Dating Before the Divorce Is Final


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

My husband and I are divorcing after five years of marriage. Since we live in California, we have to be separated for six months before the official divorce paperwork can begin. We’re three months into our separation, but we were unofficially separated for about six months prior to our legal separation (which I initiated). My husband moved back to Texas to be closer to his family. Now that he’s out of my life physically and now that we’re three months away from being legally divorced, I’m ready to begin dating again. I mentioned this to a friend and she was mortified, saying that it would be in poor taste to date anyone until my divorce is final. Our marriage was dead after two years so I’ve had plenty of time to get used to not having my husband in my life. And I’m not getting any younger. What do you think?—AT

 Darren    The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox

Go for it! Just because you’re wearing all black these days does not mean you’re in mourning. Just go down the dating path as slowly and cautiously as possible. Chances are you’ve experienced a lack of attention since choosing to get a divorce and any attention you garner initially may seem to come from the man of your dreams. Don’t tie yourself down when you’re fresh out of the gates again. How long were you with the soon to be ex? Doesn’t matter! There’s a new crop out there just ripe for the picking. Smell the colognes. Squeeze some melons.

And as far as that friend of yours is concerned, she’s likely not yet used to the fact that she needs to see you in a whole new light. All too often we visualize someone with her partner for too long and have a hard time seeing Jane hanging out with Juan instead of Dick. She’ll come around. So will everyone else. I’m sure you’ll experience some awkward times to come in your future, but look at it this way, you could get run over by a semi-truck tomorrow. Why wait until your divorce is final before getting back on the road to love recovery? Just remember to be honest with the guys you meet. If you let them know exactly what your situation is, I don’t see why it would be an issue.

Check in tomorrow to read the straight woman's perspective by Rebecca Brown.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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