You and your significant other are having irreconcilable differences and because divorce can take as long as one year to finalize, you both decide to separate. A month or two later you find a good man who has all the qualities that you are looking for in the perfect guy.
So you ask yourself some questions: is dating while separated a smart move, will he still be interested in you once he learns you are recently separated? Are you breaking the law by dating while separated? Will dating while separated affect your divorce proceedings?
These questions and more are continually asked by both parties when making the decision to separate rather than try to work through the differences in the relationship. The answers are never really cut and dried but most experts agree that if there is a chance for reconciliation than you should not date.
Dating while separated when there is a possible chance of resolving your issues will only further aggravate the dispute and hinder the possibility of reconciliation. Take some time away from each other to think about your issues and then get together to debate them and look for solutions or compromises.
If there is no hope for you getting back together with your guy and it is a mutual agreement than both of you should have a legal agreement written up based on your discussions surrounding dating while separated.
Will the Guy Still be Interested…
It will depend on the guy himself whether he can handle your situation or not but it will also have a lot to do with how long you’ve been separated and whether your ex is also seeing someone else.
Are you and/or your ex trying to resolve your issues or just biding time until the divorce is final? He will want to get an honest answer to that question also as couples who separate sometimes get together to discuss things and end up in bed together because of remaining feelings or loneliness.
If children are in the picture this could also influence his decision to stay with you or not. Children can be traumatized by the separation no matter how old and may take some time to adjust if ever.
The Legal Implications…
Some women will start to date within two months of separation from their spouse even though the divorce is not final. Divorce can be a long process before it is completed with many hurdles to deal with along the way.
Even though there is no law that prohibits dating while separated most lawyers will advise to not do it. If your emotions cloud your judgement, there are legal implications to be aware of when dating while separated before the divorce is final.
- If children are involved make sure your perfect man is indeed perfect with good character and moral qualities or your disgruntled ex may use these against you in the custody agreement.
- If you’re ex is accusing you of pre-separation sexual activity with the new man in your life he can use this against you in the divorce proceeding.
- There are laws on the books in North Carolina that allows your ex to bring forward a charge of “Criminal Conversation” against your new man if you have had a sexual relationship with him during the mandatory 1 year period before the divorce is finalized. There is a 3 year statute of limitations for this law.
- It is generally acceptable for you to date while being separated if your ex is already dating also.
Be Open and Upfront With Him…
Make sure that you are honest about your current relationship with your ex to the new man in your life. Otherwise he’ll lose interest fast if he cannot determine whether you and your ex are still undecided on the direction your relationship is headed.
If it is over and he still has feelings for you, than your new guy will deserve to know that. If you don’t tell him then he could be placed into an uncomfortable situation with your ex sometime in the future.
Being upfront about your situation will show him that you are a woman worthy of his time and that you are honest. No man likes to get involved with another woman only to find out that he has to deal with a jealous ex husband or get stuck between two exes arguing.
What are our Chances…
Statistically, it has been shown that first relationships right after a separation or divorce very rarely succeed. This is because of the emotional state you are in to begin with. You are feeling unwanted and unneeded.
The new man in your life does wonders for your self esteem and gives you an extra jump in your step. You suddenly feel wanted and needed again and it masks the real emotions you are feeling sort of like a band aid would cover a wound.
You really should be dealing with all the problems that caused your marriage to end before moving on to a new relationship. Finding out who you are again and learning to handle life on your own will reap huge benefits for future relationships.
If you are sure you’ve found “Mr. Right” then discussing the possibility of waiting until the divorce is final should be considered. After all if he is truly “the one” than he shouldn’t have any qualms of waiting for you.
To sum it up…
A sad fact of life is that marriages fail and couples drift apart from the love they once held for each other. The US Census Bureau shows us that half of every first marriages end in divorce. There are 14.6 million women living alone in the US. The older you are the more likely you are to date a separated man in your quest for finding a good man.
Dating while separated will be a decision that you will have to make based on all the factors discussed above and on your individual situation. The bottom line is that only you can decide whether the ramifications of your actions will hurt you or help you and if the risk is worth the reward.
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