Q&A: What do you think about dating a man that is not yet divorced?

This question is from a former client (single female) who did the "Attract the Best" work with me. She gave me permission to share this with all of you.

Q: I was wondering if you have any information or input on dating a man that is not yet divorced. I have been talking to an old friend that reached out to me. His divorce will be finalized very soon. After a week or so of communicating I respectfully told him that I feel that right now is not the right time for us to be talking and that once his divorce is finalized, and some time has passed, if he wants to still contact me, I will be there. He understood and thanked me for my honesty. I honestly feel pretty bad about it though. I think what I would like is validation that what I did was right.

A: Short answer: You done did good!

Longer answer: Here's why:

  1. I've seen soooooooooooooo many people who enter relationships with someone whose divorce "will be finalized very soon." Sometimes that's very much the case, sometimes it's not. Hard to know. Dating while still married ("yeah, but my divorce is almost final, so we're really only technically married..." Uh, no. Until you ARE divorced you ARE married) is what we call around these here parts: poor boundaries. Starting a new relationship on poor and confused and unclear boundaries = dumb. You're not dumb.
  2. Grief takes time. Just because he thinks he's ready to start dating (or even exploring a possible relationship) BEFORE he's divorced doesn't mean he is. Grief is a process. Naturally, you have no desire to be a rebound--even though he wouldn't think you were and would tell you (probably sincerely) that you weren't, fact is nine times out of ten you would be in those scenarios.
  3. Wait for someone who has taken the time to REALLY get past their divorce, grieve that loss or change, do their own work on themselves to prepare for a healthy, successful new relationship (all of which takes some time and work). This type of person whose taken the time and done their work is saying 1. that they are worth it and 2. that you are worth that effort, too. Only date people who show through good boundaries that you are worth it.
  4. Most importantly, you trusted your gut/moral compass/instincts/intuition. ALWAYS a good call.

I am glad that he respected your honesty and boundaries. My question for you is: Though I think I know why, I still want to ask to make a point: Why do you feel bad about making an intelligent decision, based on clear boundaries and good intuition?

Her reply:

Thank you so much for the validation. It means a lot. I think I feel more sad than anything. We have a history and I felt that I was closing those doors. Regardless of those feelings, I respect myself and my boundaries, and I'm not going to compromise my dignity for some attention. I feel good about what I did. But yes, I'm human and my heart does hurt a little over it.

Hey! All of the things that you taught me really do work! :-) They might be a little painful to do when you're not used to doing them, but they will lead you to a healthy and happy relationship.

Thank you again for taking time to answer my question.