Dating Before the Divorce Is Final, Part 4


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

Jody    The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer

Dear AT, sounds to me like you know exactly what you want to do. Why are you letting your friend dampen your momentum? From what you wrote, I would say that you are a take-charge, action-oriented person. Let’s look at the facts here—you initiated your divorce and you recognize that life is short. If I have done the math correctly, you have been on a solo emotional/sexual train for over three years. So hop on that dating train, lady!

And as far as your friend is concerned, I’m wondering why her high falootin’ values have so much pull on you. My high falootin’ values say not only is it the right time for you, but three months into a separation is a perfectly respectable time to begin dating.

Many women I know feel paralyzed after a break-up or divorce and don’t feel ready for the dating scene. Then there are those who date and are still married and create a “don’t ask, don’t tell” scenario. And you certainly don’t fall into that category. Be honest about where you are in your process and when you meet someone, really listen to where he is.

You can and you should hold your head up high as you walk down the path to finding the right person for you. You have made the right choice at the right time. And if your friend doesn’t agree, that really says more about her than it does about you, doesn’t it?

Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.

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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