Should I Date A Man Who is Still in the Process of Divorce?

A child with her parents arguing at the back


Currently, I am using online dating to meet new prospects, though I choose not to date anyone who is going through divorce. I am divorced and have been for two years and am of the opinion that there is too much other stuff going on in one’s life during a divorce to date, as well. Also, it seems that about 40% of the men who state they are divorced are actually still going through the process. Lying from the start just cannot be good.

That stated, I have come up to some heavy objection from both family and friends – hence I’m here. They have given many examples of relationships that began quickly after a separation/break-up, so I am beginning to wonder if I am selling myself short – being too rigid.  

As a dating coach/expert, what do you think of the idea of dating someone who is still in the process of divorce? Do you advise your clients to take the date or run as quick as possible?   Any advice would be wonderful- thanks in advance for your response!


Dear Sara,

We all make judgments based on our own experience.

You had too much going on during your divorce to possibly consider dating. Therefore, you seem to think all men should feel the same way.

I assure you, they do not.

But you are correct in proceeding with a sense of caution. Not so much because he’s too busy with lawyers. Not because he listed himself as divorced but is really separated. But, most likely, because he’s still emotionally reeling from the death of his relationship.

I wrote about this extensively here, in a post called “When Do You Begin Dating Again After a Long-Term Relationship or Marriage?”

In it, I concluded that it’s up to the individual. The exact quote was “if you’ve mourned, if you’ve healed, if you’ve made peace — then you’re ready whenever you say you’re ready.”

Allow me to correct myself. This isn’t entirely true.

We often think we’re ready even when we’re not. And just cause you WANT to move on from your previous relationships does not mean you’re really READY to. You’re not ready to give. You’re not ready to compromise. And you’re certainly not ready to love with reckless abandon. Generally, if you’re dating immediately after divorce, you’re hurt, reeling and looking for a safe harbor in the storm that is singledom.

I have a client who went out with a man who was separated. It wasn’t a question of whether he and his wife were going to divorce — the relationship was toxic, the lawyers were in place, it was definitely over. The real concern was whether this guy needed time and space after the demise of his marriage. He assured my client that he didn’t. They fell in love. They were well-matched and perfectly adorable together. Two peas in a pod for eight months. Until he freaked out. He needed space. He thought he was ready for another committed relationship but needed a break before moving ahead. Months of agony ensued. He told her he’d come back after he had time to sort things out. He said he missed her. He said he loved her. She believed him. And it just didn’t matter.

He just wasn’t ready.

This same script, I’m reminded, played out in the life of one of my favorite clients who fell in love with a separated man. He gave a lot to her during their time together, but, when it got right down to it, he really needed to sow his oats for awhile. It’s not that he didn’t care about her; it’s that he wasn’t ready for another commitment so soon after declaring his bachelorhood….

So, Sara, like most situations that stymie my readers, the answer isn’t as obvious as “dump him” or “go for it.” It depends on the man, the nature of his divorce, his emotional availability, and his ability to get in touch with himself. Very reasonable men want to love again, and are shocked to find out that it’s not possible. On the other hand, you’ve heard tales of men who went seamlessly from one relationship to another without a break. You can listen to all these stories, but they won’t inform YOUR situation.

Here are the three points I’d like you to take away from this blog post:

A person who hides his separation online isn’t necessarily a bad person. He’s doing what’s practical not to scare people off. The relationship might have been dead five years ago, but the paperwork is still pending. That’s not his fault.

A man who says he’s ready to move on isn’t necessarily ready to move on.

You can never know if he is or if he isn’t. After all, he doesn’t even know if he is or if he isn’t.

Because of these contradictions, you have to do a reality check and assess whether a) he’s invested in you as a long-term partner, or b) whether you’re his transitional woman as he segues into single life.

Like knowing when to sleep with a guy, this is about intuition, not hard and fast rules. All you can do is trust your gut and don’t second guess yourself every step of the way. You’re doing the best you can.

Good luck.

