I could go on for days with marriage and divorce statistics, but I’d probably be repeating a lot of information that you have already heard a thousand times like “50% of all marriages end in divorce.” What that popular statistic should emphasize is the word “all” since there are some differences in the likelihood of a marriage’s success rate based on whether it is a first, second or even third marriage. Note: first marriages have the greatest success rate.
Nonetheless, the truth is that the older you are when you are single and dating, the more likely it will be that you will date a man who is either divorced or separated. As many of us know, both situations can bring a unique set of challenges.
Separation is a period of time when someone is not quite single but not exactly living as a married couple. Most states recognize legal separations in which the courts detail the rights and responsibilities of each partner living separately, without officially terminating the marriage. Even if a couple is convinced that a marriage is over, some states such as North Carolina and New York require a one-year legal and physical separation before a divorce is granted. With that said, “separation” means a lot of different things to different people. It can be a loose term thrown around when someone decides to take a break from marital responsibilities and challenges, but not the fringe benefits (aka sex); it can be interim break taken by two people who agree they aren’t the best fit for one another, or it can be a period of time when a couple commits to working on their issues while taking time apart. Dating a separated man can be a tough situation at best, and it can be a plain old predicament if you add children into the mix.
When you’re dating someone who’s separated, you’re dating someone who is still legally married which may not be a big deal to you on day one, especially if his wife lives in a different time zone. But dating a man who’s separated is every bit of the gamble it sounds. I, personally, am not the betting type. For others, cupid’s big shiny arrow knows no mark and you could find yourself not only falling in love, but falling into a big legal black hole. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself before investing your time, emotions and money: