That’s never worked for me, but if that’s your thing, make sure that’s what the other person is saying as well.
We want to become the most fantastic cheerleader for their hopes and dreams and we expect that positive affirmation in return. If your potential partner is still dramatically engaged or enraged at their ex partner, watch out. And it’s tough to get through all the processing that needs to happen before we can cut it loose and be free of the burden of our ex.
You are likely to take some of the “stand-in” damage for the anger that needs a place to dissipate. But pay attention to how this person deals with these setbacks or conflicts. In my experience, I find a potential partner who has had kids (they can be older or younger than mine) is more likely to be accepting and accommodating of my relationship to my kids. Sure, it’s an interruption, and sure it puts the “special friend” in a secondary role, but it’s clear to me that my kids emotional and physical well-being is much more important than me having a girlfriend.
Even if the divorce was the result of some infidelity, have they been able to move beyond the anger? I had one woman, who I connected with and had just spent nearly two hours talking to, tell me in the parking lot as she was getting into her car, “I can tell you at least three reasons I’m not right for you.” She didn’t, but she said she knew she had no real idea of what she wanted in a relationship.
If you’re dating, be clear on if you want to “date” or have a relationship.
Going on a date and not knowing the rules because the last date you went on was 20 years ago, can be a really scary thing. Weeding through hundreds of guys who probably want to make a suit of my skin, trying to find that one gem who not only is not a serial killer, but who also chews with his mouth closed can be daunting.