When Do You Begin Dating Again After a Long-Term Relationship or Marriage?

Why Do Men Get Serious So Fast?


What are your thoughts of this “timing issue” following a long term marriage, as in when to begin dating again?


Dear Eliza,

Sorry to say, but there’s not really a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Consider the number of variables involved in answering:

Are there children involved?

Was the divorce amicable and are both parties on good terms?

Are you actively involved in each others’ lives as “friends”?

Do you still want to get back together with your ex? Does he still want to get back together with you?

How long were you married?

How long was the relationship failing before you broke up?

You see how all of these things can radically impact your decision as to when to get back out there? And I don’t know the first thing about you or your individual circumstances.

But I thought it was an important question, which is why I want to analyze it with you.

The only “right” answer is “whenever it feels right, as long as you’re not hurting anybody else.” The thing is: you might be surprised when you’re hurting someone else. Especially since it’s not your intention.

The best example I can provide is from my own life. Had a girlfriend whom I loved. She dumped me pretty suddenly. I was devastated. But what could I do? I couldn’t convince her to take me back, so I did what I do best — I went back online — literally MINUTES after I returned home from the teary breakup.

Now, in some respects, this made sense, in that I wasn’t going wallow in misery and think about what I did wrong or how I could fix things. I made the conscious decision to move on instantly. To me, it was the equivalent of being fired from a job. You don’t sit around for six months waiting to heal. You go out and get another job. On the other hand, there are a completely different set of emotions surrounding a break-up. And while I WANTED to be ready to date, and definitely had the online dating skill set to be ready to date, I was not emotionally ready to date. Not at all. So what did that mean for me?

Well, it pretty much meant that I got back on JDate, found myself a cool girl a few hours later and was hooking up with her shortly thereafter. She was great. Three years later, we’re still friends and grab dinner once a month. But I never gave her the opportunity she deserved to have all of me. I was raw. I was closed. I was needy. I was in no position to be a boyfriend to anyone but my beloved ex-girlfriend. And it was completely unfair to her. My need to move on superseded her need to be with an emotionally available guy….

This pattern, by the way, continued for a few months (and a few more women), until I was truly and finally “over” my ex.

So that’s where I land. You need to be “over” someone in order to be able to date. If you are, you have something to GIVE. When you’re reeling from a break-up, all you can do is RECEIVE. And that’s pretty much the definition of selfish.

I remember reading once upon a time that people need half the length of the relationship to heal properly. If you were together for two years, you need one year of healing. I can’t believe that it’s true. I’d probably say it’s closer to one-tenth of the time. My Mom was widowed after 30 years and it took her about 3 years to be ready to date again. It would have been a shame if she truly had to wait 15 years, right?

Ultimately, the final arbiter is you. Are you being fair to your ex? Are you being fair to your kids? Are you being fair to your dates? And are you being fair to yourself?

If so — if you’ve mourned, if you’ve healed, if you’ve made peace — then you’re ready whenever you say you’re ready.

Join our conversation (53 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Great blog Evan, I think you are right, you might feel like you want to be in someone elses company, but it ´s just not fair on the other person. At the moment I am kind of in that position (on the recieving end) and I am treading carefully and so is the guy, since his 4 year rel ended over xmas, and he is just putting the pieces back together. He told me he wanted only something casual, and so we kind of decided to go our seperate ways, but the problem is that we do like each other, so I kind of threw out there “if u want we can hang out as friends” but whether that is realistic (and whether he is interested in that at all) is another story. For me something casual would be painful, cause its kind of a false distance that you have to know how to manage and maintain. And really, i dont want to sleep with someone, but not be able to call them to talk about our day. Either way, I have decided to back off somewhat and see how things play out.

    1. 1.1

      You spoke the words out of my mouth!   I was all ready to date again ,beginning with just friendship first .   Nice guy humble soft sweet .both of us were hurt in our past so we decided to take it slow .   For me I had put that past behind me.   I was told he is divorced and needs a single /divorced woman to talk to ! Nothing intimate which I agreed too. Suddenly out of nowhere the bomb fell. He isn’t legally divorced yet but staying separately.   I was very disappointed Becsuse I wanted to have good happy times with a male friend (excluding physical relationship ) . I didn’t feel comfortable being free and happy around a marreid man.   I was told he may be legally married but he is emotionally divorced !   I was too afraid to be hurt again so I had to end this. It didn’t make me happy but what other choice did I have ? I do miss our chats!

    2. 1.2

      My wife of 15 years left me for another woman at her work , I was destroyed to say the least.

      I chose to get straight out there to hide / mask the pain , and their was plenty of it !!

      Niw two and a half years on my new partner and I broken up and gotten back together like 5 times now.

      Not giving myself the time to heal was the worst thing to do as I really like my new partner and I’ve done so much damage to her and I by not allowing time to deal with the fisical emotional stuff.

      In saying that I just don’t know how i would have coped on my own either.

      Dealing with the loss of the fantasy of what I thought I had with my wife    is the hardest part to date.

      Its so sad when you find a new partner and realise you a destroying it by not dealing with your last.

      My new partner and I are trying one last time , and for the first time I feel like I’ve totally moved on.


  2. 2

    I have been recovering from an 8 year relationship for the past year and a half. It ended abruptly, and was not my choice. I was blindsided, and very very hurt by the breakup. I thought he was THE ONE. Obviously, he did not. To add insult to injury, a few days later he was in a new relationship with a woman we had known from church. The night he broke us up I asked him if there was someone else, thinking that was the reason he was dumping me, to be with someone else. He lied and said no. Obviously he had her waiting in the wings.We live in a small town, an now he shows up at all the social events we used to attend together with her. It is humiliating. The worst thing is getting over the FANTASY of what I thought my boyfriend and I had- I thought we had a fantastic relationship, great chemistry, amazing compatibility, we really enjoyed each other’s company and created a wonderful life together. I was shocked he wanted it to end. So to answer the question, for me it has taken almost 2 years to recover. I am still not entirely out of the woods yet, had to figure out what I did wrong so I do not repeat history. The main thing I realized is that I need to pay attention to his actions. If after 2 years he has not made a concrete commitment to me, a proposal, living together, etc, i need to walk away because it means he prefers to keep his options open rather than ensure I am his. A VERY HARD LESSON TO LEARN. And obviously our communication SUCKED otherwise I would not have been blindsided but would have seen it coming…

    1. 2.1

      thank you for sharing this, I had a similiar case …. regards

    2. 2.2

      It sounds like you have a fairly good perspective on your past relationship, as well as lessons learned.   I eould add that, you may have loved his ‘potential ‘, but not who he really was.   Second, yes, if you eventually want a long term, committed relationship, staying in an undefined relationship beyond approximately two years does not respect your time, values, your desires, nor your hopes.   The longer you devote your time, energy and emotional self to that (uncertain) person, the longer you keep yourself from finding someone who could truly love and commit to you.   Lastly, if the other person can’t return the same degree of love and respect, that person is simply not a good fit, and you’re both better off allowing yourselves to seek greater happiness and a better fit.   Best wishes!

    3. 2.3

      Same here. My 2 year relationship ended a year ago and I am still not completely over it enough to even fathom the thought of trying again with someone new. I think that it hurts worse when you feel as though you loved the person more than they loved you. I wanted to marry my ex, told him so and he could never say it back. However, in my situation, there were definite lessons learned, in spite of the pain of them. It’s even to the extent that I now question love’s validity, purpose and ultimately place in my life outside of family & friends. I do believe that true real love exists just not sure if it will for me.   I don’t know if my heart can stand another breakup after that.

  3. 3

    I have known my husband for 16 years been together for 14 and married for 10, he told me that he has not been happy for 5 years and left me and our 3 kids aged 11,8 2 for an 18 year old girl. We have only been separated for a month and they are already living together and making plans for their future, I have been told that he was cheating on me with this girl for months since April 2012 he left me on September 2, 2012. We had our 10 year wedding anniversary on August 31st and I found 2 pictures of them kissing on her camera. My husband just turned 36 this is a little soon for him to be moving on , he asked me last November to marry him again and then this fluzzy comes into our lives pretending to be our friend only to steal him away.

    1. 3.1

      Just reading this was heart-breaking! OMG so sorry your kids had to go through this pure foolishness. I must say that this sounds just like my case lol but the difference was my ex is 26 and the woman he left for is 43. People that has the time mind frame you must really pray for them because something is truly off balance in their mind.

    2. 3.2

      nobody can be stolen. He should have shut his doors locked.   For hm to allow her back meant he never had feelings for you ,his kids and his marriage !   As for the 18 year old,I don’t blame her. Maybe your man lied to her about his mareiage. Either he is divorced or not happy with you and has filed divorce. So he lets her in his life. Than to just push her away because you were willing to forgive and allow him back to work on your relationship ,is not Fair for her ! Why should she just say nothing and do nothing ? Why should she let your man just abandon her just because all is well with you and him ( when he is kidding you .. ) for him to allow him back means he is back to his old ways of cheating ! You are the desperate one to take your cheating man back !

    3. 3.3

      How did you get her camera???

  4. 4

    My husband of almost nine years left me for a 53 year od woman when I was 41.   That was last year.   For those of you who believe in Karma, please don’t, stop.   They are perfectly happy, while I am alone, and picking up the pieces and nowwhere near recovery.   I haven’t even met anybody.   So there you have it.

    1. 4.1

      Did you recover from this pain or meet anyone?

  5. 5

    i think someone can get involved, even fall in love, with someone else and not even realise they are over their ex, as happened with my recently departed partner. the reality is he thought he was ready to love again, and I certainly believed he was, but when one day he decided he just ”wasn’t feeling it” with me, it brought up all the unresolved stuff with his ex wife of 20 years that he had been separated from for just on a year when we met.
    it has been devastating and i can only hope he doesn’t race out and replace ”the feelings” of being in love with yet someone else. i firmly believe we had all the makings of a solid long term relationship but in the end, he just wasn’t ready to do it.
    I had spent 5 years working on ME and was ready, so that just makes it all the more painful, which also relates to another blog of EMKs that talks about the stages of love. if you are hooked on the in love feeling (which we all know can come and go) and aren’t ready to move to loving (as contrast with being IN LOVE) you are not ready for an   LTR

  6. 6

    I don’t believe in karma,  I do believe that shite happens to good people for no reason,and there isn’t always justice.  
    My experience is that it can typically two years to get over a big loss or bereavement.   A friend of mine whose twin sister died said the same.  You’re halfway there.    

  7. 7

    To be honest you’ll never know what’s going on behind the scenes.. I’ve been with my kids dad for 7years. The last 2years has been on & off.. He started dating his co worker behind my back. Once I found out about their affair, we’ll break up & make up until I got pregnant again.. His co worker and him have an understand, they pretend to be friends. But in reality their really lovers.. Its best to allow God to bless you with someone He ordains/intended for you. the signs will show before your in too deep.. Trust & believe in God!!!

  8. 8

    10 year relationship. Hes moved on. He was already living with someone less than a month afterwards. Its only been 2 months. And i still cry every day. Idk what to do. I feel so alone. I have men trying to talk to me but its like i dont even see them…im definitely not over my ex. But how does that happen when im still so hurt.
    I know, im a huge baby. Ugh…

    1. 8.1

      I’m in somewhat the same boat. Almost 18 years together (15 married). I’m 41 and we’re separated and will begin the divorce process. I was totally fine with his casually dating, even happy for him, but then last week I found out he has a girlfriend, they are “in love” and they’ve only been together 1 MONTH! I feel so depressed that he’s “moved on” – infatuation or really in love. And I cry all the time. ALL THE TIME. It’s like neverending PMS.

      You’re not alone nor a huge baby. Big hugs!

  9. 9

    Mark, thanks for writing such a candid, and clear blog about dating after a long-term relationship has ended. I needed to read this to keep myself from feeling depressed. I met a man whose marriage was ending, but we didn’t date a year later, when the divorce was going through. He confessed that he had feelings for me, but his actions showed otherwise. Yes, it seemed selfish because he had nothing to give – no time, no feelings, nothing. I decided to give him space to sort out his life, even though he didn’t want it. It left me feeling like he was simply not interested, and it felt awful. But after reading this post, I understand now.

  10. 10

    Thanks Evan, for this insight. And I can recognise it myself, when I just finished a 6-year relationship. At this moment, just like Bel, I met a really nice man. We dated a couple of time and called eachother almost everyday and then I had the feeling it changed. And yes, with leading his own business, taking care of his son (5days a week) and the fact that the divorce   didnt go smooth (the fact he told his ex that he was dating..didnt make it easier..) he said that he couldnt give me what I would want at that moment. He tried, but he couldnt manage. At that time I already got feelings for him. But looking back on my own experience I also told him that I will give him space, that I am not going to wait and that we both should date further (this was very rationally and also i didnt want to be the reboundgirl..). Emotionally it’s hard sometimes (it very fresh, so   my heart and head are not on the same line;) I cannot wait for him maybe he needs 3 years.. I cannot wait for that! And if he really has those feelings.. Well then, who knows… But I really try to put the hope aside..   

