Dating before a divorce is final can be a tricky situation. You don’t want to send the wrong message to your soon-to-be-ex or give yourself too much hope that future relationships will work out. But you also don’t want to miss out on meeting new people and having fun.
What are the dos and don’ts of dating before divorce is final? Read on for our tips.
If you’re separated from your spouse for a long time and don’t live in an area where fault-based divorce grounds are accepted, dating may not affect your divorce. An uncontested settlement means no divorce lawyers involved, so there’s usually less risk involved.
But divorce can be a complicated process, and the situation changes dramatically at any time. Even if you and your spouse initially agreed on an amicable breakup, it’s possible that news about dating someone could make your spouse angry or sad. And this can make for conflict in your relationship instead of peace as they had originally planned.
Learn how to avoid possible claims from your spouse or judge with these crucial dating dos:
- Do be honest with your romantic partner. Be honest about your current situation so they can decide whether or not their feelings will work on a long-term basis.
- Do socialize in groups. Try to avoid pairing off with anyone to not give the appearance of an extramarital relationship.
- Do seek divorce support groups. It’s human nature to feel lonely when dealing with divorce. If you are struggling, find a support system or meetup for people who have been through what you’re going through so they can offer support and empathy.
- Do prioritize your child’s needs. It can be hard to balance dating and being a parent. But make sure that the time you spend on your new partner doesn’t take away your time with your kids.
- Do focus on your emotions. Divorce is hard. It takes time to heal and find love again, but you have the chance to do so by being emotionally healthy before making any decisions or moving forward with your life. The trick here isn’t falling head over heels in lust after someone new; rather, it’s maintaining even level-headedness while still taking advantage of all opportunities available during your healing process. For example, continue going out there, keep meeting people, and don’t worry if things won’t go well.
The stakes when dating before a divorce is final can be pretty high. And it’s important to know how your actions affect others. Consider also the feelings of everyone involved in this game, including yourself.
The following are some don’ts that can help you avoid damaging the divorce proceedings and your relationships during this difficult time.
- Don’t date when you’re still living with your spouse. Wait until you’ve physically separated from your spouse before dating. This will help prevent any negative consequences if your partner files for divorce based on infidelities, like reduced child support or custody rights.
- Don’t date openly. This could upset your soon-to-be-ex-wife and cause them to reject prior agreements. It would also open the door for opposing counsels’ claims that you were having an affair during the marriage.
- Don’t introduce your new love interest to your kids. Introducing your children to a new dating partner can be treacherous, especially with someone who will make them feel uncomfortable. This may also cause them emotional confusion and pain.
- Don’t impregnate or get pregnant. You may think that pregnancy is the perfect solution to ending your marriage. But it could actually cause more problems. Pregnancy delays divorce proceedings because of verification procedures for paternity and custody determination.
- Don’t use online dating apps. The information you post on a dating site and app is public, which means that if your ex discovers it, they will be able to use this against you in court. At the very least – be cautious about what your dating app profile says.
Divorce is a difficult process, but it is only temporary. You will get through this stage in your life, and soon enough, you’ll have the freedom to do what makes sense for yourself without being tied down by regrets or old wounds.
The pain of a divorce can be unbearable. Divorcees may swing between feeling absolutely nothing finding fault with themselves and/or their ex-spouse for how things ended in an unhappy marriage or relationship. They may also feel guilty about ruining what was once beautiful between two people who used to love each other very much. The volatility often leads these individuals into new relationships as soon as possible. But for some, they shrink themselves and avoid talking to other people because they fear moving forward with their new relationship and life.
So, before you begin dating anyone, even before your divorce is final, take some time. Also, analyze your previous serious relationship to figure out how you feel about starting up again now or if you need to consider dating after divorce. Be sure to use your judgment and enjoy meeting people again!
Consult a reputable dating coach, divorce attorney, or law firm today for more divorced dating tips (and how to set up a post-divorce date).