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  1. 1
    Nicole Marie

    Ugh. So not what I totally needed to hear. (ie Thank You) I think I’m switching teams for awhile. 😉

    1. 1.1
      Long Lost Love , Annie

      Yes I am in that same scenario except my guy I have known more than half my life and asked me on a date fourty years ago,when at the time I was dating my ex-husband. So fourty years later both our spouses cheated on us and here we are. He is now entering the messy divorce zone. I am or thought I was ready to marry this guy but it is so far out of the picture, since he is still not divorced. I got the reality check.

      Only God knows but I will proceed with caution , and yes timing is everything,

  2. 2

    I wish I had read this two weeks ago, it would have saved me from many headaches! It definitely helps going forward!

  3. 3
    moving on

    I have had an on again/off again with my boyfriend of 11 years. We split 5 months ago and it appears this time it’s for real. I tried dating many times during our break ups, but only had one somewhat serious relationship and that took me 6 years on the roller coaster ride to even get to that. I feel like I have been alone more than I was with my boyfriend all those years and I’ve had a hard time letting anyone back in. I was happily married for about 4 years prior to that. Circumstances beyond my control changed that relationship and I cheated on my husband before leaving the relationship. I really hurt him and wish I had never ended it that way.
    I recently started dating a man whom I have known for about 6 years. He and his wife have been physically seperated for 9-10 months and it is a very bitter divorce because it involved infidelity on his part. I could see the marriage falling apart about 2 years ago when he became obviously anxious, depressed, lost alot of weight and just seemed miserable. Having known his wife casually, my take at that time was that she was a high powered executive making all the money and he kind of became a Mr. Mom. It was obvious to me that he felt he had no power or control in the relationship and went from a very robust, happy, outgoing guy to an “emasculinated” shred of the man I knew. He has taken the last 9 months to heal and be with his kids.
    He has admitted his infidelity to her and to everyone else and expressed his remorse and shame many, many times. However, he initiated the divorce as he was miserable.
    Complicated little situation, but I have been there and done that. However, I have NEVER and would NEVER cheat on someone that I loved and respected and blow a GOOD relationship. It was a cowardly move on my part not to simply walk away, rather than cheat, but it is easier said than done. Perhaps that is why I can relate to and believe in what happened in their marriage.
    I do not condone infidelity, even though I was guilty of doing it. I would have done ANYTHING to save my last relationship, but it just kept us in limbo for too many years.
    Basically, here are two lonely people who knew and rspected each other prior to the demise of our relationships. We always liked each other, but were only friends.
    Am I crazy to even think of continuing this even though it is in an early and casual stage???? Again, I feel like the only reason I don’t think badly of him is because I’ve been there. The “once a cheater always a cheater” does NOT apply to me. I loved my boyfriend and never so much as winked at another man until our first real breakup when I moved out of our home. Our last try lasted almost a year and even though I spent much of it alone, I still did not cheat. I only wanted him.
    Advice, comments from anyone??

    1. 3.1

      As we learn from our experiences and mistakes we mature. Not being reactive to each others failibgscis important. Acknowledging them snd sharing our lessons is a growing experience snd a bonding experience. Im in a friendship with someone who is going through divorce. We are growing together and learning what we want out of life. If things progress then fantastic and I hope they do. I say give it a go. Be true to yoyr own feelings.   All the best.


      1. 3.1.1

        This is so much bs…I say why do we need to be in a relationship. was married for 12 years single for two ..met this amazing man.But of course he is going through a divorce. Uuugh just   very over this …thanks for this blog.

  4. 4

    In the summer of 2006, I went on a date with a woman 10 years my senior (I’m 31 now). After we had dinner she revealed to me that she was separated from her husband but not officially divorced. I gave her the benefit of the doubt until she stood me up for a 2nd date. Then I decided I’d had enough, & now she’s out of my life. The lesson I’ve learned from this is that separation (as opposed to legal divorce) means one foot still in the door. A woman can easily use the “pending divorce” alibi to string me along & make me play 2nd fiddle to some guy I don’t even know. (Some men do this to women also; it goes both ways.) So I’ll make sure that the next gal I date has BOTH feet out of the door.