  11. 11
    victoria Green

    Hi, I’m new to this sight. I’m divorced 3 years now. I haven’t really met anyone I connected with until recently. Unfortunatley he is currently going throught a tough divorce that leaves him feeling emtionally empty.  I find this  sad because he is the first  person I felt comfortable with in a very long time. I know he has feelings for me, but he says he’s just not ready for more. So I had to call it quits. I needed more…But I miss him and think about him alot. We’re both 47. I don’t want to be alone and he has young children who take priority. So it seemed the right thing to do. He just wasn’t ready:( Even though he had been living on his own for almost a year. Him and his wife were still doing things together with the kids. to me that ment he was still holding on to that life even though they were no longer intimate. I found it a little strange.

    1. 11.1

      I do stuff with my son’s father . We have never had any intimate relations since we were separated . We do it for our son so he can   see we are happy , healthy and all get along. Please don’t assume it’s   a bad thing or   more to it .

      1. 11.1.1

        that is called holing on. U r not doing for ur son but for both of u. If u decide to separate yes u have to coparent but it doesn’t mean continue with this part time family. It is confusing to the child leaving the hope of u two getting together alive. Go to any family therapist and learn how demanding it is to children. Believe me I’m talking from my own experience. That is what we did to our two children. Stop and think about it. Good luck. I hope u won’t have to leanr that the hard way.

    2. 11.2

      i understand exactly how you feeling.   Oh dear I am feeling the same too ! He was still connected to his wife and I just didn’t want to be hurt again. My inner voice kept asking me what are the chances she will ask him to take her back ? They had been together for over 20 yrs !that s a lot of investment ! I could not take that risk.   We didn’t get to know each other very well yet ,but I had to back out before we d get close ! I do self doubt whether I did the right thing or not. And I guess that is my loneliness feeling speaking !!

      1. 11.2.1

        Hi SMLK,

        You did the right thing! I ve been dating a guy who got out of a 20 yo marriage. His daughter is 17 yo and lives with her mum.   He still goes and states there, baby sits   the house and on the phone/texts to his wife nearly every day. He is a so called divorced husband and thinks it’s totally normal.   We broke up after 10 mths   of dating where I tried to come to terms with this but I couldn’t because it’s feels like an emotional threesone.   And I feel heartbroken as I was already emotionally sucked   into this complete madness.

  12. 12

    I am just recently talking to an old friend from school that is going through a divorce.   We have a little bit of history together and we really have a lot in common.   We almost dated about 2 years ago when he separated but I pulled back and convinced him that he should go home and give it is all and try to work things out.   He did and now he is filing for divorce.   We have been talking about “dating” once this is past him.   I have never dated anyone that is in transition and I myself have been single for almost 5 years (my husband passed away).   I haven’t been ready to date at all until now, he sparked something.   He and I do not talk much since he is going through all this and I think this is for the best.   Once he has things more settled we can figure out what we are going to do.   I find myself wanting to call or text him, I want his process to hurry!   I know I can’t and I don’t expect things to be rushed, there are children involved.   I guess the meaning of this post for me is that the more I read on relationships and getting back out there once you are divorced, I am concerned what he will really want to do.   I don’t want to waste my time and he doesn’t expect me to wait for him.   But I am finding myself wanting too, but will he be ready?   It’s a chance and I understand that but now I am just left with too many thoughts.   not sure how to approach this now.  

  13. 13

    My husband of 11 years came on night out of the blue and told me that he’s done. He doesn’t love me anymore, and never accepted who I am. We have 2 children together. We never, and when I say never, I mean never had any fight. We had civilized arguments,   but we never disrespected each other.   I thought we had a good communication, I thought we were honest with each other about our feelings, at least I was.  
    I met him when I was 23 year old, he was 31. I didn’t fall in love right the way, but he won me over with his kindness. He was the perfect gentleman! He was always there for me.
    Last month,   August,   we celebrated our 11 year anniversary. He was sooo romantic,   he planned everything. Couple weeks after he came with the big news…I am done! I was in shock, and still am. I asked what happened,   he simply said that he stop love me for about a year and he never been attracted to me. Just fyi, our sex life was good. I asked him how come he had sex with me if he’s not attract to me?   He said, I have my needs, and you were there. I asked if he has somebody else,   he said no. I asked again and again getting the same answer. I couldn’t understand anything,   something was off, so I decided to check his phone,   and there it was…He was having an affair with a 23 year old bimbo. Beautiful girl! Very skinny, no stretch marks from any pregnancies,   full of life…she’s me 11 years ago. Btw, he’s 42 now,   and he’s getting bald.
    After reading his texts, I had a breakdown. I felt my whole world just ended. He destroyed everything! His beautiful family. He moved out of the house, and guess what…she doesn’t want to carry his baggage,   so he’s alone now. It’s sad to see him picking up the children, but I have my pride. He decided to move on. I’m not ready yet, but I will be! I did open an acct in one of the dating sites. I know I’m not ready to date anybody, but I was curious to see if I’m still game, if anyone finds me attractive. Can be selfish of my part, but when the person that you love comes to you and say I’m not attracted to you,   you’re not pretty…your self – esteem goes way down in the drain, and it’s good to know that are other men that find you beautiful =)

    1. 13.1

      hope you are doing better now!

    2. 13.2

      I know what you mean about him saying he’s not attracted to u anymore…. my husband and I have been together since we were 15 and 16, 3 children and 18 years together…. he told me he doesn’t find me pretty at all anymore and that he doesn’t love me. Idk who he is anymore. We were going through a hard time a few months ago and I checked his phone and there it was he has been texting this ex druggy and everything he doesn’t like in a woman she is, anyways they have been texting and talking off and on for a couple of weeks when I found out… I know I have done some stupid things financially that he won’t forgive me for but I couldn’t believe my husband would do this to me and our children! I know in my heart if he would just try and work on our marriage we can be happy again but after he said all the hurtful things to me idk if I can forgive what he has said and done to us? I believe in marriage and to fight for it and ppl fall in amd out of love lots but why is it so damn easy for him to just have no heart at all now after all these years? I just don’t understand:-(

      when you are so beaten up emotionally and feel you aren’t pretty anymore and all of that it is nice to think some other man thinks you are!!

  14. 14

    I don’t think there can ever be a hard and fast rule that always applies. In my own situation, I had been with my wife for 15 years (married for 12) with a daughter. The relationship had been deteriorating for some years and by the time I actually moved out, although there were a lot of issues that arose when we were together, I was able to have a genuine wish for her well-being and successful relationships in the future.

    Following the actual breakup, it was fantastic to be able to reconnect with old friends and work colleagues and I found that giving of the time and resources that I had to them without any expectation of getting anything back was not only deeply satisfying but also ended up leading to social invitations and opportunities to meet new people and begin to develop a new life.

    I then felt ready when 11 weeks after breaking up, I met someone that I felt a real connection with and was able to start a new relationship (despite still being technically married to someone else). So far, although we’re only a couple of months down the line, it is going from strength to strength and, to me, one of the keys is in being able to genuinely give, not just gifts but my time, service and appreciation for what she does. I was not particularly good at doing this in the previous marriage – however I don’t begrudge it for failing because at least it has highlighted where some of my faults were and, although I never seemed to be able to put them right in that relationship, the new one is a chance to get things right.

    So yes, I think half the length of the marriage is particularly excessive. Even 10% (eighteen months) seems a long time. Half a week per year of the relationship may seem quite quick, but I think that with a focus on giving love and learning from the experiences of failure, things can still work out in a very positive way.

