In writing an internet personals ad: "Single" or "Divorced"?

I associate divorce with middle-age, for some reason.

You said you’re 30… if you think of yourself as a twentysomethingish type, put single.

If you think you’re getting more towards middle age, put divorced.

That might sound weird, but essentially what I’m saying is if your marriage and subsequent divorce have significantly changed you as a person, then note it. If they are no longer important events in your life, forget it.

Beats me, Duke. It goes to the “you’re logged out” screen, so I sign back in – but then when I try the link again, I get the “you’re logged out” screen. Whatever.

Nice ad! Your personality really comes across.

twicks, another Diet Dr Pepper addict

I have to agree with those you think the “divorced” box was the right one to tick. If some women are going to be put off by your divorced status, then they will be even more put off by the fact that you tried to hide it. If they are put off by it, they may well have a whole lot of hangups you would be better off avoiding. If there is a “divorced” option, then in this context “single” clearly means “never married”.

However, I think that this distinction is essentially meaningless, and overly intrusive. If “divorced” is supposed to signify a willingness to commit, what’s the difference between someone who was briefly married at the age of twenty, and someone who was in a loving monogamous relationship for a number of years?

“Divorced” wouldn’t put me off. “Single, in my forties and have never been in a relationship” might.

Walk on the wild side.

Tell 'em you’re widowed and should be out in 3 to 5 with good behaviour.

Well, after thinking about it, if you’re looking for a match on, you MUST be single, right?

I mean, if you were married and looking on, you’d be looking in the wrong area. You should be looking in

As I’ve said, I advocate full disclosure to your potential mate but, it would have to get further into discovering one another to find out ones past.

I agree that some people just discriminate against people who’ve been divorced and, you’re right, that’s their right.

But, I think, first assume that these people are single, then find out about them a little more,then decide if you want to pursue it. If it’s a matter of “wasting time” then, I don’t know what to tell you.

As a man, if you’re going to discriminate against getting to know me because I’ve been married before (even though, to some women, that might prove that I’m marryable!), what I might discriminate against is, how many sexual partners you might have had or, your current weight.

Are these stats on the upfront form with name and age?

FTR, the sub-choices under “single” are:

No answer
Committed relationships but never married
Several committed relationships – but now single
Never been in a committed relationship
Currently separated
It was so long ago, it doesn’t matter any more

Strange how the second and third choices seem to say almost exactly the same thing. It also appears I was wrong to say that Match doesn’t stop people who say they are married from entering their dating pool–my apologies, Fish.

Omnipresent: After your age, location and what you’re looking for, relationship status is the next thing your profile shows. Difficult to hide, I suppose. Not all sites are like that, though. As for “discriminating” against the divorced–in the brief time I’ve had to do any searches, I’d say about one-third of the profiles I’ve seen are specifically looking for never-marrieds. I suppose it could be worse, but by the same token it’s not comforting either.

lieu, you remind me of the ads we used to see in the East Lycoming Shopper that the women inmates of the Muncy State Prison would place: “SWF, 24, getting out in six months, looking for nice guy…”

twickster, thanks for the support. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather be honest about who I am and unwinked-at than dishonest and deluged with replies.

I’m not really in the market, but if I happened to be, and if I found someone using an online service, I wouldn’t really care if he was single or divorced. If he had checked “single”, however, and I found out that he was actually divorced, then I would drop him like a hot potato. Not because he’s divorced, but because he started lying at the start of the relationship. And I don’t care what sort of rationalizationl he tried to put on it (the marriage didn’t change me much as a person, I’m not in a relationship right now, whatever). In fact, I’d look at such rationalizations as indications that he’s a lying bastard, and wonder what else he lies about.

If you’re very, very young, like about 21, “divorced” would be a warning sign, but you would still need to check it if it applied to you. And if you’re oh, about 50 or so, and still “single”, then that would be another warning sign. You should have been in SOME type of relationship by now if you’re capable of having them. Again, the truth is better than a lie, though. And in the case of a young widow, I’m sure that everyone understands that accidents and misfortunes happen, and they happen to the young as well as the old. I have a friend who actually was widowed at the age of 22, and in talking about her marriage, she will tell anyone who asks that the marriage ended with his death, and she’s his widow. She mourned him and then went on to have relationships with other men. But she never forgot her first husband, nor did she dishonor him by pretending that their marriage never happened.

Yeah, I agree that saying “Single” would be misleading and probably lead the woman to feel like you were hiding something.
At your age, being divorced does not seem exceptionally odd, IMO. Lots of people get married in their early 20s and end up parting ways by 30.
It sounds like you’re focusing more on women younger than you, from the way that your desired age range is 25-33. If you try to focus more on older women, I suspect you’ll find more women open to dating divorced guys. I think 25 year olds are generally more idealistic about relationships lasting forever and probably are more inclined to look down on divorce more than, say, a 35 year old.

