Separated is NOT yet single!

ring in sink
Some online dating sites have SEPARATED as a category of dating status. I recommend my clients not get involved with people who are still legally married.

“But what if I am no longer with my spouse and want to move on and meet someone new?”

Then get a divorce!

Not to be harsh, but you are not single yet. IF you have a wife or husband, you are not yet available.

AND you should be upfront about this. There are singles out there that do not want to date someone that is still married, so you should not hesitate to reveal you are separated if you are.

I have had several clients mention that a guy or girl they were dating didn’t reveal they were still married until something happened to bring this out.


This is dishonest.

The person should have the choice of deciding whether or not they want to get involved with someone who has a spouse. Some people believe that they would be committing adultery if they dated a married person, despite that person not living in the same house with their wife/husband or even not having SEEN their spouse in months/years. To some it is adultery if you are legally still married.

Others are not comfortable knowing there is a spouse that you have not divorced and may get back together with. If there is ANY chance of you reconciling, don’t involve other people during your separation. That is not fair to anyone.

If there is NO way that you are reconciling, why are you still married? Why have you not gotten the divorce yet? What is the hold up? And can it be verified?

Singles, do not fall into a trap with a married person SAYING they are separated without any proof of this.  A legal separation is described as follows:
Legal separation (sometimes “judicial separation,” “separate maintenance,” “divorce a mensa et thoro,” or “divorce from bed-and-board”) is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is granted in the form of a court order.

Furthermore, in cases where children are involved, a court order of legal separation often makes temporary arrangements for the care, custody, and financial support of the children (“for the time being”). Thus, part of the court order determines child custody. Some couples obtain a legal separation as an alternative to a divorce, based on moral or religious objections to divorce.

Legal separation does not automatically lead to divorce. The couple might reconcile, in which case they do not have to do anything in order to continue their marriage. If the two do not reconcile, and they wish to proceed with a divorce, they must file for divorce explicitly.

Taken from

Singles, if you are dating someone now who says they are separated, ask them what exactly that means and what they intend the outcome to be. If they say they do not know, it is not wise to proceed. Certainly do not invest your heart into a relationship with them until/unless they are sure they are divorcing – and even then, be cautious until it really happens.

Separated people, do the right thing and check the separated box if online or tell them on the first date if you met them in person. Be open to explaining the status or state of the separation/divorce to the person you are interested in dating. They are not being nosy. They just want to be sure they are not being foolish by getting involved.

You do not have to tell them the entire story of what you and your spouse went through, but you do need to tell them what stage of the proceedings you are in.

It always comes out in the end.

Note: photo from

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