I’ve recently jumped back into the dating pool after a dozen or so years of kicking it on the sidelines, and I’ve already discovered that I have a major preference in the “what I’m looking for in a man” department. I’d like him to have failed at marriage too.
OK, I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. I never knew how fragile marriage was before mine went down in flames. I didn’t understand people who got divorced and in fact often joked that the secret to staying married was to not get divorced.
Side note: Gee, you'd think that would have been a hint to myself that there was trouble in paradise?
Anyway, it’s not that there aren’t fantastic guys out there that haven’t waited for their bride at the end of the aisle yet, and in many ways, these guys might even be better on paper. There’s a distinct lack of baggage that comes from having never been married before.
It’s just that I have my own baggage now -- the my life turned upside down and my marriage failed and I tried every damn thing I could to fix it but in the end it was all futile baggage. No matter how much a single guy may try to understand or how much compassion he may have, there’s nothing like the silent empathy of someone that’s been there too.
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I’m not stupid. I know that the divorce rates of second marriages are much higher than those of first marriages. I know that every time you divorce someone, you’re more likely to do it again. According to the U.S. Census, 41 percent of first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages, and 73 percent of third marriages all end in divorce.
Personally, I just think that’s because once you’ve been through it before, you’re less likely to feel trapped again. But I digress.
I want someone that jumped all in once upon a time, only to have everything blow up in his face. I think that if we both learn from our mistakes in our first marriages, we may actually have a better shot at making it work. I’m hoping warning signs of impending breakdowns won’t go ignored, and we’ll both fight like hell for each other.
Of course, God has a wicked sense of humor, so no doubt I’ll eventually end up with a bachelor. Well, it’s not like I’ve never had my best-laid plans go astray before.
What type of man did you prefer to date after divorce?
Image via Vincent Diamante/Flickr