Tips for Dating Someone Who Isn’t Divorced Yet

Protecting Your Heart

Whenever we choose to date someone, we’re taking a risk—will it or won’t it work out is a question we always ponder. In that way, dating a partner who isn’t divorced yet is no different than dating someone who has always been single. Yet dating someone who is separated or in the midst of a divorce can present its own set of challenges. Each relationship is unique; there’s no magical equation that will tell us if any relationship will or won’t work, but we can be smart, ask the right questions, use a little common sense and not ignore the signs along the way.

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Between the current statistics on divorce and where we are in life, the chances of meeting someone who is divorced or in the midst of a divorce are pretty good. There are plenty of people out there who 10 years ago would have said, “There’s no way I’m dating someone who isn’t divorced yet.” Now they may find themselves reconsidering. And if you’re thinking about getting involved with someone in this position, there are probably a few things you should consider to protect your heart as much as you can while still being open to love. Here are a few tips for dating a partner who isn’t divorced yet:

1. Make Sure You Have the Relationship You Want
If you’re dating someone who isn’t divorced yet and you’re just dating for fun, as in friends-with-benefits, you may not care about all this advice. But know that as you continue seeing each other your feelings may change and evolve. If you’re dating in the hopes of finding someone to spend your life with, then you definitely want to know as much as possible about what’s going on between them and their ex and where your relationship stands in the process.

2. Ask Where They are in the Process of Their Divorce
Are they legally separated? Is it a trial separation? Have papers been filed yet? Are there kids involved? How long have they been split-up? Are they separated but still living under the same roof? If you’re dating someone who isn’t divorced yet, you have a right to know the answers to these questions in order to assess your own situation. Dating someone who is in the midst of a divorce is quite different than dating someone who just isn’t “sharing an address with someone.”

3. Keep Tabs on Their Progress
When you first met your partner, chances are they were in a certain phase of their divorce. Now that time has passed, are they still in that same phase or has their divorce continued to advance? This is important to know—it’s evidence that your partner is working on freeing themselves from one relationship so they can be fully present in yours.

4. Be a Good Listener and Observer
Not everything about the divorce will be made apparent to you, so it’s important to be a good observer. And if your partner wants to confide in you about their divorce, be a good listener. Things may come up naturally in conversation—between you and your partner. Other things you’ll observe in the way friends and family talk about your partner and their divorce. And other things will become apparent in the way your partner treats their ex. You don’t want to bombard someone with a barrage of questions, so look around, listen and don’t ignore things you don’t like. Sometimes when we see the world through the eyes of love, we can miss some stuff that really matters.

5. Ask the Right Questions
You have the right to know the details of your partner’s divorce, especially if you are in a committed relationship with them that could end in marriage. Ask the following questions:

  1. Who asked for the divorce?
  2. Why are they getting a divorce?
  3. Was there infidelity in the marriage?
  4. Are they on good terms with their ex?
  5. How often do they communicate? (You can’t expect the answer to be “never,” especially if they have children together.)
  6. Has getting divorced changed how they feel about long-term relationships, commitment and marriage?

You get the idea. The answers to these questions will help you protect your heart. It’s important to love with your heart, but also think with your head. Some people let their hearts discount what their heads are trying to tell them. Just make sure that this relationship feels right, and don’t lose sight of the relationship you really want.

The Upside

There is an upside to dating someone who isn’t divorced yet—you know this person is capable of commitment. It’s something you can never be sure of when dating someone who has never been married.

13 thoughts on “Tips for Dating Someone Who Isn’t Divorced Yet

  1. Quinn ext.5484Psychic Quinn

    Dear LJ,
    As always your compassion to help those in difficult situations shines like a mirror.
    Love & Light,
    -quinn

    Reply
  2. michelle

    You should never date until after divorce and exspeally while married. I don’t care if your marriage is on the rock’s or your not living together or not. To many people jump in things without thinking it though.. And people that can’t be faithful should never get married in the first place. There’s a special place in my heart for Chester’s. That special place is to burn in hell…

    Reply
    1. Alfred

      I see what you are saying.The one who I am involved with changed the rules as we go along.I play it by ear, not trying to become a yo yo.I admit it is stressful at times.Over all,fealing sorry for them got me into this mess.

  3. Mika

    Your article is a good one, Gayle’s point is also good.
    Fortunately, relationships are to be challenging enough without divorce.
    Wonderful job ladies=)
    My girls will be reading this article also

    Reply
    1. LJ

      Karen: That’s very true. We always take a chance when we fall for someone. Love is not for the faint of heart and neither is dating for that matter.
      ~LJ

  4. Jlynn

    That’s a bunch of bull. I made my husbands 5th wife. He is the one asking for the divorce. He is the one that can not commit stay an work on a marriage. He blamed all the wives before me for not staying and trying. I’ve done everything possible. He has admitted that he has mentally had affairs that he dreams of what it would be like to be with other women. Know your facts before giving anyone this advice. Apparently you are not christain based. Which is what is wrong with our country now. You should never encourage someone to date anyone that is not completely out of the relationship.

    Reply
    1. dmarantzdmarantz moderator

      This isn’t a Christian website. LJ’s advice is wonderful, but it is your choice whether to consider it or not. Best of luck finding Christian-based advice elsewhere.

    2. LJ

      Dear Jlynn: I’ve done my research and I know the facts. I’m not encouraging anyone to do anything – I don’t have that kind of power. All I’m doing is offering people in this position some solid, and proven methods of dealing with it and asking the right questions to make an educated, adult decision about their own lives. I don’t judge anyone. You made many assumptions in your comment, but you’re entitled to your opinion – everyone is. I wish you all the best in your current situation. What I would add is that the best predictor of someone’s behavior is their behavior in the past.
      ~LJ

  5. Gayle Marie

    My advice would be wait until the divorce is final before you start dating. Divorces are difficult at best, and once it’s finally over, most people need some down time to recover.

    Reply
    1. LJ

      Gayle: That’s good advice, but this is advice for people who are dating someone with a divorce in the works. You might be surprised at how many people are in this position. It’s not easy to find someone who isn’t in the middle of some life drama and love and attraction don’t always follow such straight paths. But I think your point is a valid one. Thanks for the comment.
      ~LJ

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