Law Blog


When is the appropriate time to bring up that you’re legally separated on a date?

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In the beginning, a separation is not the same thing as a divorce. Being separated means that you are living apart from your spouse, but you are still legally married to your partner until you get a judgment of divorce. Generally, a termination does affect the financial duties of you and your spouse before the divorce is definitive. There are three different types of separation. In most states, only one (legal divorce) changes your legal status – but all three of them have the potential to affect your constitutional rights.

Dating after divorce is not always straightforward, but at least you have a clear, legal mandate to get back in the dating pool. Dating after separation is a little bit different. Yet with a bit of planning (and much talking), it is likely to come to a position where you feel ready for anything, even new love. On the one hand, it is natural to want to find companionship and move on from your marriage. On the other hand, you are still legally married, and some ties are still there. Some relationship experts tell never dating while separated, but not divorced. While it is true that you do want to be extra mindful of your needs and motivations, dating while separated isn’t impossible.

If you are searching for someone to fill the gap left by your ex, you won’t make the best choices for yourself. If you genuinely like someone, that is a great reason to date them. However, if you are looking for a way to feel less lonely, it is a sign that you are not done with the healing process yet. However, you are ready to move on, and you decide to say yes to a date, always be honest with your potential partner from the very start. If you are dating while separated, you will find that honesty is the best method, no matter how inconvenient it might feel. If you want your newest relationship to work out, you should want to start it from a trusting place. If you lie at the start – stating you are single or divorced rather than separated – it might turn into a much larger deal when your new partner finally realizes the truth. It is far better, to be honest about your relationship status and your relationship plans, and let this new person fall for the true you.

Will your separated status put some people off? Quite honestly, yes it will. However, finding that out early on is the only fair thing to both of you. You need to understand your new date is okay with your current status, and they have the right to know that you are still legally married. You do not have to tell them every detail of your marriage breakdown, but do let them know that the divorce is in the process (if it is not you might want to think again about dating until it is), and be clear that reconciliation with your ex is not something you want.

Dating while you are separated is possible, but only if you are 100% honest with yourself and your potential date. You should take some time for yourself first. Let yourself heal and get used to your own company before looking out a new relationship.