The Painful Downside of Dating a Separated Man

Are you dating a separated man? You face a lot of potential issues when dating a man who is not done with his divorce. Find out why this might not be your best strategy to find true love.

dating a separated man, understanding menThe Inside Scoop on Dating a Separated Man

So, you met a man online who is really cute and a lot of fun. Yeah – finally. He seems into you and ready to spend time together. You text, talk on the phone and go out on dates. So far so good.

He’s not divorced yet, but what the heck right? He’s not living with his wife any more so that’s a good thing.

Then something shifts. He starts to have less time for you. Maybe he reveals some of the struggles from his on-going divorce. His schedule with his kids isn’t settled yet. He has court dates. His job is stressful. He’s fighting with his not yet ex. His children act out. Wow – there’s a lot going on.

And all of this stuff takes its toll on YOU!

See, the inside scoop on dating a separated man is that he is not divorced yet. That means he is STILL MARRIED.

Divorce Is Hard

I realize this is stating the obvious, but in most cases, divorce is extremely difficult. There are so many things that need to be worked out like:

  • Finances
  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Division of Property
  • Child support
  • Alimony

In addition, divorce has a massive emotional component. Breaking up is rarely easy no matter what the reason. So it’s hard to heal until everything has been completed and the dust settles. Therapists agree that can take a minimum of one year and often longer.

So dating a separated man opens you to havoc and strife. He’s not ready for a true relationship. His heart is not healed or available. He has so much to figure out, work out and go through. How can he be the loving, supportive, fun guy you dream of with all this weighing him down?

The simple answer is HE CAN’T!

The Drawbacks of Men Who Aren’t Divorced Yet

  1. They don’t know what they want
  2. They are not emotionally available
  3. They are confused about romance and relationships
  4. They have not healed the wounds of their current relationship
  5. They aren’t ready for a serious relationship
  6. They might just want emotional support, sex or ego boosting
  7. They are still connected to their ex, even if they hate her
  8. They are often embroiled in a difficult struggle
  9. They are smothered in loads of drama
  10. They might want your help to get through it, but then they’ll move on

Given this list (which doesn’t cover every possibility) does it sound to you like dating a separated man is a good idea? DON’T DO IT!

If you are looking for lasting love and a long-term relationship, a separated man is a very poor choice. This is true no matter who he is or how good it COULD BE. You are not dating a man’s potential.

You are dating him with all his problems and warts. And you will be exposed to his pain and drama and will not remain untouched or above it all. No way. You ‘ll be sucked in and sucked down in the vortex of drama along with him.

Looking for True Love? Date Men Who Are Available

If a lasting, loving relationship is your main objective, you need to find a man who is relationship ready. He needs to be healed from divorce or breakups. He needs to be divorced for at least one year if not longer so time has passed and the emotional dust has settled.

Do NOT date men who cannot meet this basic criteria. If you do, you are boldly CHOOSING drama and pain. You deserve better. You deserve to be with a good man who wants what you want. Being in alignment regarding your dating agenda gives you a solid foundation to build on. It won’t always work out, but your chances are about a thousand times better.

It’s not that he isn’t a good person – he might be wonderful. Just not right now. Don’t think he’ll get better while you are dating him. You might be his transitional woman, but he won’t likely see you as “The One”. You might be “The One” who helped him get through the divorce, but most often you’ll be abandoned.

That’s why my dating advice is loud and clear – don’t start dating a separated man.


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony,,, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

25 thoughts on “The Painful Downside of Dating a Separated Man”

  1. Great thread Ronnie. I have a relationship offer from someone who has been a close friend for 20 years. We dated briefly 10 years ago, but i wasn’t ready to settle down. He got married 6 years ago (now has kids) and we kept the friendship, I traveled the world so didn’t see him much. He separated a year ago, but knew it wasn’t right after one year. He made it clear he wants to be with me and always has, he wants to have children with me. (Sparked of by me saying I’m going back to dating and I’m ready to start a family). He sees it as 2 years before divorce and starting family (I have no children and i’m 40). we can start dating now and move in around 7 months from now. He treats me well (I love for him too), to me separated is unavailable. I wouldn’t feel comfortable sleeping with a separated man. I want to make this work, but it comes with limitations. He’s making plans for me, so i could go with it and trust the process, as we both know our friendship could be at risk. My fear is putting myself on hold, but i know in my heart his intentions are good.

    • Hey Lovely, This is a predicament. Only you can decide if it’s worth the risk. The downside is you could risk your friendship and find out in two years things didn’t work out and then be 42 wanting a baby. Making plans is great, but who knows how things will turn out because the best laid plans can fail. You would be dating and sleeping with a married man until his divorce is final and that is a super stressful time filled with limitations. But you’ve also known him 20 years. What if he sees you as convenient or is he seriously thinking of a future with you? You have to look with in, ask for guidance and help. Make a giant list of pros and cons and weigh them out. Date for a 3 months to see how it goes – you could learn a lot doing that to make your decision easier. Right not you don’t have enough knowledge. Listen to your own inner guidance and pray for a sign – that’s my best advice.

    • Good for you Lisa! That’s a way to be there for yourself, learn from the past and move on to something far better!

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