  15. 15

    This very question of when to date after a long relationship or marriage is what I am struggling with right now.   Those factors that Evan mentioned are good ones I think.   And also ones that leave me unsure of where I stand right now and how to evaluate things rightly for myself.   I am at the end of a relationship, the divorce will be final in about a month.   I was not the one who wanted it to end, but it could not go on the way it was.   The relationship all told was about 8 years, married for almost 7.   But there have been problems for a long time, including a separation in 2011.   It never felt like she was really anything close to 100% after that and for almost a year before the separation.   I saw a crazy stat that for white women (though still high for others) once there is a separation within 3 years it is over about 95-99% of the time.   Once that broken it is hard to fix.   Further complicating things we have 2 children together, and the one good thing from being back together for awhile was more time to build the relationship with them.   I keep hearing from family and church that you need to wait a year after it is “final” and that those that would date you before that wouldn’t be healthy.   That is so infuriating, and not a way that I can approach things.   I don’t know how long I “should” wait or how long that I will.   Most of the time now I feel relatively whole, more than I have in years.   But I know I am not ready to find a serious LTR.   I am less concerned about the kids because they would not meet a person I am dating till it is quite serious and I don’t get them very often.   I am being swayed by the comments about it not being fair to the other person that you are not emotionally available.   At the same time I have little dating experience on the whole, so I don’t know that it is a good thing to wait till I am ready for a LTR and then end up with uncertainty when I am looking for the right one as I don’t know what I am really looking for and if I date no one casually at all then it seems like that is a recipe for failure in a different way.   Lots of stories back and forth on this one.   I know that at 32, almost 33 I am young, but I feel so much time has gone by chasing a dream that it daunts me to think of waiting years till even the possibility of finding someone.   I don’t know right now if I might want more children eventually and someone that is going to be a good parent figure for my kids will have to want kids, so it feels like the time horizon is short comparatively.  

  16. 16
    rose bud

    I was in a very unhappy marriage for two years. My husband lied to me and treated my son and I like we were horrible people after finding out that my mother changed her mind about selling me her house after I finished school. (I made the mistake of telling a man who had nothing that my mom was going to sell me her house when we were still just in the pre-dating phase) no wonder he moved in on me so fast! He just suddenly left even though I was still holding out hope that I was wrong about him. He’s been gone one month, and I’m dating again already. No one thinks I should, but I have been needing to love and be loved for so long, that this is what feels right. I’m 42 and ready to meet someone I can build a future together with. I’m Dating a guy who has his own home, own business, and pays his bills. Good start! I agree that each circumstance is different.

  17. 17

    I was in a relationship of 10 years and we have two daughters. I got into a rebound relationship and now I feel worse

  18. 18

    Well, I was with my ex husband for 27 years, but my therapist said I had left emotionally about 5 years before.   I sure wouldn’t wait 11 years.   I didn’t actually.   I was with a man for 20 months, 24 months if you count the online stuff.   This was in the midst of my divorce.   Now, many people say I should wait a year.   I left him 4 months ago, so the 10th of the time was 2 months ago.   I DO believe that I have healed a good deal of the way.   The ex BF was harder cause I was in love with him.   My ex husband had been a cold fish for a long time, so I will consider myself well beyond even the 10th of time with him! Bottom line.   I’m not actively looking, but I feel quite healed now!

  19. 19

    Thank you for writing that, it has really helped.  

  20. 20

    For me it’s different. I was married for 9 years minus 1 year because of separation.   We always had issues and always had massive fights.   She got diagnosed with bipolar after 7 years of marriage and we have 1 daughter who is 5.   I was the one that chose to walk away and I think that plays a part as well. Usually the person who wants out heals quicker.   If one partner say is abusive in a certain way the other may just get fed up and leave. For me we had separated so many times and faught so much I had enough.   I was emotionally exhausted and worn out, I had no confidence left and my self esteem was shot.   After 2 months of separation I am now completely happy and confident again.   My daughter is just fine contrary to what some may believe…..but she has adapted.   People I work with are seeing a side of me they have never seen, funny, confident and happy, as well as generous.   One thing I am taking away from this and what I’ve learnt is do not settle.   Yes I want to be with someone but I’m ok and totally happy being single till that amazing person comes around.   Now to find that person requires me to make friends and just go for coffees with people.    I am.also mature.enough to handle just friends if that’s all she desires.   But it’s made me push myself and not let myself go for someone just for the sake of being with someone.

    1. 20.1

      wow sounds familiar my kids father is bi polar and I just left him 2 months ago and feel alive! It was tough.

    2. 20.2

      Hi Dee,

      Thanks for your sharing your story. The man I am seeing now is in a very similar if not the same situation as you. Do you think you would have been ready if that amazing person came into your life very shorty after you decided to separate? or being alone would be the better choice as it would give you time to get over the ending of your marriage?

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