  5. 5

    Our marriage was over years ago. We were just waiting for the kids to grow up. Now we can be free, but after years of intwined finances, we can’t just file for divorce online and be done. With the housing market like it is, we can’t sell our joint properties without huge losses. As I restart my career, I don’t yet have a work history to enable me to refinance our homes in my own name. I’m stuck. Capital gains taxes mean that we have to proceed carefully and, sadly, slowly. Does this mean I can’t date?

  6. 6

    Evan I agree that just because someone is willing to date doesn’t mean he’s ready. I know of lots of women who’ve gotten involved with guys who were separated only to have their hearts broken because these guys just weren’t ready to commit emotionally. For me hearing that a guy is separated is a red flag because I’m looking for something more serious.

    A person who hides his separation online may not be a bad person but he’s a liar. Most marriages end before they’re over, but there IS a difference – emotionally and legally – between separation and divorce. If the person’s only separated but looking just to date, then fine, but don’t lie in your profile about your marital status. There is no “almost” divorced like there’s no ‘almost’ pregnant.

    1. 6.1
      Susan Knoll

      I totally agree. I heard a guideline years and years ago. A man should be divorced for 2 years if you are looking to get serious with him. I have met many men who do not fit into this guideline. Sadly, every time I gave someone the benefit of the doubt, they later pulled the “freak out”. Are there some that are ready and will not do this? Of course…but in my opinion and experience, those are few and far between. Evan is correct…he does or does not know if he is ready. Now I actually ask if he has had his “transition relationship”, what he learned from it, and why he believes he is ready now. I figure be upfront. Ask tough questions..your heart and emotions deserve it! If I find aman who believes he is ready, I suggest moving very slowly…and starting out as friends for a few months. This way emotions are not involved while you evaluate further if an investment of your time and emotions is a goid idea with this man. If he truly is into you, he will be happy to comply. And if after 2 months or 3, he takes off for another relationship, well then you have saved your emotional investment. As a friend of mine has always said “He is not doing anything he had not already planned to do”….Keep that in mind. It has helped me stay grounded.

      1. 6.1.1

        Susan, thanks.   This is what I was looking for–advice on how to handle it.   My policy is no separated or recently divorced guys, but I recently met one on a dating site who not only appreciates my sarcasm (my profile was oozing with sarcasm), but actually understood *everything* I wrote to him.   He’s smart, sharp, and also sarcastic.   In other words, he’s a very rare bird.   I asked him 20 questions about his situation, to which he provided very full answers that were not necessarily what I wanted to hear.   So, I immediately gave him my situation, laid down the rules which boil down to this:   very slow and simple–no complication.   If we actually like each other, the extent of physical contact that I am willing to give him before its final is a hug after meeting him out in public.   I have a rule in my head about how often he can see me.   After it’s final, sure we can actually date, but we’re not going to spend a lot of time together, nor will we get very physical.   I asked him about what he expects through the next six months and he is in line with what I’ve been thinking–and he actually verbalized that he’s looking for acceptance (I immediately thought of Evan when I heard that).   The plus side to this I have a great excuse to not be very available to him while I finish grad school over the next year.   So, if he wants a commitment, he has nine months after the divorce is final to get his stuff together. In the meantime, I will continue dating other people.

      2. 6.1.2
        Debra Wilson

        Thanks for sharing your story.

    2. 6.2

      I cannot count how many men I have “outed” who listed themselves as divorced on their profile, but were merely separated.   I’m not sure if they even grasp how off-putting that is.   I spent about an hour on the phone with such a man from Match, and during that call he said a couple things that raised my suspicion that he could still be married.   Sure enough, a bit of sleuthing confirmed that suspicion.

      One, it’s dishonest.   Two, it’s more likely than not that the man is far from emotionally ready to date.

    3. 6.3

      I agreed to you. If someone hides his/her status means he/she is lying about it. And that’s lie could break other’s heart into pieces.

  7. 7

    Like Evan said, no two people are alike, and no two situations are identical when it comes to the demise of a marriage or other long-term relationship. I was married for 20 years and had what most people would describe as a mature, amicable divorce. I’d seen it coming for several years, had given up begging him to do couples counseling with me, & just sort of went on automatic. Like many women, I wanted to get the kids raised before calling it quits. When my husband told me he’d become involved with another woman & wanted to move out to spend more time with her, well, that kinda brought things to a close. Still, there was little animosity, no drama, and I thought it would be a breeze. But when he physically moved out of the house, it was a very different story. I couldn’t believe how my whole reality seemed to shift, just having his physical presence, his domestic partnership with me, no longer there. A year later we were legally divorced and that was another shock — the finalization. That was 8 years ago, and I have had 3 exclusive relationships of a year or more since then, but I wasn’t ready, even though I swore I was. It wasn’t until about a year ago and a good chunk of time outside a relationship that I felt I was really ready to be an equal partner in a serious relationship….where I finally acknowledged my insecurities, accepted them, forgave myself (85%), and feel I can actually get outside of ME to where I can honestly say I’m available. I have been involved with men who sincerely believe, as I did, that they are ready for a new life, new love, because they “deserve it.” Well, we all deserve it, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to happen. But a wounded divorced person doesn’t want to hear that. He’s hurting and he wants comfort, and what better comfort than the arms of a centered, solid, together, loving woman who’s NOT his ex-wife. As a woman who has been those “open arms” to a man, I can say that I will do everything I can now to avoid that not-ready man. Even though there’s no hard & fast rule for how long someone should be separated/divorced before seeking a new relationship, there are certain indicators that make my ears perk right up & acknowledge, out there on the horizon, the large red flag that’s waving at me. For me, the primary indicator is if he launches into a diatribe on your first or second date (or maybe even in a pre-date email!) about what a hurtful, cold, low-down, bitch his ex-wife is. Or she was too controlling, or she took him to the cleaners, or she wrecked his family, OR — and this is a real teller — he never saw it coming. Sorry, the man is still “reeling,” as Evan says. So, it’s not necessarily the length of time since his divorce, but what he has to say about it. I recently had coffee, a first meeting, with a man I’d met online, and when I asked him, “So, how long were you married?” his answer was “too long!” Haha. I chalked that one up to nervousness. So then I tried, “Well, how long have you been divorced?” “Not long enough!” Haha again. “Check please!”

  8. 8

    Hi Evan,

    I could swear you’ve been hiding in my closet. What you describe is weirdly similar to something I’ve been going through. I’m a 49 year women who’s never been married but has had some significant relationships in my life. Enough to know what I’m looking for in a man and in a relationship.

    When I met Brian he said he was divorced, but legally he was separated. It’s been my experience that once the women files for divorce (she left him for another man), the man considers himself divorced. But that doesn’t mean he’s ready for a relationship.

    So I fell into the classic “He thinks he’s ready for a relationship but hasn’t figured out he’s not”. We had a marvelous 2 ½ months together before he disappeared into the “I need time to think” mode leading to minimal email contact ending in no email contact.

    Five months later he reappears stating that he’s slain his personal dragons and wants to try again indicating a long-term relationship. He took full responsibility for his actions. Of course our timing is off when a close family member of his dies before we can have our second 1st date. Suffice it to say we did have our second first date a few weeks later, with total understanding on my part for the time lag.

    The date went well, although in hind sight, I wished we spent less time making out and more time talking. We ended the date with him saying he’d call about which night to go out the following weekend. I haven’t heard from him since. It’s been about 10 days. I know short time, but perhaps indicative (after reading your other postings).

    Perhaps even now he’s not ready, perhaps he’s still grieving for his recent loss, perhaps he should at least call to say these things. Perhaps I’m asking too much.

    In the mean time, I’m trying to stay balanced, and prepare myself to let go of him and move on. Even though I thought I had finally met my near perfect match. Surely there’s another one out there.

