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Is Mr Divorced the new Mr Right?

That many marriages are ending up in divorce, making these men and women rejoin the dating scene, means you are going to encounter a divorced person at least once in your dating life

It used to be that a divorcee was a no-go zone for many women, a clear sign that the man involved is a failure and cannot manage or maintain a good relationship. So, women would want to stay away from this man as much as possible.

However, divorce cases have been on the rise in the recent past. Today, there are couples who break up on a whim, even before the ink on their marriage certificates has dried.

There’s that familiar old statistic that 50 per cent of marriages will end in divorce — which makes the odds huge that you will encounter a divorced dude at least once in your dating life. And fortunately, divorce has much less of a dating stigma than it did a few decades ago.

In fact, women are weighing the pros and cons and pick the divorcee as the best candidate. “I would pick a divorcee over single man anytime,” Merciline Koki, 34, says.

“I’m of the opinion that having learned from their previous marriage, they should commit knowing what they want this time round,” she adds. And so she decided she will not push away the divorced man. Three years later, she’s happily married to a divorcee she met online, they’re expecting their first child.

“He has ‘learned from his mistakes’ and I’m enjoying the fruits,” she says.

Marriage counsellor, Syviha Mhengya concurs and says that this is one of the pros of dating a divorced man. “Dating a divorcee is rewarding in a way,” he says.

“Having been married before there’s some sort of sharing that married couples learn while living together. Now this is a quality that a single man would struggle with before getting on board,” he says.

Mhengya says that just like Koki, more women are accepting divorcees. “Most of them are informed to make better choices and understand how to run relationships better than bachelors,” he says. A divorced man possesses qualities that many women look for in a marriage partner;  committment and an urge to treat the woman better to make it work this time round.

“Take a 35-year-old bachelor for instance. Many of these men always have commitment issues and other psychological issues that make it hard for them to sustain a marriage. On the other hand, men who are divorced after 35, are always a better risk as potential husbands, because after the first failed marriage they now seem interested in a long-term relationship,” he says.

However, this doesn’t mean there exists no cons. The debate that the divorced man has better potential than the single man isn’t a switch-on switch-off kind of scenario. There would be a downside to dating a divorce, according to sociologist Jackline Wamunyu.“We all know how messy divorce can get.Probably this man has lost a lot of money and even assets. Surely, he wouldn’t want to go back there again,” she says.

Take, Martin Mwega who got divorced six years ago and vowed to stay single. “It’s not that I’m a commitment freak. I have no issues whatsoever with committing. But I promised I would never take that path again. Divorce bore too much on me,” he says.

The aversion to marry again is not the only issue the divorced man has. Along with that, if he had children from his previous marriage, he may not want to have more with you.

“Women should be cautious when dating a divorcee. They should be clear about their expectations within the first few dates to avoid wasting their time on men who don’t seem to share their goals,” she warns. Then again putting these men in one umbrella shouldn’t be criteria enough to judge a potential partner.

“Divorced men may be categorised as either perfect for commitment or that they never want more children. But there are some who actually want more children and others are not ready to commit,” she says. “Women should judge a man as an individual, divorced or not,” she says.

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