Serious Question: Do You Judge People Who Date Before The Divorce Is Final?
Phaedra Parks appeared on Sunday night’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live” alongside Patti LaBelle. During the show, a fan asked the soon-to-be divorced mother of two whether or not she plans to begin dating again in the near future. The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star’s answer was simple: yes, but only after the divorce is final.
“Um, when I get divorced,” Parks, whose divorce is “in process,” said before flashing her wedding ring. “I’m still married.”
LaBelle and Parks’ mother, Pastor Regina Bell, who also appeared on the episode, applauded the reality star for that decision. The matriarchs in my family would certainly echo this sentiment if they were in on the conversation. They maintain a pretty solid stance when it comes dating married folk—even if those married folk are in the process of getting divorced.
“No matter how you slice it up, it’s adultery in the eyes of God,” is what they would say if they were a part of that discussion.
Being young and having zero relationship experience and minimal life experience of my own, I didn’t bother establishing my own opinions on the topic. I adopted the stance of my relatives, which seemingly stems from the Bible, without ever really putting much thought into it. But after spending a hot two minutes in the real world, my feelings began to sway, slightly. I got to know a beautiful couple; they’ve been in a loving and happy relationship for about ten years. Both are close to 50 years of age and the man is still married to a woman he tied the knot with in his 20s. His explanation for still being married: his estranged wife won’t grant him a divorce. She lives on the other side of the country, and they split long before he met his current partner, whom he wishes to marry but can’t until things are settled with his ex. I couldn’t imagine anyone looking down on them because of their situation. But perhaps it’s because I know and love them.
While I could certainly see how getting romantically involved with a person while you’re still technically married to someone else could get pretty messy, is it old-fashioned to expect people to wait until the state recognizes that their marriage is over before they try dating again?
Noirettes, please weigh in.