  9. 9
    peggy rush

    WOW this is so scarey to here becauce i’m waiting for him(wes) to figure things out.. I pray its not over and i no everyone and every relationship is diff.. I felt and (so did he) that we are perfect for each other.We enjoy each other company so much laugh together enjoy doing things like laundry and grocery shopping and we have so much fun with this.
    His been away from his wife for nine years and goin thru devorce for almost two years and the end is coming..By the way it was a 36 year marrage and things have been wonderful he’s so good to me in every way and now thet he’s weeks from he final ending of this marriage he came to me and says he dosn’t trust himself???? what dose this mean and i love him so much afraid to find out.. I no he needs space i have no problem with this he needs to greave the death of the marriage but now i feel my life with him is ending..I have NEVER enjoyed someone as much as him and by reading these other storys/blogs i fear this is the end.. We live next to each other and its come to texting and emails becauce he no’s how painful this is for me and i just don’t no what to do..
    I wish there were a book that would tell me wat to do..I’m 52 and he’s 53 and at our age this whole dating thing is just not easy..
    I wish someone could help me and i PRAY that months down the road i can tell someone to hang in and give them there space but i’m not sure thats what i need to do.. I don’t want to hurt and wait for someone thats not going to be ava to me again.
    HELP if you can.. My family loves me and can’t be abjective becauce they want to pertect me.Need advice or just encouraging word or just truth….Sorry for some spelling not my best subject and no spell ck on the comment area

  10. 10

    Very true that emotionally a divorce can be dreadful and I do concur with EMK that individuals tender their feelings in different ways….countless variables to consider.

    An honest assessment (REAL REALITY CHECK) is the only way to determine when a/o if one is prepared to enter singlehood again. Prepared in a manner so as not to hurt others or her/himself.

    Since most of those who have replied to Sara’s dilemma are members of the female gender, my humble agreement is on point with EMK. Put all aside and listen to your gut. Took me a lot of “practice” dates to reach the point of being able to trust my gut. And I still slip up every so often. It’s simply a human thing and I do feel that continued practice might just make it perfect (one day).

  11. 11

    Evan – I think you hit the nail right on the head. I have been separated for 21 months now…living separate lives in different states. I have filed for divorce months ago. But legal technicalities, like my ex currently being out of the country, has left me in a legal bind, so the divorce continues to be pending. He has moved on about a year ago and started dating other people (but choosing not to tell them about the marriage/divorce issue). I needed some “me” time, so I went date-free for about a year and a half since the separate, and I started dating about 3 months ago. I choose to tell the guys that I date either before or no later than on the 1st date.

    But the reaction have been mixed. I’ve gotten anything from:

    1) “That’s okay, I still want to date you,” but then they never even ask about the circumstances surrounding the divorce. That, IMHO, is a very bad sign. I think it shows that the guy is maybe a little emotionally too desperate and may have some self-esteem issues. What if the girl is an emotional wreck? What if she just filed for divorce like a week ago? What if she hasn’t even filed, but thinks she separated because her guy cheated on her? Or it could be she has been separated years ago. Filed divorce a long time ago, and for whatever technical reasons (money, kids, legal technicalities, etc), the judge just hasn’t finalized it. It could be any of those, so you’re taking a chance by not asking questions.

    2) “I like you, but I’m not comfortable dating you in your situation.” And never ask about the circumstances surrounding the divorce. This is also bad. What YOU think my situation is, could be completely different than what my situation REALLY is. For example, what are you concerned about? That they have one foot in the door? What if that’s not the case? What if it’s like me where BOTH people want to move on, but it’s now a legal issue and not an emotional one? Again, another unformed decision. Maybe this guy has the pick of the lot, so he doesn’t have to “deal” with women going through a divorce. But, IMHO, he might be missing out on a really great girl who is emotionally available and ready to date again.

    3) “I like you, but let’s talk about your divorce.” Now, ideally ALL guys would choose this option. Find out about their exact situation and make an informed decision and go from there. If you just take the time to ask and find out what’s going on, most people will tell you honestly and openly. “Oh, I just got separated a couple months ago and I haven’t really filed any papers yet.” Might be red flag. Or it could be “Well, the divorce is pretty drama-free. We both agree on the divorce and have pretty much hammered out a neutral settlement. I filed the papers a few months ago and it’s just pending a judge’s signature now, but that could take a few more months. Here is the name and number of my divorce attorney just in case you want verification.” 😉 I mean, your answers can run the gammut, but until you get this answer, I don’t believe you should jump to any conclusions either way.

