The Divorced Guy Versus The Guy Who has Never Been Married

divorced guy, guy who has never been married

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

What’s the opposite of a divorced guy? If you answered “a married guy” you’re wrong. When it comes to dating after divorce, the opposite of a divorced guy is a guy who has never been married!


These guys aren’t just opposites. In my opinion, sometimes it feels like they are from different planets! Here are some things to consider when dating the divorced guy versus dating a guy who has never said “I do.”


1.     Kids: Someone who is divorced (depending on his age) most likely has kids, which means he will feel a little bit more comfortable with your kids. Remember, there are some guys who have never been married who have kids, and there are some guys who have never been married but have dated a lot of women with kids, so they might be used to being around kids. There are also divorced guys who have never had kids. Here’s the thing. I find that a divorced guy, who has his own kids has a certain ease around children. If you are dating someone who hasn’t been around kids much, they might not enjoy it. It might be awkward at first. Or, it might turn out great. He might end up really hitting it off with your kids. Or, he might fall madly in love with your kids and realize they want more. Yikes! That could be an issue for some people.


2.    The ability to be domestic, in other words, can he play house? Let’s face it. Once you’ve been married, you’ve seen it all. Nakedness in broad daylight, those annoying habits, likes clothes all over the floor, the burping and farting you never experience when you’re dating, and really the way the person lives. Can a guy who has never been married handle this? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe he’s lived with someone. Or, maybe he’ll run for the hills the first time he sees you sitting on the bathtub ledge clipping your toenails.  Then again, maybe I’m not giving the never been married guy enough credit. Maybe true love can overcome all those things. Just be aware that he’s never been married, so up until now, he hasn’t.


 3.    Baggage. Here’s a plus for the guy who has never tied the knot. He’s carrying way less baggage than the divorced guy. He’s not bashing his ex every three days, he’s not saying good-bye to his kids and then having that sad look on his face, and he doesn’t have that wounded look that says, “My wife ruined my life.” The never been married guy is fresh, untainted. Although, how do I know he wasn’t madly in love and then dumped? Is his breakup any less significant because he wasn’t legally hitched? I admit, everyone has baggage. But, the divorced guy’s is likely to be heavier.


4. Commitment: There’s commitment and then there’s commitment. The divorced guy committed. He stood in front of God or a judge and a crowd of people and agreed to commit in writing. A guy who has never done that could have a commitment issue. Again, I’m not bashing the guy who has never been married. I don’t know his story. He could have always wanted to commit and just never found the right person. Or, maybe he committed (got engaged) and then the girl broke it off. Who knows. All I’m saying is, the divorced guy proved he had the ability and the willingness to complete and utter monogamy (Then again, he could have been a huge cheater in the marriage.) Plus, maybe he never wants to commit again. But, I hate to say this. The guy who never made that commitment in the first place doesn’t really get it (the commitment, I mean.) Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s just a fact. He’s just never been there. He’s never experienced it. And that’s something to think about.


Both divorced guys and guys who have never been married can be amazing guys. They can also both be jerks. In other words, I’m not saying one is better than the other. There are advantages and disadvantages to both guys.


But the bottom line is, I shouldn’t be defining who someone is based on whether or not they have ever worn a wedding ring. Everyone has a different story, and a reason why he ended up divorced or never married. Maybe it’s choice, maybe it’s bad luck (or good luck) and maybe it shouldn’t even be factored into the relationship. In other words, maybe it doesn’t even matter.


What does matter? The individual person. Maybe divorced or never been married should be treated like a category, a checkbox, just like age group, gender, race or religion.


I wish they had a checkbox for the things that really mean the most, like, “Are you going to love me unconditionally?” “Will you be here for me if I really need you?” and “Will you always cause my heart to beat fast when you walk into a room?” That’s more important than his past marital status, don’t you think?

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

13 Responses to “The Divorced Guy Versus The Guy Who has Never Been Married”

  1. Page

    I’m in the “other” category. I happen to be a divorced woman that never had kids nor will I ever be able to have my own. My situation is uncommon I think.

  2. Aurelia

    I’m a fairly new single mother of one child who I had out of wedlock. However, I still feel like I could easily fall in the “divorced” category, regardless of the fact that I was not LEGALLY bound to my ex. Upon separation, I still went through ALL of the emotions, ALL of the custody battles, and ALL of the money issues that your typical divorcee goes through.

    And because of this, when I get ready to date again, I would definitely prefer a man who can also fall in the same “divorced” category as me. We’d be able to understand each other so much better, and understand the pain that will never completely go away. This is something that never-been-married people just won’t understand. They look at our situations as just-get-over-it problems, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    I’ve had to make this decision in order to help heal my heart and move forward with my life. I’m so glad you posted this! It’s blog posts like these that remind me of how far I’ve really come as a single mom!

    xoxo, Aurelia

  3. Linda

    He had never married. During our marriage, he never got it. He was a momma’s boy and I left him after two years. Don’t marry a momma’s boy. It doesn’t work. He preferred visiting his mother’s grave rather than visit with my adult daughter and her fiancée, she a combat veteran, college graduate, two weeks before their wedding. That’s when I knew I was done. He was unable to accept family and joy.

