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Should She Start Dating If She's Not Divorced Yet?

How to begin doing online dating when you are separated. Relationship with soon to be ex is still friendly & supportive. Difficulty in having privacy. If you meet someone & in the flow of becoming acquainted you share FB info then they have info on your life & who you may have seen or hung out with recently. For example, someone I already have on FB is now interested. How do I handle things if I decide to go out & share pictures of my outings if I’m hanging out with others?

I think the first thing you need to do is be upfront about your situation. For many, dating someone separated is considered inappropriate. To them, separated means still married. What matters, though, is what it means to you.

If you know your divorce is imminent and there's no chance of a reconciliation, then your first priority is making potential dates aware of your situation. Let them decide if they want to pursue anything romantic with you. Let's face it, separations are tricky. They're a form of limbo. Anyone who has waded into these waters know that can be choppy and unpredictable. Nobody likes to have the rug pulled from under them after they've become invested. You have to keep that in mind if you plan on socializing with the intent of meeting people to date.

If you're going to try online dating or dating apps, I would put in your profile that you are newly separated. If the divorce is a done deal, then say it's just a matter of getting the paperwork together and signed. I'll be honest and tell you that I advise people against engaging anyone that states in their profile that they are separated. Frankly, I question anyone that jumps at the chance to go out with someone they know is recently separated. To me, that's a sign they're not looking for anything serious or hoping just to get laid. Now, if that's what you want, then cool. If not, be aware that people willing to overlook the fact that you're not divorced should be approached with caution. Critical thinking in this situation is, well, critical. Ask yourself why someone would be so eager to get involved with a person who isn't fully or truly available yet. More than likely, they're unavailable in some way themselves. Again, if this works for you, great. Just stay alert, because unavailable people are usually unavailable for a reason even they are not aware of yet.

As for social media, I would avoid posting anything to do with your current situation. I would also avoid accepting friend requests or adding new friends to your Facebook or Instagram pages during this time. For one, you don't want people knowing your business. For two, there's always that one person with an empty life just dying to have something to gossip about. If you have a good relationship with your ex, you're going to want to keep it that way, especially if there's children involved. That's the other thing: if you have kids and they don't know you're dating, you can be sure they'll find out if you post it to Facebook, even if they don't follow you. Make sure everyone is on the same page before you dive head first into the dating pool.

I understand the desire to want the world to see you living your best life. I get it. Just understand that not everybody on your friends list is a true friend. That is especially true of people you've just met. People you barely know that want immediate access to your social media are after one thing: information. This is why I always suggest to clients they keep their social media on lock down if they post anything sensitive or too personal to their pages. The reality is, there are a ton of creeps out there who will see a newly separated woman and think she'll be easy to manipulate. A quick tour of your accounts will tell them everything they need to know if they plan on ingratiating themselves into your life. If you deny someone access and they try to argue why they're not a threat, run away. They are, in fact, a threat.

Take your time letting people into your world, online and off. I would hold off on posting photos of your outings until you're officially divorced. Even then, I'd be hesitant to post anything. Until you're on solid footing in regards to your divorce, keep your private life private. Break-ups are tough regardless of the dynamics involved. Rushing to post photos of your new life won't just look insensitive, it is insensitive considering your split doesn't sound acrimonious in any way. Even if it were, my advice would be the same. Probably even more so, as you wouldn't want to feed your ex any information to use against you in a divorce proceeding. Things are always good until they aren't. Divorce can be a form of trauma for many. How we react in times of trauma often contradicts our behavior outside of it.

For now, I would say ease into your new life slowly and make sure you know what you want and what you can reasonably offer someone while you're in this holding pattern.

Good luck!

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