    No one situation is the same, and it’s your job to do your homework. You don’t want to end up dating someone who isn’t emotionally available. But you also don’t want to end up losing a great person just because you might *think* all people going through a divorce are emotionally unavailable either. It’s up to you to find out about the exact person YOU are dating and their divorce situation.

    1. 11.1

      Great comment! It is very true not every separated/divorced man/woman is emotionally unavailable and yes, it is important to be truthful with potential partner as to what’s going on in their particular situation. An honest with themselves person and in the same time emotionally available, will go via route #3). No situation is alike. Everybody is different.


    2. 11.2
      Karmic Equation

      Men aren’t like women. They don’t get into the “why’s” too often.

      So I think most guys would say 1 & 2, to reassure you that they find you attractive and want to date you, and think you’re a grown up and can handle your own shit (if shit it is). They also know you’re a woman and you’ll eventually blab it out to them anyway, so why waste a good first date on such heavy conversation?

      I guess what I’m saying is that 1 & 2 aren’t red flags on a first date.

      They would be red flags if the guy doesn’t ask by the 4th or 5th date, I’d say.

      But I’m guessing, you’d be blurting out stuff before then.

      Don’t get upset with guys not digging for information on the first date.

  12. 12

    I’m going to reply as the wife. My husband and I have been separated for over a year and we both use that papers excuse for why it’s not final. But truth be told it’s not because we don’t want it to be. He has a girlfriend 10 years his junior also. He still tells me he loves me and right now we are talking about getting back together. I have always come first. I have been in the same room with her and he won’t even introduce her to me. Noone in his family knows about her especially not his mother. Those two things alone should let her know how important she is to him in real life, not just the bedroom. The reason is because she’s not who he really wants to be with. We have 11 years together, children together and we have too much history together to let a short fling keep us from being together if we’re still in love. I feel bad for her but my family comes first. I know that if I was single I wouldn’t set myself for emotional heartbreak by being with a married… oops separated man.

    1. 12.1

      The fact that two people are separated but still are inlove or are not grown up enough to come to terms and see exactly where the relationship is standing does not make her a “fling”. He may very well not be inlove with her   like he could be holding on to his marriage just because that’s what he knows. The fact that he even brings her around in the same room as you…the ex…oops the wife…shows a lot more disrespect to you than her. What is keeping you together or apart is not a fling but a lack of honesty and transparency.

      1. 12.1.1

        Exactly Annie! Michelle has it twisted!

      2. 12.1.2

        Yes. Exactly. Couldn’t have said it better. Amen.

    2. 12.2

      Since you shared your story I have to say- This is an extremely naive, immature and toxic way of looking at a blatantly confused (at best) narcissistic (at worst) man. Yes he is disrespecting her, but much more he is using you both and ultimately showing far less regard for you. Men or people in general do what they want to do. Obviously he is getting something he values from his relationship with her because she is still around. If not her someone else. For all you know he is telling her he doesn’t want to be with you but is caught because of the kids. Getting back together with a man who has shown the weakness of character that he has shown could just prolong the inevitable loss that is likely to come in the future- only by then with far more complications involved. She is not the enemy here, nor is she the problem. This man has a long way to go and since you have taken this stance perhaps you could use some time yourself. Both you ladies could look at the man instead of each other and even better ask yourselves how you both got there.

  13. 13

    Hi I just have to comment.

    I agree with Evan’s blog. I do believe every one and every situation needs to be assessed as each person is different in how they handle grief/separation – how the marriage ended, who wanted it to end, how long has he/she been separated? Also, I think because of how men handle grief, that it is much more likely you will find a man who is out there trying to date in order to get over his marriage, not get over his marriage and then date.

    I made the mistake of dating and falling in love with a man who was separated from his wife. I didn’t like the situation, but he was so convincing that it was truly over. We had many many talks at the beginning where I stated that I was uncomfortable going forward with someone who had so much history with the other person, and he was likely to go back. Well, things moved along until – bam! – 7 months in the relationship – around the holidays – he started backpedaling and now – guess what? He is having “reconciliation” talks with his soon to be ex. When I met him he was moved out, had his own place, had purchased furniture – I stayed over there all the time while we were together. He acted and treated me like a valued girlfriend and partner. He had filed papers a month before meeting me and was in the process of it. However, that doesn’t matter and my heart has been smashed to bits.

