A Jewish Matchmaker’s Guide to Dating While Separated

If you’re dating in today’s landscape, it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to eventually be confronted with the opportunity to be dating someone who in the process of divorcing. Optimally, you should limit your search to a dating partner who is legally available, but what should you do if you meet someone with whom you have a real connection and the opportunity to build a real relationship, but he/she is not yet legally divorced?

To put it as straightforward as possible, this can be some tricky stuff. Even couples who firmly believe that divorce is in everyone’s best interest, and have already agreed to keep things on a friendly basis, will still be dealing with a new set of emotions. For a man, divorce is often accompanied by a feeling of failure, even when the reasons for the divorce are genuine. This is a difficult time for everybody, and the accompanying stress and lifestyle change often puts additional pressure on dating a new person. If children are involved, custody issues may still be in flux and you may find that the time you hoped to spend with your new flame, is being consumed by his/her children.

It’s usually a better idea to wait until the dust has settled, the papers have been signed, and your potential dating partner has already settled and become comfortable in his/her new life before you commence dating. Wait until your partner has become comfortable with their new environment and schedule, and you’ll find that fitting you into that life is a smoother transition.

However, if you are already in a situation of dating a separated spouse, try to pull back a little and give your partner the space and patience to get through this difficult time. Though you may feel a bit neglected now, in the long run, your support and consideration will lend toward warmer feelings and a stronger relationship.