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Waiting for Dating

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littlefoggy posted 6/10/2014 20:23 PM

I intend on waiting until I am totally D to start dating.

I have seen a couple different ways of thinking. On here and on a couple sites.

-Don't date until you are completely and utterly and absolutely divorced.

-Don't date if you are just separated, which seems to exclude those who have actually filed for divorce and are waiting for it to be finalized.

The first one sucks for those who have long drawn out divorces. I have heard of divorces that last years.

What is your opinion?
Does your opinion change when the divorce process gets drawn out for longer than normal?
Does it change when the normal process includes a long waiting period (and what do you consider long)?

nowiknow23 posted 6/10/2014 20:29 PM

It's an individual choice IMHO.

I am more than 2 years past the D being finalized and I haven't dated at all. When I do get around to dating, I won't date someone who is separated. Separated can mean a whole lot of different things to different people, and I'm not up for that kind of gray area.

[This message edited by nowiknow23 at 8:31 PM, June 10th (Tuesday)]

phmh posted 6/10/2014 20:33 PM

I know someone who was separated for 16 years and when her XWH finally wanted to actually divorce, it hit her very hard. They only talked once a year to do their taxes, and she definitely didn't want him back. He asked to stay married to my friend so he wouldn't be pressured into marrying the OW.

There appears to be something about actually finalizing the divorce that triggers a lot of emotions.

I agree with NIK in that to each their own. Personally, I won't date anyone who's just separated.

I know someone who won't date anyone who hasn't been divorced at least two years. I'm not that extreme, but humans take time to heal (unless they're sociopaths) and I've found that I'd rather be alone than in a bad relationship. And people who haven't healed may be fabulous people, but not good romantic partners.

Phoenix1 posted 6/10/2014 20:43 PM

I agree with others that it is really an individual decision. I would not date until my divorce was final, but that is just my choice. And while I say I wouldn't date someone separated, I would really need to know the circumstances before I dismissed the idea completely.

I have a colleague that has been legally separated (it is recognized in my state) since 1991. Yes, 1991. They are just now getting around to actually divorcing now that he is retiring. They stayed together for benefits (health, etc.). He has no intention of ever getting married again, but has dated plenty of women on a casual basis over the years. However, he does not hide his marital/separation status at all and tells women up front to make sure they are comfortable with it. The legal separation means he cannot legally get remarried, but since he doesn't plan to ever do so again, it really wasn't a big deal to him. He hasn't even seen his estranged wife in over 10 years. Plenty of women over the years didn't have a problem with it and he has had no shortage of company (they too had no interest in marriage). That is the polar opposite of what you might hear from many. Hence, why I say I agree it is very individual and what YOU are comfortable with. There is no rule book for this stuff...

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 8:46 PM, June 10th (Tuesday)]

cmego posted 6/10/2014 20:55 PM

I think it all depends on the person…but, I was one of those "long term separated peeps", so take it with a grain of salt.

I did wait one full year post S before I dated. I told guys I was still separated, that my ex was gay, and that we stayed S due to financial reasons. No guy ever had a problem with it.

On the other hand, I would really be hesitant to go out with a S guy now. If they were like us, had been S for years due to financial reasons and had demonstrated that their lives were completely different and both had moved on, good co-parenting relationship…then I might consider it. I'd go in with eyes wide open though.

I just filed for D, and although slightly emotional…wasn't really a blip on my radar.

Sad in AZ posted 6/10/2014 21:10 PM

Yes, it's very situational, but if you're quesioning it at all, you're not ready. Lonliness is not an indiacation that you're ready to date.

There are couples, successful couples, who got together when one or both were still separated because their divorces were dragging out. There are also people who waited several years and were still not ready to date, so time isn't the only factor either.

Trust your gut. It will know when you are ready.

hurtbs posted 6/10/2014 21:16 PM

It's an individual choice. As a general rule, I don't think you should date while you're in the midst of extreme emotional turmoil. Yes, dealing with yoru STBX can be crazy making, but you know the difference between extreme emotional reactions vs. predictable frustration/irritation. I think you need to be off the extreme part of the emotional roller coaster before you are prepared to date.

roughroadahead posted 6/10/2014 21:16 PM

I agree it is individual. I am going to be obnoxiously legal and call it a "totality of the circumstances" test. I am now D, and I was separated for almost a year when it was finalized. In my particular case, filing for D a few months into S triggered all kinds of emotions and was a thoroughly miserable experience. By the time the D was finalized, it was somewhat a relief that it was over, but mostly anti-climactic. When the docket entry went in, XH sent me a "congrats" text because he's messed up. I'm not dating, but even emotions at different stages of the process vary.

I do agree that healing time is necessary, it is absurd to suggest otherwise. Because of the different factors involved, though, I don't know if healing is necessarily tied to the legal process, such as in cmego's case. Long term S people can be emotionally stable, others can be a wreck years out from a D. I think if I were to ever date an S person, I would tread very, very carefully and naturally verify independently (through court dockets etc) any statement they make about having filed for D.

littlefoggy posted 6/10/2014 21:26 PM

The D legal process totally stalls and back pedals the healing process (at least for me). So I wouldn't date someone who was separated.

But I can see situations when I would date someone who was separated like the examples other poster have given (actually, probably not because I would like to remarry eventually).

(I wanted to ask in a not "Should I date" thread to get a more general opinion. Since if you are asking, the answer is No. )

fireproof posted 6/10/2014 21:50 PM

I think it is good you are getting opinions. I never expected to be in a NB and that incorporates a lot more than dating.

New friends, experiences, possible relationships, moves, career, etc.

As far as the aspect of dating I think at least for me I was hesitant because I didn't ever want to go through this pain again but the reality is there are no guarantees.

Having time to heal is good because you can settle into your new life and see another life single. It will also help to gain perspective on new relationships without possibly being unhealthy. Sometimes in the beginning post D just the feeling of being in a relationship is overly attractive. Sometimes you may not know what you truly want and you come across someone in the same boat and it is more about unhealed hurts than the positive adventure that lies ahead. Essentially you could get wrapped into something you never intended and may not be healthy.

I have heard the first breakup after divorce is harder than the divorce. I waited years to date but I think now I would have entertained the idea of casually dating after being divorced.

The general rule I think is a year post divorce and to fully heal I heard half the amount of time you were married

I think with healing it is also learning about yourself. The timing is different for everyone. Some go down the path again and again. Just depends on you.

It is definitely an adventure and dating too

[This message edited by fireproof at 10:41 PM, June 10th (Tuesday)]

hurting2much posted 6/11/2014 06:40 AM

For me, I am just now starting to entertain the idea of dating (divorced early 2013 after a 25+ year marriage). I was in no shape (mentally or emotionally) to become involved with someone. I didn't want to dump all of my baggage on some poor soul. And I knew, even if I dated someone, that it would not last...I didn't want a new relationship.

So, I continued to do IC and talk with my friends, spent time doing things I want to do, going to the gym, house projects, work, etc. and now, I think I can interact with men and talk about me and them, and not focus on XWH, the divorce, etc. FYI, XWH did date several women during our separation, none lasted.

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