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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, for the first time I will be dating in my 30s. And for the first time a lot of my peers are married, divorced, or in the process. My oldest boyfriend so far has been 28.<br><br><br><br>
So my question is, at what point is it ok to date someone who is not yet legally divorced? Of course if someone said they were getting one, I'd first of all, want proof, want to know how long it's been, what the hold up is (is he being a jerk about negotiations?) and if I would be getting myself involved with an evil ex. Everyone has baggage, but if the ex is going to be a major factor, I'd have to think about that.<br><br><br><br>
I'm also wondering because I've thought a lot about infidelity, marriage and respect for other people's relationships. I've been cheated on and the third party knew I existed, pursued my SO for a long time and justified it by making judgments about the quality of our relationship. And that's something I never want to do to someone else- to judge a relationship I am not a part of and use it to justify my own selfish desires. If a person's relationship is bad, they can leave it first.<br><br><br><br>
I also have a couple of friends who have cheated on their SOs with people who were married, and I am not sure how to react to that. I feel like it's an insult to committed relationships everywhere. The one slept with in one case, and started a relationship in the other, with people who had moved out from their spouse, had recently or soon would be, filing for divorce, but their spouse didn't want the divorce and were unhappy about the extramarital happenings. The other friend started a relationship with someone who was happily married. I don't want to lecture my friends. But I don't want to tacitly condone it, either.<br><br><br><br>
I don't think I feel comfortable with the idea that if someone tells me they told their wife they are leaving her last week, that now he's fair game. I think there is some sort of period in which that relationship could go either way, and at least out of respect, there should be some buffer period. If my husband left me, I'd feel it was a slap in the face if he immediately went running to some other woman after kids and how ever many years of marriage.<br><br><br><br>
Maybe I just have "traditional" feelings about respecting marriage and other committed relationships. What do you all think?
 

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I believe there should be that "buffer" period when the couple are in state of limbo where they should be thinking about their decisions towards ending the relationship. During this period I don't feel like either of them should be trying to engage with someone else for this could hinder any sort of resolution. However, like you, I also am very "traditional" in that sense.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thalia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
I don't think I feel comfortable with the idea that if someone tells me they told their wife they are leaving her last week, that now he's fair game.</div>
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You answered your own question. If you don't feel comfortable with something, you shouldn't be doing it.<br><br><br><br>
As far as divorce goes, there are a hundred different scenarios - contested, uncontested, kids, etc. You can't make up one rule and expect it to fit every scenario - go case by case, and think about how you really feel - no how you should feel, or how he wants you to feel about the situation.<br><br><br><br>
As far as cheating in general, cheating is when you break a promise/rule of the relationship. Everyone has different rules though - I myself am in a semi-open relationship, so our rules are different than other people's rules.
 

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I am not a lawyer. I don't even play one on TV.<br><br><br><br>
However, it is my understanding that adultery is still a crime in many states in the US. True, it is probably very seldom prosecuted, but it is still a crime on the statute books. It might be worth your while to find out the status of the laws against adultery in your state (I am assuming your prospective BF is in your state) and possibly even call the District Attorney's office and have a chat with the DA.<br><br><br><br>
The other thing you might need to consider is that if you become sexually involved with a person who is not yet officially and finally divorced, then you might be drawn into the divorce proceedings by the other party/the wife (as "causing" the divorce). In older times, the wife could even sue you civilly for the tort of "alienation of affections," although again I would think this is rare today.<br><br><br><br>
If I were in your shoes, I would want to get a copy of the court records on the divorce from the court. At a minimum, I would want to get a copy of the petition for divorce, and any response document. If these papers have not been filed with the court, then I would definitely not become involved with the allegedly "divorcing" person. Even if they had been filed, I would still be cautious. I believe that many couples file for divorce and then withdraw from the proceedings or otherwise reconcile.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know what the situation is in your state, but here in Tennessee you can basically meet with any lawyer for an "initial consultation" for free. If that is true in your state, I'd recommend you talk with two or three attorneys who specialize in divorce work. They should be able to advise you on this during an initial consultation meeting.
 

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I personally have no experience in dating at all, so take my advice with a grain of salt.<br><br><br><br>
However, I would not be comfortable dating someone right after a divorce or even just a break-up with a SO. It seems to me that people who immediately try to start a new relationship probably won't be looking for another long-term one. They usually just want a fling.<br><br><br><br>
I know there are a lot of factors in choosing a boyfriend, but his current life situation should be fairly important. Someone going through a turbulent time in life, such as a divorce, probably isn't going to put dating as a top priority. If he does, he probably has ulterior motives, like sex or making his wife jealous. But of course, every situation is different, and it's hard to make a decision based on one factor when you can't weigh it with the others.
 