  4. Singles Warehouse

    “I wish they had a checkbox for the things that really mean the most, like, “Are you going to love me unconditionally?” “Will you be here for me if I really need you?” and “Will you always cause my heart to beat fast when you walk into a room?” That’s more important than his past marital status, don’t you think?”

    Jackie – I couldn’t agree more. I have a friend who’s just started dating someone with kids from a past relationship. They spent some time with me on my birthday and he was so worried about what people would think…

    Here’s what I think – I just want them to be happy. Simple

  5. Sesimie

    Interesting read….I’ve been that non-married guy and then i got married….now i’m the divorced guy,

    I was so naive before …..but indeed living with someone for years becomes habit. Even now i sleep on one side of my bed automatically leaving space for her and chuckling to myself when i finally “stretch” out.

    Non married guys need to be willing to share everything…..the Good, the Bad…and yup the Ugly. You Think you know someone until that first trip to the pharmacy for feminine hygiene products…..or the first time you really do groceries for two.

    You need to live with them, travel with them, see how they are around families….I’m actually pretty glad I’ve experienced Marriage for years and also was able to amicably divorce.

    As a divorcé i’m approached with hesitation by many women who are not really interested in me….but the divorce 🙂
    Divorced women are different……because they know i know how the real woman is at home. They know that we share a hurt…a pain and thus we can converse.

    Yup it was a good read TY.

  6. Eva

    I’d been on the post-divorce dating circuit long enough to know that I would now never date a man who hasn’t had kids. Being a parent doesn’t make you a better person, but it surely makes you a different one, the differences are striking enough that I could not date a childless man. As a parent, your own self-actualization and happiness suddenly takes a backseat to your child’s self-actualization and happiness, and a parent WILLINGLY makes this sacrifice. For example, if the choice were to fulfill my dream of travelling around the world, or use that money to support my child’s dream of opening a restaurant, I would WILLINGLY sacrifice my dream for his… because I’m his mom. I speak only for myself, but people I know who are childless “get it” intellectually, but not at deeper levels. Yes, tehre are people with children who don’t “get it” as well, but having children increases the odds that they understand.

  7. Barbara

    When I got divorced, I was surprised at how immature guys who had never been married were. I could not tolerate it and found I had more in common with divorced men. They are mature, they recognize what it takes to make or break a relationship and they take commitments seriously because they know what it is like to go through the stress of a formal break-up (divorce).

  8. PJay

    Men should stay single and play the field. Women are a nightmare in this country – legally privileged, socially pampered and economically favored.

    • Alski

      The tides are turning, my friend. They fight for equality and will get the other edge of the sword. The days of legal privilege are numbered. They now pay alimony and child support in many more cases, let’s see them treat us like shit when they start to get the same consequences as men.

      But I agree,men, play the field for the rest of your life.

  9. neveragain

    I have been seperated now for 7 years. I have dated both men who have kids and are divorced, men who are divorced with no kids and also men who have never been married without kids. I would have to say that because I have kids its easiest with the guys who have kids. They just get it. If I have to cancel on short notice because my kids are sick, they don’t complain. I will not date a man who doesn’t have kids again. And the guy who was almost 50 and no long term relationship experience……lets just say….wow, there are some serious issues there.

  10. Carlos

    Reading this after dating a divorced women and eventually seeing her end up with the divorced older guy she was seeing before she meet me. Makes me better understand why she did end up with him, even do he had more baggage. I can’t say I wasn’t or am ready for a commitment, but I did see that a women who has been married before, she looks for other things that at least I as a never before married guy have not experienced going threw hardship since the only person I have had to take care off has been mostly me. And this particular women basically from day 1 up until the very end, always seemed to have things happen in her life, if it wasn’t a friend having her new born die, family problems, domestic issues with her sister, car problems, money problems, etc… It was just to much for me to every time have the right action needed or support she needed from me, and of course I have not really have had money issues in a very long time, so allot of this stuff was knew and a men who has been their and done that, ended up with a very good women. Going threw this experience and reading this article has opened my eyes to what I will have to expect going forward, not everyone has it as easy as I do and financial stability is not what’s going to get the job done at the end, allot of other things are just as important to a women, specially one who has been married before and knows what issues come up in a marriage or living together situation.

  11. Alski

    This article is ridiculous. For example, “All I’m saying is, the divorced guy proved he had the ability and the willingness to complete and utter monogamy (Then again, he could have been a huge cheater in the marriage.) ”

    You’re all over the place! Is this how women think/rationalize? Jeeezus. What’s the point? Who’s side are you on?


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