Dating Before the Divorce Is Final, Part 3


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

Chris    The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy

Poor taste? Listen, technically, it’s poor taste to promise to be with someone until death do you part and then renege on that promise and get a divorce, so I say let’s let go of the silly judgment on questions of taste. Your friend is holding on to some semantics issue that seems a little irrelevant. So she’s fine with you dating in three months? All of a sudden your manners are intact if you wait 90 days to date? A magical wind will blow over the bluffs of the nearby ocean bringing manners and good taste? As they say in the O.C., whatever.

I’m going to get Talmudic on you now. If not now, when? It’s a good sign you’re ready to date. You want companionship. You want to love and to be loved. You wanna date? Date. Life’s too short. You don’t need a piece of paper to tell you when your relationship is over. You’ve been without romance for a while, so I see why you’re eager. Go out and look. (Note: I’ve never read the Talmud and probably never will—some versions are 5,900 pages. But if you do and find any more dating advice gems, let me know. Cosmo ain’t cuttin’ it lately.)

It probably won’t happen right away but that’s OK. Don’t fret. Use this time to really figure yourself out before you jump into another relationship or another marriage that doesn’t work.

You are on the rebound whether you feel you are or not.

Now, let’s say you get some dates. Some will say you should tell him your situation. I agree. Not necessarily on the first date, but when it seems appropriate. I don’t think you need to force it but it also feels like you’re hiding something if you don’t mention it and he finds out some other way.

Not being honest with your date or yourself, that is poor taste. That’s probably in the Talmud too.

Check in tomorrow to read the gay woman’s perspective by Jody Fischer.

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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