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Separated, Divorce Pending

Separated, Divorce Pending

Have you ever gone out on a date with someone you believed was single and available only to find out their divorce wasn’t final?

Every week, I hear stories of members of online dating sites claiming to be single, when in fact they either haven’t filed for divorce yet or their divorce isn’t final. Technically and legally, these people are still married. Sure, they may know for sure there’s no chance of reconciliation. ?They also know they’ll have a better chance of meeting someone if their status does not say “Separated” on their online dating profile. Perhaps they will utilize the Facebook relationship status category of “It’s Complicated.” I believe they should state from the onset, “Separated, Divorce Pending.”

Recently I wrote an article about this epidemic on Huffington Post called, “Is Your New Beau Separated, Divorce Pending?” ?This status of “Separated, Divorce Pending” does not exist on any of the online dating sites and I invite and challenge the Internet dating industry that permit separated individuals as members to add this status. Let’s see who jumps in first to add it on their menu. If you have experienced this phenomenon, I’d like to hear from you. Now, onto the original article from Huffington Post.


It?s becoming an epidemic is appears. Profiles of singles on online dating sites with the status of ?Divorced,? when in reality they are ?Separated, Divorce Pending.?

It?s not just happening online. A recent friend of mine was set up on a date with an attorney. During dinner he mentioned his ex-wife in the conversation. When she innocently questioned him about how long he had been divorced, there was a moment or two of silence, followed by, ?Well, I?m, um, well, not really divorced.? He added, ?It?s complicated. A financial matter, but we?re not getting back together.?? A week later another date with a man she met online also admitted over dinner that his divorce was not final. When she asked him, ?Why don?t you state your status as ?Separated?? he replied, ?Because no one will go out with me if I say I?m ?Separated.?

In coaching men and women who are in that in between stage that I call, ?Separated, Divorce Pending,? I tell them to be honest. State you are ?Separated.? If your divorce is almost final, add that into the body of your online dating profile so a potential date or mate will know that there?s truth-in-advertising before responding to your email introduction.

More often than not, someone who is separated might need to have a transition person, that one very important relationship in between his or her marriage or long term relationship which typically runs its course and ends. Not all transition relationships end, but if you start out with honesty, you?ll have a greater chance of success regardless of the length of your relationship.

As one who also experienced the ?Separated, Divorce Pending? phenomenon with a man I met online, I personally know what it feels like to find out that an apparently available and compatible single ended up being ?Separated? instead of ?Divorced.? On our fourth date when it looked like the relationship could go somewhere, I said, ?I have a feeling that the ink is barely dry on your divorce papers.? My date back peddled and said he hadn?t filed yet, even though they were separated for over a year. My heart sank and I wished he had told me the truth from the beginning.

So I encourage those in transition to be authentic in representing your relationship status. And I challenge the online dating sites to create a new category for the relationship status of ?Separated, Divorce Pending.? It sounds better than ?It?s Complicated? and with the large amount of singles in dating in transition; I believe it deserves a category of its own.

Can you relate? We’d like to hear your stories.

Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.

9 thoughts on “Separated, Divorce Pending”

  1. Yes, I can most defiantly relate. I have been seperated for almost six months. I tried everything I could to reconcile with my wife after she told me she wanted out. I started to believe there had to be someone else but she said their wasn’t. There were too many signs so I started to dig deeper and that’s when I found out she was in fact having an affair but to my utter shock it was with another woman. I confronted her and she didn’t deny it this time. Even knowing all that had happened I asked her if there was any part left that she be willing to work on our marriage and she told me no. From that day I filed papers and have considered myself divorced. Now I am an honest man and always show my online status as seperated but I agree that there should be an additional category of “seperated, divorce pending”. I believe when someone sees “seperated” you are automatically dismissed. I’m not bitter about it because I know there are several bad men out there who have lied and hurt so many that it gives all men a bad reputation. It is just unfortunate, I am not a player or looking to re-marry tomorrow. But most women won’t even start a conversation with you while you are “seperated”. This is what leads many to “lie” about their status. This is something I refuse to do. The worst thing I could imagine would be to start a promising new relationship and then have to explain why you lied about your marital status. All of thoses in a situation similar to mine, we just have to be patient, even though it is painful to wait.

  2. Thank you Mark for sharing your very personal story. I’m sorry that your marriage did not work out, but am enthusiastic to see that you’re being honest about your relationship status in your online dating profile.

