to be together, I love you more each day, stuff like that. My heart dropped. Can he truly love me but just be doing all that for fun, since we don’t have sex due to the distance?
I have strong feelings for him. During the time we did spend together, I felt a spiritual connection, like I knew him from somewhere before. I know it sounds hokey. I really can’t forget him.
I dumped him. Now after 3 months he will never initiate any contact but replies instantly and sends long text messages. Then after a few messages he just ghosts on me, says nothing. I have not made any more contact and do not plan to. If this guy does not start any texts and stops conversations, it appears he is not interested.
Would you agree? Thank you so much.
Done with Divorced Guy
Dear Done with Divorced Guy
First, I’m going to agree with your assessment of this situation. He is NOT serious about you, I’m sad to say. I’m sure that hurts, but there’s no surprise – you were already on to his games.
What I would like to do now is help you from going through this type of relationship disaster again. As a dating coach, I saw several red flags waving to which I want to open your eyes.
Red Flag #1 – Not Divorced Yet
I strongly recommend avoiding married men at all costs. A separated man and a not yet divorced man are still married. In fact, I recommend avoiding men who haven’t been divorced for a full year and experts and therapists agree with this suggestion for good reason.
These men are not healed from the trauma of separating and divorce and that takes time. Not being ready means he’s not emotionally available to date you from the heart level. He could hang out with you, keep you close by professing his love, spend time with you or just maintain a virtual relationship, acting like this means something.
It does mean something to him – you are his lifeline to women, reminding him he’s still got the macho ability to attract females. So, he holds on to you, letting you dangle in the wind as a placeholder while he rebuilds his ego. This might not even be totally on a conscious level, but that doesn’t change the facts about what is going on.
Red Flag #2 – A Movie and Sex Is Not a Real First Date
So, this guy you never met in person drives to see you. Then you go to a movie and back to his hotel for a little somethin’ somethin’. Yes, I know you “knew” each other for 3 months. But NOT really. Getting to know someone virtually can tell you a lot, but not how he’ll treat you when face to face. And I’m sorry to say, he showed you what his true interest was – getting you into bed.
There is nothing wrong with first date sex. Especially if you don’t mind if the guy doesn’t call again. But when you hold off, a number of important things take place. You’ll discover if he’s willing to invest his time in getting to know you to see your long-term relationship potential. You’ll also stay more objective to find out if he’s really got Mr. Right potential. Once intimate, it clouds the truth with romance and chemistry that often don’t last.
Next time some long-distance guy wants to meet you, let him drive to you, but hold off on hopping into bed so you can see what he’ll do to win you over. Like several dates, not two. Men need to qualify to gain access to intimacy if you want to guard your heart. So choose your partners wisely and take your time.
Red Flag #3 – Sweet Meaningless Words
He flattered you from afar to assure you that this waiting around will all be worthwhile. He claims he knows you are the one and you’ll be together some day. Any time a man says this stuff but doesn’t make the effort to see you on some kind of regular basis, you should automatically realize its BS as you called it. Sweet words mean nothing – only the actions a man takes to spend time with you. Don’t fall for sweet talk. Let it start to sound just like blah blah blah as it flows from his mouth which is exactly what it is – empty of true meaning or value.
Red Flag #3 – 1 or 2 Dates, then Reverts to Texting and Calling
There is an epidemic of men who will see you once or twice, and then hold onto you in this type of virtual relationship for as long as you allow it. My bet is they have this going with more than one woman at a time. Or they can’t really handle a full relationship, so they do this virtual thing offering women sweet little crumbs to keep her hoping for more. YOU DESERVE MORE THAN CRUMBS! If there are no dates, then stop texting or calling.
Red Flag #4 – Answering Ads for Casual Sex
OMG – you discovered this and still want him back? A man who loves you doesn’t have casual sex because it’s more convenient-and local – they stay true to you. This is your biggest red flag that he has no true interest in you for a true love relationship.
Red Flag #5 – Disappearing Act
There is no reason for a disappearing act – that is the purpose of communication! He can’t be in touch because of work or illness? Text and let you know. Have a conversation. There is absolutely no excuse for disappearing unless he’s an undercover spy – and you don’t want to date James Bond any way.
The first time a man pulls this on you – address it immediately. If he gives you a BS answer, walk away for good. If his answer seems reasonable and he vows to never do it again, OK one more chance. But never two! Respect is a huge part of a healthy, lasting relationship so stick to your guns and get it or leave him high and dry.
Red Flag #6 – You Dump Him, Then Continue to Contact Him
When you “dump” a guy for good reason, you should never go back for more. What’s the point? You already know he can’t give you what you want! This tells me you want to build up your confidence and remember that you are worthy of the very best treatment. There are good men out there who do know how to be respectful to women and appreciate you in their life.
Contacting him meant you’d be willing to take his sorry ass back. Really? He never treated you right from the beginning and men do not change. Honey, be good to yourself and swear to me you’ll never put up with crap like this from men again.
As a dating coach for women, I am your cheerleader for self-respect and confidence building. Take this time to remember what an amazing woman you are. Learn about boundaries and why they are important for a healthy, lasting relationship. And only date men who have time to spend with you on a regular basis and treat you the way you dream of being treated and deserve.
Wishing you love,