    So, I am saying, everyone is different, but TAKE IT SLOW and keep your other options open. You don’t want to end up like me, heart broken and feeling used.

    1. 13.1

      Wow sounds a lot like my story, he was very convincing and even showed me the papers however during the process of signing “they got lost” and I insisted they get new ones.
      We also met in a different city and he was adamant he wanted to be with me so he moved to my city four months into our relationship. 6 weeks later he told me he just couldn’t be in a relationship and didn’t want to be tied down. Now has moved back to his city, where his ex wife and her new boyfriend live.
      I’m starting to think I was some sort of temporary toy however he insists that he did see a future with me. It’s all too complicated! I hate these mind games. Now he is telling me “we will definitely see each other in the future”. He needs to grow some balls and cut me off.
      I’ve never been in this situation before. I’m only 25 and he married her only a few years ago after a long term relationship. I had my doubts but he was just so convincing. Now I do feel kind of stupid.

  14. 14

    I guess there are is a lot of gray area here, and I think part of it is how averse you are to risk. I’m very risk averse so dating a guy who is merely separated is not an option for me. I wouldn’t want to get emotionally involved with someone, only to find out I’m the rebound girl. On the other hand, my ex met his current wife 2 months into our separation. She had concerns about it, but it worked for them. I knew that I had to get to that point of being happy and content with no romantic relationship before I could be involved in one. Still watching for the right one, but I can at least say I’m having fun with life right now.

  15. 15

    wow this is scarey and sad too read these.  I just came on here because I’ve been struggling for the last month with these issues all of u have. I can;t help but feel somehow I should have googled this at the begining of my so called relationship with a seperated man.   We knew eachother for years and I’d always had a kind of liking towards him although we were both married.  I am divorced now and have been for a few years.  I nhad been hearing for some time that he was seperated.  so i faced bnooked him to see where he stood.  well of course we got to talking and intensely helping him come out of a dark place he informed me his marriage had been over for some time and i had nothing to worry about.  well all was wonderful until his father passed away unexpectdly around the holidays.  The ex now stepped back intop the picture and show boated at the funeral leaving me oo back off as i didnt want any drama.  that was a month ago and ive only seen him mabe 3 hours.  he says hes confussed and that he is numb.  reading all of ur excerpts makes me see exactly wats going on.  i am kinda glad to know i am not alone or its not my fault.  i feel ive done something bad.

  16. 16

    I am a separated woman of  seven years with a pending divorce.   We have lived in different states since 2003.   The divorce was finally filed in 2009 and we should  be divorced by now.   My should-be ex changed his mind at the last minute and hasn’t signed on the dotted line.   I already went through the different phases one usually goes through years ago , have already gone through counseling and although not divorced started casually dating in 2008.   In 2009 I met someone and we fell seriously in love, both believing we would be sharing a life together but todate there are still hang-ups and I’m still not divorced.   We are both  frustrated and I’m not sure if we can survive the stress.    We both have a  variety of feelings we’re going through from  not being able to spend as much time together as possible.   Not being able to freely go out in public  together or show our affection for each other. Not being able to move in together.   We’re celebrating our first anniversary but he’s upset because I’m still married and says that’s not how he wants to remember our first year together.   My attorney has strongly advised me not to see him until divorce is final which could take years now because my should-be ex had a serious accident and is recovering.    My boyfriend and I love each other  very much but he says I should listen to my attorney and doesn’t want to see me until this is over.   I think that if we  stop seeing  each other, it’ll hurt our relationship  to a point it will  not survive.  

    1. 16.1
      Krystal Brown

      Hold on cause there is no need to rudh

  17. 17

    I read this over 8 months ago when I started dating a separated man. He was very loving, attentive and complimentary. Things progressed to where I   moved into his house with he and his daughter. He told me I was the one… almost 8 months to the day, he said, “I shouldn’t have started a relationship so soon after the split… I should have just f*cked around.” He has a new “girlfriend” now that he started dating while I was still living there. He’s no closer to actually getting a divorce.
    They really aren’t ready to move on. Most really do want to sow their oats. I’m kicking myself for not taking this advice to heart. Never, ever again. It’s way too much drama and heartache.

