Is it a Mistake to Get Sexually Involved with a Man Who’s Recently Divorced?

intimate young couple during foreplay in bed 

Dear Lisa,

I met this wonderful man and we have been on 7 dates. It’s going really well.  I haven’t felt like this about anyone for a long time. I am totally smitten! He has been divorced about 3 months ago and has two young kids. On our third date, I asked him what he was looking for—something casual dating or a more committed relationship. He said that he is looking for something casual right now. I agreed with him and said that he should enjoy his freedom and date especially after having been married for so many years. Unfortunately, I am 35 and I want to get married and have a family of my own. He keeps asking me out, and it feels like we’re getting closer and closer. He even said that we could bump our dates up from once to twice a week, so I know he really likes me. The last time I saw him he cooked me dinner at his house and, afterward, we made out for over an hour. It was AMAZING. We have a very intense connection. I am pretty sure we’ll sleep together the next time we see each other. It seems like the natural next step, but I just wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter before I do something I’ll regret.




Hi Dana,

Congratulations on meeting such a great guy. I know it might seem like sex is the logical next step, but I would like to suggest that you take a step back and consider a few things first.

  1. You don’t know each other: You’ve been on 7 dates. If each of those dates was 3-4 hours, the two of you have probably spent a total of 24-28 hours together. That’s not a lot of time to really get to know someone. No matter how intense the connection is between you, you don’t know this man.
  2. Timing is everything: You want marriage and a family, and he is just out of a divorce. Then there’s the issue of kids: you would have to find out if he even wants more. He might be the greatest guy in the world, but if he just wants to date casually right now, you will be jeopardizing your dream of marriage and a family if you get more emotionally involved with him. It could be years before he is ready to be in another committed relationship. At 35, you don’t have time to wait around for him. You need to find someone who, like you, is ready to get married and have a family… and, yes, they’re out there.
  3. If you have sex with him, you are guaranteed to get hooked in: You admitted that you are smitten with this man. If you have sex with him, you are going to get even more attached to him and it will be even harder for you to let him go if it comes to that.

I am not telling you end the relationship, but I am suggesting that you talk to him about these things. Tell him that you genuinely don’t want to put pressure on him. You think he should be dating casually right now. But also tell him that you are 35 and you are ready for marriage and family. Say, “I know myself. The way I am feeling, if I have sex with you right now, I am going to fall for you and want some kind of commitment. The romantic in me wants to believe that it will all just work out, but the realist in me knows I will be putting my dream of having my own family at risk if I spend time pursuing this when we are at different places in our lives. I would love to hear your thoughts.”

Gook luck! I would love to know what happens.

With love,