Dating a man who is separated is completely different, from dating a single man. Does he have children? Has he dated other woman? Is he still in love with his wife? How long has he been back in the dating market – and how many women is he dating, at the moment? Are you dating a separated man with children or someone who won’t divorce?
Read on to learn more for some helpful tips in my new guide.
Dating A Separated Man – 6 Things To Consider
1. How recent is the separation? Is he acting like a husband?
A man who is recently separated will be re-entering the dating market, relatively quickly. It may have been years since he has dated, and his most recent relationship may have been with his wife. He may not know what he wants at all – but, regardless of the reasons for the separation, you need to consider that his role has been a ‘husband,’ and he may, slip into that role, too quickly, and easily with you.
Feel free to ask how long he has been single for, and how many people he has dated. This may seem a bit rude, to ask a single person, right from the start. However, you need to prepare yourself, when you are dating a man who is separated, and gauge his emotional readiness, when it comes to dating, and forming a future commitment.
If has already been dating, and seen a few women, then he is clearly more ready to date. However, if you are the first person he has dated, since his separation, then you need to realize that he is still figuring out the dating scene, and the chances, naturally, of forming a future relationship, are significantly lower.
Cupid may have other plans, and you could be the loves of each other’s lives, but it’s best to take a realistic position, and not over commit if he is recently separated.
2. Emotional baggage
Separation and a possible divorce is a difficult time for anyone. Learning to live a ‘solo’ life, once you have been a couple, has many challenges.
A person’s identity is often rooted in their relationships, and your man may now be a part-time Dad, newly single man, who is juggling his time, in a new way. Perhaps, he also is working through some tough emotional issues, as well. Separation and divorce are some of the most stressful life events there are.
A separated man may have deep seated trust issues, when it comes to women if he has been betrayed, by his wife. This is natural, and learning to trust again, will be a challenging journey for him. The heartbreak of a failed marriage and the fall-out may be ongoing.
There may be custody issues, maintenance issues, and disputes over personal property. It’s important to remember that a man’s confidence may have been deeply affected by the breakup of his marriage.
You will have to judge for yourself, as you date this man, what his issues are, and whether you can handle them. This is true for all relationships, but, technically, you are dating a married man, and until the divorce papers are signed, it’s a significantly higher risk option, for you.
3. Kiss and tell you about his soon to be ex
There has to be a firm boundary, and you need to make this very clear, from date one. Although you are dating a man who is separated, and it is natural to talk about ex-partners, you need to communicate that you are not interested in the intimate details of his marriage.
Not only the physical ones but the emotional ones too. While he may feel compelled to compare you to his wife and compliment you – which is flattering – you are more friendly, attractive, a good listener, and so much more amazing… than his wife, this is not suitable.
While he may naturally talk about his relationship, you will need to make it clear, that you are your own person, and while he is welcome to compare you both, in his head, you are a unique person, who deserves her own unique compliments. No second hand, comparison compliments. If there are too many, and it’s ongoing, he’s probably not ready to date anyone.
4 . The wolf pack & Wild boy’s nights out & Bootycalls
Does your man have a wolf pack? Who are his friends? Are they encouraging him to let loose, and visit strip clubs, and what type of dates does he like? Does he always want to go out to nightclubs? Visit bars? There may be a natural period, for some men, when they are letting their proverbial hair down, and partying like a student, regardless of their age.
Know your own value, and recognize that late night texting, and romantic dates, are two different things, altogether. Are you dating casually, and simply enjoying each other’s company, or are you looking for a more serious relationship?
If all your dates, and socializing, are confined to clubs and cocktail bars, it’s a red flag that this is definitely casual dating. It may be fun, and exciting, to party too, and enjoy his spirited company, but realize that you will not develop a good connection, and relate to each other, on more than this level.
5. You are not his therapist or shoulder to cry on
Does he spend a lot of time talking to you, about the breakup of his marriage? Does he treat you like a good friend, and pour his heart out? Women are good listeners, and if your dates turn into counseling sessions, then you need to be firm and nip it in the bud.
While you do offer emotional support, and are a friend, and do care, you are not a therapist. It may be tempting to ‘date’ you because you are a great listener, and it may feel like you are being intimate, together, sharing the emotional details, and journey, together – building a future relationship based on sharing, and caring.
This is not true, and you are, both, damaging your budding romance. Women are much more used to being emotionally vulnerable and sharing their feelings with one another. Men, generally, are less likely to talk about their feelings, with anyone. It is not that you don’t care, but being a friend, and shoulder to cry on, when you are dating, is not appropriate.
You may be very attracted to this man, and want to be seen as warm-hearted, and caring, but, your connection is being built on emotional heartache, and not the butterfly excitement, of romance, and attraction. You want to be wooed, not a shoulder to cry on, and you want to develop intimacy and get to know each other.
This would happen, naturally, as your relationship develops. Nip it in the bud, and kindly suggest that your date needs to speak to a counselor, and realistically, if he is spending a lot of time talking about his issues, then he is probably not ready to date anyone.
6. Dating a separated man with children
Dating a separated man with children can be a tricky thing. The most important thing to remember – beyond the flutters of excitement you both feel about this new relationship – is that the children are the most important thing.
If their parent’s separation is a recent thing, their whole worlds will have just been uprooted, and there may be some anger, confusion or sadness. Children can make these things obvious by acting out or being “naughty”, which can add to the stress of a new relationship.
Your man will need to be making time to see his children, and you should understand that they are his number one priority (if they are not then you should run for the hills, as a small aside!) so don’t throw your toys out of the pram if he can’t see you every weekend, or if he has to give up his evenings to help with homework or watch football matches or ballet recitals.
They may take time to warm to you, so don’t leap in there with hugs and gifts and “I’m going to be your new mummy!” Be sensitive to their needs, a listening ear when they need it, and support your man in his desire to spend time with his offspring.
A man’s mind is too complicated. A time of separation, in a marriage, may lead to divorce, or, it may also be a period apart, that leads to reconciliation. If a man is separated, there are various factors that you need to consider, before accepting a date or continue dating.
Each person is different, but there are some basic guidelines to follow when dating a man who is separated. There are a few questions that you need to carefully consider, for example – are they ready to date? How busy is he? Do you want a relationship with this person, or are you dating casually?
You also need to be careful too, as a man who is separated may not be looking for a serious relationship at all. It’s best to proceed with caution when dating a separated man who won’t divorce. Until the papers are signed, he is a married man, and not ‘single’, regardless of his dating, or Facebook, status.