Dating Advice - How to Date When in Transition : Cyber Dating Expert
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Dating Advice – How to Date While in Transition


What happens when you meet someone online who isn’t quite over their ex yet? Perhaps they are recently separated from their spouse or were in a relationship that didn’t work out. How can you prevent yourself from being just a “transition person?”

It happens to the best of us. We go into relationships with the best of intentions. We fall in love. We talk about the future together. We get engaged. We get married. Sometimes our relationships end abruptly through death or betrayal. Sometimes they just run their course. Other times, you grow together as a couple and face the challenges together and come out stronger as a new couple.

Whatever the reason you find yourself single now, it’s important to heal and understand that it does take time for you to be ready to get involved with someone new. It’s quite likely that you don’t know exactly what you want when your life is in transition and your emotions are at an all time high. You know that you want companionship. You know that you want to fall in love again. You sign up for an online dating site, hoping to find someone to ease the pain and help you move on.

Like it or not, we sometimes need a transition person to help us through our life changes, divorces, or breakups.

Sometimes, without anyone’s fault, we end up becoming a transition person. Being a T.P. isn’t a disease. It can help both singles grow as they get back into the dating scene. It can be very helpful to the one who is going through a divorce or mourning the loss of a loved one. It can also be hurtful to the one who ends up being the transition person.

I spent many years being a transition person to a man I loved very much who was going through a divorce. He said I was ‘the one.’ He said he never felt this way about a woman before. I thought we were on the road to happily ever after. After several years, he just couldn’t commit to marriage just yet. He said he needed more time to heal. The ink was barely dry on his divorce papers and he just couldn’t sign up. I walked away and eventually he remarried. It was just a case of bad timing for us.

Now I am not here to discourage anyone from dating someone who may need a transition person or is going through a divorce or suffering the loss of a loved one. I’m just suggesting that you understand their needs now may differ from their needs down the road. The distraction of the legal issues, if going through a divorce may linger on for longer than anyone would expect. It can take a toll on your relationship.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, in order to enjoy your time in your new relationship, it’s important to communicate these issues when you first start dating. Once you know you have met someone you would seriously like to be involved with, express your concerns if you think this scenario might apply to you. Some singles will not date a man or woman whose status is “separated.” While there isn’t a category of ‘separated, divorce pending’ to select from, if you are not legally divorced, you are still married and may be unavailable.

The guy who broke my heart couldn’t imagine life without me. Although we talked about the future, he was not able to sign up for marriage so soon after his wife had betrayed him and had spent years in litigation. To this day, he thanks me for helping him start his life over. He is grateful that he had a transition person. I, on the other hand, vowed never to be that T.P. again. It would be like putting my hand back in the fire, a pain I would not subject myself to.

Is every transition person only there for the time being? Is it possible to be the transition person and actually be lucky enough to meet someone quickly after a death or divorce of your loved one? More often than not, a transition relationship will run its course. Not always, though. It is more common in cases of a difficult divorce than in an amicable divorce or the loss of a spouse. I know of many happily married couples that met shortly after one’s spouse had passed away. When someone once had a happy marriage, they are more likely to want to be married again. It isn’t about replacing someone, but adding someone into your life to create a new chapter with together.

To help you if you may be the T.P, try not to compare the new person in your life to the old one. There are many types of love and your new relationship will look and feel different than your significant other’s previous relationship. Make sure you both of you are emotionally available for a new relationship. If you are separated, don’t say you are divorced, even if there is no chance of reconciliation. Be honest about your relationship goals from the beginning. If your divorce is almost final, share those details with the new person in your life without dragging them into the emotional roller coaster you might be on.

The bottom line is, every relationship serves a purpose, but is limited. Don’t be angry if you were a transition person and don’t toss your relationship away without communicating or even going to counseling together if you think there’s a possibility it could work out.  Try to get over the hurt if it doesn’t work out with the help of friends. Try to remember the memories that you created together as a couple. If it’s possible to stay friends if you had a deep friendship, don’t toss that person away completely. They were in your life for a reason, even if it didn’t go the distance. Understand that being the transition person is harder for the one without the prior loss. Know that you are not alone when you are dating in transition and both of your lives can be enriched, even if the timing wasn’t right.

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker.  She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at where you can sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice.

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2 Responses to “Dating Advice – How to Date While in Transition”

  1. CAROL MOSSUTO on November 25th, 2014 3:42 pm

    Julie, just read what you had to say about the transitional people in your life . and it hit home the last relationship said the very same things to me that you mentioned happened to you… that’ he could not picture his life with out me in it ??? etc etc.. that they would never marry again. .in fact it has happened twice ,but both men became engaged again after stringing me along for a few years ‘ shades of Carrie and mr Big on]’ Sex and the City’; of course they got back to geather and married but that was a televison series
    not real life…. I GUESS I am the lady to see if you have just broken off with your ex,,, I will get you ready for the next real thing’ enough already ‘ I might add that I am also the lady that a former beau will seek out again if all goes wrong in the the relationship he formed after me,,,, I AM TAKING MY SHINGLE DOWN no more .P.T. THANK YOU VERY MUCH ‘

  2. Julie Spira on November 25th, 2014 4:23 pm

    Thanks for your comment Carol. I’m sorry that you had to go through this twice. Sometimes we learn the best lessons during these deeply emotional and romantic relationships. Know that real love could be around the corner and you can take your life lessons with you. My personal experience happened 15 years ago and there will always be a place in my heart for the good in that experience. The most important part about starting a new relationship is to communicate with your partner on what their relationship goals are. Men will be very honest upfront if they aren’t ready to commit. It’s important to take the time to listen.

    Wishing you much love and joy in cybesrpace, or wherever you may roam. xo

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