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I get so many emails asking me about whether to date someone who is separated, recently divorced, or even fresh out of a breakup that I wanted to tackle this tricky subject.
Isn’t it going to be a risky and super-messy affair?
I’ve recently met someone and we’ve fallen pretty hard for each other. Plus, she’s totally hung up on the fact that he said he was divorced on OKCupid. For reasons more pragmatic than principled, I am opposed to people dating before they are divorced.
It would be handy if we could avoid the vulnerability that comes with doing the due diligence and taking appropriate action where needed.
What we forget is that even if a person hasn’t just exited a relationship, aside from knowing our own boundaries (which can rule out certain things that we’ve already made a decision on in advance of), we cannot get all of the answers upfront or have someone tell us what ‘the ending’ will be.
The first question that must be answered is: Why is he getting a divorce and what is the timeline?
This is important and he will be talking about it, so listen with a keen intensity when he does.
And if you thought dating a single, uncommitted man was tough, wait till you date a divorced person!
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Here is a checklist: You must be definite that he is actually getting a divorce and has not just taken a few weeks off from his marriage to "find himself" or "get space." Are papers being filed or served? Any reports of progress are a green light that he is headed in the right direction as a possible partner for you.
Any stalling, or worse, attempts at reconciliation are red lights for you to put a stop to seeing him until he is officially, legally single. If so, that tells you that he is willing to work on disagreements as well as letting you know that the divorce was not a rash decision.