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Is it OK to date someone who’s separated?

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in Advice, dating, Honesty, Kat, Men, Relationships, Singles, Women

I couldn’t wait to get together with Mia; she’d met a guy who sounded pretty darn as close to perfect as you can get and I wanted to know more. So we met at the arts fest, not even feeling the raindrops because our conversation was so animated.

“OK, what are the stats?”

“He’s 52, tall, fit, nice salt-and-pepper hair …”

“Uh-huh. And?”

“Loves to hike, super-smart and super-sweet. Coached his kids’ soccer teams …”

“Sounds good. And?”

“And he’s a real gentleman. He paid for our dates, even though I insisted I’ll pay. He didn’t come on real strong; I practically had to throw myself at him to get him to kiss me.”

“Ah, he likes a bit of the chase? Nice!”

“And I’m starting to get crazy about him.”

“Mia, it’s way too soon for that! But I know — it’s hard not to feel excited about someone who’s so great. How long has he been divorced?”

“Hmm, well …

“Well, what?”

“He’s just separated.”

“As in ‘just’ how long ago?”

“Two months.”

I think my mouth must have dropped far enough to smudge my cute new black cotton wedgies — that’s how shocked I was.

“Mia, what are you doing with a newly separated guy?”

“Enjoying our time together, why?” she sniffed.

“Because, because … because, it’s all wrong!”

“Says who?”

Says probably about every dating expert out there, although you don’t want to necessarily follow everything they say. But, who needs a dating expert to tell us that getting involved with someone fresh out of a marriage — and I wouldn’t call separated “out” of anything — is a bad idea?

Separated means a lot of things to different people. When Rob and I separated, it was to spend time alone to figure out whether we were going to salvage the marriage or not — that hardly made me dating material. For all Mia knows, this guy and his not-quite-ex could be still working on their relationship, giving each other “space,” dipping their toes into the dating scene to see if they can attract someone new or all of the above. Or maybe they’re actually somewhat happily married and he’s just scouting around for a mistress. Who knows?

As Singlemommyhood notes: “Separated always means in limbo. There is unfinished business — whether it’s emotional, legal, or financial.”

Which is what I told Mia (thanks Dr. Leah).

And Mia would hear nothing of it. Now you know why dating experts and shrinks stay in business — even if we know we’re in a situation that has way too many complications, we still delve right in, hoping this time it will be different.

Maybe it will be.

Probably not.

To me, even a newly divorced guy is a big dating no-no; no one’s ready to be available in a new relationship when he just got out of one. And, if he says he is, it’s because he’s lonely and/or he wants sex.

Getting involved with someone like that is taking a big gamble, one you’re likely going to lose.

  • Would you date a separated man or woman?
  • How about a newly divorced person?

Photo © Angelika Bentin –

Bring on the comments

  1. brian says:

    as a general rule i’d say its a no-no
    i’ve been on the receiving end of this from a woman who just let it drop in conversation
    granted it was a first date but felt like i was being played as the initial indication was she was divorced
    leaves the feeling she is looking around to trade up but not ready to kick the somehow unacceptable hubby completely to the curb
    also you leave yourself in a position of having your heart handed back to you in pieces later when they decide to get back together since you really have no basis to complain you knew the situation going in
    suffice it to say i didn’t call her back

  2. Kat Wilder says:

    Do you #date a #man who's #separated or newly #divorced?

  3. says:

    RT @KatWilder Do you #date a #man who's #separated or newly #divorced?

  4. TapItSocial says:

    Do you #date a #man who's #separated or newly #divorced?

  5. Ah, #relationships RT @katwilder: Do you #date a #man who's #separated or newly #divorced?

  6. Kat Wilder says:

    Brian — I think you were smart about that.

  7. A dude says:

    well I’m off the back a little but I’d say-

    to me “seperated” means dating is ok. Be careful- don’t get too deep too fast- but seems ok to me with those caveats.

  8. Kat Wilder says:

    Dude — Wouldn’t you want her to work out her baggage first? Otherwise, she’d be carrying them with her on those dates, no?