How Long Should I Wait to Date Again?

hands holding heart smallDebbie from Albuquerque asks:

“How long do you recommend someone wait to start dating after separation and then after a divorce is finalized? Been separated from my husband 2.5 yrs and divorced 6 months. Is there a formula? I heard it depends on how many years married. Is this right?”


Hi Debbie,

This all comes down to personal preference. For some, they won’t even think of going on a date with someone who is separated whereas others don’t have a problem with it at all. Dating someone who is separated doesn’t itself generally cause problems, it is moreso dating someone who is separated-with-no-definite-plans-to-divorce that I see problems arise. You venture into the dangerous waters of getting caught up in the potential of the relationship, not the reality. You end up placing yourself right in the middle of a time of transition.

Separation and divorce are complicated and emotional but so are relationships. Do you want to bring in the unfinished business of your past relationship into a new one or do you want to clean up your past relationship before you move on?

Before getting too involved with someone who is separated, ask them what their exact divorce plans are. If they shuffle around and provide a list of complications then back-off and give the budding relationship some time to breathe.

If you are the one who is separated, then it really doesn’t matter how long you’ve officially been separated, it matters more that you are living separately and leading separate lives. And most importantly, you are gathering the paperwork and putting together the plan to divorce. This will put the person you are dating at ease because they know it is only a matter of waiting a year before a divorce can be finalized.

There is no formula and it doesn’t matter how long you were married. Many people emotionally separate long before they physically move out.




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