As for general profile feedback, I think your description of who you’re looking for is interesting, but it is kind of vague. You’re basically saying you want someone adventurous and independent, but I’m sure there is more to what you’re looking for than that, so if I were you I’d try to think of other specific traits that you value. You might also want to talk about what you consider total deal-breakers (hopefully not a laundry list of things, but telling people the things you really can’t tolerate is better than wasting people’s time).

You are divorced. You’ve been through an ordeal. Sexual/ relationship history is important to women. Check the divorced box.

I don’t know if this would be a turn off to ladies your age. As long as you don’t live with your ex-spouse or next door to her… I don’t think it would have mattered to me at 30.

I am going through a protracted messy divorce. No box for that. One thing that prospective dates seem to dislike is ‘baggage’. If your relationship with your former spouse is over and there are no children involved you should be okay in the baggage dept.

I didn’t read your ad, but you may get more hits by talking about something other than your good/ bad qualities etc. Be creative. Write a poem. Give your favourite recipe. Tell a funny story about your dog, if you have one. You can always change it later if no one responds.

Duke was logged in when he copied the link. His session has timed out, but everytime you click on the link it takes you back to that session. He needs to copy the link to his profile while he is not logged on to Then other people can follow it.

I think I’d like to change by original response.

I’d say that, when filling out a form such as one where the intent is to find a mate or partner or date, then Divorced seems appropriate.

However, any other time, say when filling out a job application or Tax return or any other type of application - you are unmarried. Or, more simply, Single!

OK, I’m sticking to that now.

I started posting on dating sites about 4-5 months after I left my wife (whom I had been married to for only ~18 months when I left). Mentally, I had been finished with the relationship for a good chunk longer than the 4-5 months I had been free. Thus, even though the divorce was not final, I listed myself on the site as “Divorced.”

In each case of dating women that I met on the site, I was very clear about my situation … I was in the process of getting a divorce, but there was NO QUESTION that I was getting a divorce, there was NO WAY I was going back to my wife. In each case (and I dated 4-5 women, the last of whom I am still dating 5 months later), they said they understood why I put “divorced” instead of “single” or “separated” (which was also an option). I had been hesitant to list myself as separated because, although that was the literal truth, my mentality was such that I was already divorced.

shrugs Just my experience, YMMV. Being honest is definitely the best policy, however, listing myself as “divorced” instead of “separated” gave me more opportunities to explain the honest situation than being COMPLETELY honest would have in the first place.

That’s strange, because that’s exactly how I came up with the link. And Shade got into it just fine…so, another mystery, I guess.

Thanks, lavenderviolet and msklystron, for the feedback. Being a history/fundraising research writer, I tend to write impassionately, and it’s something I need to work on. (I swear, I’m better at talking than writing!) lavender, I will also take into consideration your comment about age range. Though I’m 30, and the age range I’m “supposed” to be interested in (at least according to eHarmony, damn them) is 22-32, almost all the women I’ve dated since my divorce have been my age or older. I think you’re right in thinking that being divorced would turn off more women, and probably men for that matter, at age 22 than 32. I think I will change that.

Well, by now you’ve probably got all the advice and perspective you can handle, so I won’t be giving you anything you haven’t already gotten.

But I see where you’re coming from, because I’m kind of in the same boat. I was married for about a year. So technically I’m “divorced”. But the divorce was final in 1998 when I was 25, and now at 30 it’s (in my perspective) way in the past. I think of myself as single. “Divorced” has such baggage attached to it, that I’d hate to self-identify that way.

Having said that, on anything OTHER than a dating site, I’d check “single”. But since I know what we’re dealing with at I think I’d have to check “divorced” and go with the thought that my “one true love” will be such a person that would not be swayed by what I check on a box like that. :smiley:

And I read your profile, which I think is well written. I was with you…until Diet Dr. Pepper.

:: shudders ::


I was divorced at 29 and truly hated having to cough up that fact. Bottom line, I don’t think it really matters where your head is at. The fact that you were married means that no matter who you may decide to marry in the future, she’ll never, ever be the first person you proposed to, married, committed your life to, etc. That matters to some people, and you owe it to them to let them know up front.

Hmmm, I was divorced in 94, after being married for merely a year, so I checked the “so long ago it doesn’t count” box to describe myself. I never refer to myself as divorced in normal conversation, single just feels more apt. I’m thirty-three, and have been single for thirty two of those years. Using ‘divorced’ instead of ‘single’ seems like describing one thirty-third of my life or something.

What a bigot you are! You won’t date someone shorter than 4’11" or taller than 6’11"? Women’s basketball players need love, too, you know!

Kidding, kidding.

Good ad, except for wanting someone oppositional (“when someone tells you to do something, the first thing you think is not to do it”), which beats the heck outta me. I like 'em sweet and agreeable myself.