    I wish you the best of success in finding love online. Keep us posted on your progress and let us know if we can lend a digital hand.

    Julie Spira

  3. I can definitely relate to this.

    I have been separated from my ex for just about a year now (She moved out about a year ago). In 10 days I sign my final affidavit confirming that we have been separated for a year and still wish to proceed with an uncontested divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences…. then we wait for the courts to process the paper (Where I live you need to be separated a year before you can file for a divorce, unless there is adultery/abuse involved)

    I decided about 4-5 months ago that I would give online dating a try. I myself am a very honest person, so therefore I have indicated “separated” on my profile. Now yes… I agree this does kill your opportunities, most people do not understand the grueling process of a divorce and how time consuming it really is. But if we stand back and really evaluate our situation, would you date someone who was separated? Prior to beginning of my divorce process, I would have said no. But now that I am sitting on the other side of the table, I understand the process and am more understanding. I would date someone who was separated, but it would be the first topic of conversation in order to clear the air so that both parties understand clearly what the situation is.

    Despite the taunts and remarks from my friends, I refuse to lie on my online profile and indicate that I am single or divorced to bring up my stats.

    I finally think that I get what it takes to make a relationship to work, and honesty and transparency is the way to go in my opinion. Even from the very beginning.

    Mark all the best buddy, you are not alone out there. I like to think that we are good men, and all we have to do is to keep on trying.

    Love is not going to simply fall in our lap bumming about at home.

    Be good.

  4. I have have a number of dating sites refuse to let me create a profile is I say I was married but am currently separated. To create a profile, in some cases there is no choice choice but to put single or divorced. In reality, many couples are genuinely separated but divorces take time and money. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to use these sites in the meantime. There is nothing legally or morally wrong with dating while a divorce is pending. I would happily state that on the profile if I was rejected to telling the truth.

  5. I have had a number of dating sites refuse to let me create a profile if I say I was married but am currently separated. To create a profile, in some cases there is no choice but to put single or divorced. In reality, many couples are genuinely separated but divorces take time and money. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to use these sites in the meantime. There is nothing legally or morally wrong with dating while a divorce is pending. I would happily state that on the profile if I not rejected by telling the truth.

  6. Thanks for your comment Sara. Many sites do let you state your status as “Separated.” For now, it’s best to be honest and use those sites or indicate in your profile your true relationship status. Every site does have their own rules and terms of service. I hope you can find one that works for you.

  7. I agree with Mark (I know he posted that comment last yr so I hope he finally got divorced and found a new person in his life). I too have been separated for almost a year. Wife is the one who wanted the divorce so she is going to be the one to file. I was not in a hurry because I have no one in my life. I tried the online dating websites and none of them are separated men friendly. I feel its a double standard. Separated women are accepted with open arms. But separated men are treated like the plague. I happen to know that the soon to be ex is seeing another woman (she will never admit it to me) so I have had it with women. I have always been faithful, kind, responsible, an excellent dad, and a good provider. Meanwhile those men who are jerks, abusers, drug/alcohol abusers, etc. are the ones with the most beautiful women. It really gets hard to move on after 50 when no one wants you. So I guess I will stay alone until death or start going out with men.

  8. As a newly separated individual I was both embarrassed and mortified to find out my son to be ex was seen having a profile on a dating website. For all intents and purposes, separated is still legally married. Several dating sites refuse to open accounts for anyone separated because of this fact. I agree with this and feel if you decide to check the “divorced” box to create said profile you are being dishonest with any person seeking an honest relationship. If someone is willing to check that box, even though it isn’t 100% factual it does nothing but diminish the potential relationship and set a precedent for future half truths in that relationship. Not a good way to start, is it? So for those of you legally separated and looking for new love, in my humble opinion you should wait until the divorce is finalized before creating those profiles because it is the honest thing to do and a person looking for a relationship built on honesty deserves that respect.

  9. I don’t care if you’re “not married” in your world. If you’re separated you’re still married. And if you can’t wait until the ink is dry to date, you shouldn’t be dating.

    I don’t get what the hurry is or why someone can’t wait…I’ve dated a separated woman and got dragged into all of her divorce BS and had some nasty encounters with the husband. Not to mention I had to deal with the woman’s unprocessed feelings because she just wanted to jump to something else so she didn’t feel alone…NEVER will I do that again.

    Out of respect for your “new love-to-be”, don’t be selfish and drag some new person through your baggage.

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