    1. 17.1


      I am going through something similar where I got involved in a man after he had recently split from his wife. We dated passionately for 9 months and then last week he drops the “this is going no where”. I am devastated and feel so used and abused. I was there for him while he went through his divorce, I nurtured him and gave him love, and now I am left alone. I have cut all communication with him and really never want to talk to him again.

      I am curious how everything played out with you?


      1. 17.1.1

        Wow that sounds awfully familiar. Ouch. I hope both of you are doing well now.

  18. 18

    It never even entered my mind to date when I was separated, because I feared my ex would find out and somehow use it against me in terms of finance/custody. But then, 1)I’m paranoid in general, and 2)our divorce went very smoothly and was finalized very quickly. Don’t know what I would do if it dragged out for years.
    As far as dating someone who’s separated, I did date a separated guy and it didn’t work out; but then, I’m seeing another separated guy now and it appears to be working out. Big difference between the two as I see it, is this: 1) guy #1 had originally lied to me saying he was divorced, and only admitted to being separated about six weeks after we met, after I asked him “hey, don’t remember, when did you say your guys’ court date was?” that’s how I found out there had never been a court date. I would not have found out otherwise. and 2) he did not know how far along they were, and for all I could tell he did not care, and was not doing anything to speed things up. He just stayed happily legally married while dating me, as well as other women on the side. We ended it because he insisted on being exclusive and I didn’t have it in me to agree to it (shocking, I know :D)
    With guy #2 on the other hand, I knew right away that he was separated, how far along the process was, that it was moving along fast and that it’ll be over soon. Big difference, to me.
    That said, I’ve only been divorced for a few months myself and I am not looking for a serious long-term relationship right now. On behalf of everyone recently separated, I’d say if you want an LTR, marriage and kids, don’t date us. We’re still very confused about what we want from our future and what kind of person we want to be with. Right now I cannot even think about ever getting legally married again. Not ready by any means.

    1. 18.1
      Happy Girl

      This is such hogwash what you wrote. Please speak only for yourself! I’m separated three years with him still living in the home for that time and now only weeks away from my divorce being finalized. I’m so ready to move on, date, and hopefully have kids. I have dated no one during that time. Separated is not divorced: you are still a spouse even if you act divorced. But I tell you, those final papers are signed and I will be very happy to meet someone special. Every situation is different just like every person is different. Your must evaluate it to get the true answer for you.  

  19. 19

    Like many of these examples, I was in a similar situation.   I learned my lesson :), don’t date married men!   (Separated is still married)

    I met this man out of the blue when he was NOT looking for any women, it was just life throwing us together in a cute situation.   We had an awesome 6 months…although I had in the back of mind that I had to be very cautious with him (not introducing each other to our kids was a big clue!), I underestimated my feelings.   He eventually told me he just couldn’t be in a relationship, that we were a great couple but the timing was bad.   Very sad, took me awhile to get over, but life does go on.

    I also dated a man who was divorced twice and he told me it took him 3 years to get over each marriage–that’s what his therapist told him as a guideline too, 3 years.   Of course everyone is different, but from real life experience, I think this is pretty accurate.   ESPECIALLY if it’s a mature man, he will need time and go through what men need to go through to get to the other side.

    P.S.   For on line dating, I DO NOT think it’s right to say you’re divorced when you’re separated.   I do think there is a difference…and the people that have been burned understand this.   My opinion of course…

    1. 19.1

      Yes, separated is STILL MARRIED!!!!

      1. 19.1.1

        Legally married…..       not necessarily emotionally married.   

        In all of these situations, it is down to the individuals.    many single/divorced men will do the same things.    It’s more down to how mature they are, their family structure, are they narcissistic, etc…      I agree with trust yourself and your instincts.   These will go a long way in protecting you IF YOU ACT on it.    When sometjing does not feel right and you cannot reconcile it after reasonable effort and time, walk away.  

  20. 20

    @Goldie #18

    Great post and points…this stuff takes time and patience, with oneself and others who are in similar situations.  

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