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Here's what an advice column tells divorcing men about dating during the final stages of their divorce:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><br><b>last stages of the divorce<br><br></b><br><br>
The last leg of the divorce process involves settling all the paperwork and getting things in order. As the divorce is not final, you must be sure to behave and keep your pecker tucked away.<br><br><br><br>
Having romantic encounters during the last stages of your official and final separation can have disastrous effects on the divorce.<br><br><br><br>
It's a good idea to avoid dating altogether before the divorce is finalized. Not only will it save you some explanation in court as to why you were eager as a beaver, but it will also speed up the process and set you free in no time. You wouldn't want a fling to taint your image in court during the last stages of the divorce; especially if she's asking for the Beemer.</div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://www.askmen.com/dating/datingadvice/46_dating_tips.html" target="_blank">http://www.askmen.com/dating/datinga...ting_tips.html</a><br><br><br><br>
ETA: See also this article:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.divorceinfo.com/dating.htm" target="_blank">http://www.divorceinfo.com/dating.htm</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Joe- the point that a person could end up being dragged into court is a good one. Adultery laws are pretty much never prosecuted, but a person could still be asked to testify if the ex wants to portray your dating partner as a playboy.<br><br><br><br>
And of course we've all heard stories of people who say they are in the process, and that turns out to be total BS.<br><br><br><br>
If the divorce process were taking a very very long time, I'd have to wonder in what way the person I was dating was responsible for that. Were they making unreasonable demands? Dragging things out as a way of hanging on or acting out their anger? Using custody as a weapon? Of course the ex can be doing that, too, but it takes two. At some point one party can cut their losses and agree to something and end it all.
 

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I'd just be friends until the divorce is over, unless the ex is okay with it. Does his soon-to-be-ex know he's dating? There are cases where the former couple don't completely hate each other and don't mind the other dating. (I only know one, but at the same time, I only know one person my age who is divorced).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>froggythefrog</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I am a "please be legally divorced" person. People play games and I'd rather not be a part of one if I can avoid it.</div>
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I agree. I'd be afraid of getting screwed over if I got in a situation like that.
 

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Having gone through this recently, I can tell you that it's not like you just turn in papers and a couple days later you're divorced. The process takes about 6 months, and that is if there are no complications. There are about 3 or 4 times you turn in paperwork, each time having required notarized signatures and waiting periods. If you have kids or assets, it's worse.<br><br><br><br>
I honestly doubt that if two people are seriously interested in each other and one of them is in the divorce process, they'll be "just friends" until the final papers come.<br><br><br><br>
Ultimately it's up to the non-married person to decide whether it's worth it, but it just seems like many posts so far are very black & white. Life tends to be quite the opposite - especially when it comes to love-related emotions.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Joe</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
It might be worth your while to find out the status of the laws against adultery in your state (I am assuming your prospective BF is in your state) and possibly even call the District Attorney's office and have a chat with the DA.<br></div>
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I think the DA would be pretty low on my list of people to call if I was considering breaking a law.<br><br><br><br>
YMMV
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OregonAmy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
... I honestly doubt that if two people are seriously interested in each other and one of them is in the divorce process, they'll be "just friends" until the final papers come. ...</div>
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People can take preventative measures. It's not impossible when each person has control over his/her actions.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OregonAmy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I don't mean sex, skylark, I mean emotions.</div>
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Even there, people can intentionally not do things they know will further entangle themselves emotionally. It would be silly to take picnics in the park or make out if you're trying to wait for the divorce to be official.
 

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Yeah, it's not like no one has ever gone six months or more without dating before. It's not like it's totally unheard of either to tell someone you're really into, "Look, I've got a lot on my plate right now so I hate to do this, but we should go our separate ways"...and then end up getting together again much later. But then, I've never been through a divorce before, so that's just an outsider's opinion.<br><br><br><br>
A very good friend of mine began dating just a few weeks after she and her husband moved away from each other, and even though he has a girlfriend too, he uses her "adultery" as a tool to control my friend. He threatens to not sign papers on time, not pay money he is supposed to, basically makes it impossible to complete the divorce unless she acts how he wants her to. I guess you can see why they started getting divorced in the first place.<br><br><br><br>
The latest development is that he has started conveniently "forgetting" the chronology of when she started dating after they broke up, threatening to tell the lawyers that her first boyfriend was <i>while</i> they lived together.<br><br><br><br>
Along as someone is legally married, situations like that are possible. If I ever got a divorce from my husband, I think I'd just wait. Or at least do everything in my power to wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OregonAmy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
Ultimately it's up to the non-married person to decide whether it's worth it, but it just seems like many posts so far are very black & white. Life tends to be quite the opposite - especially when it comes to love-related emotions.</div>
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Your point is well taken. This is why I want to discuss it, because for me, when I am deciding who I want to get involved with, I ask the big, important questions early on. <i>Before</i> I'm completely attached. I know the pain of heartbreak, so I am very cautious. Maybe it's not as romantic, but I tend to ask people in the first few dates things like if they want children, what their religious and political beliefs are, and other important potential deal breakers.<br><br><br><br>
It's true that I can't know that if I've never been through it, I don't know, but if I were going through a divorce (especially with kids), I think there would be more important things on my mind than getting involved with someone-- like keeping my sanity, my finances, and thinking about my future situation. But I can see how it could also be very tempting. A time like that makes you crazy and needy and lonely and feeling very desperate.<br><br><br><br>
I just recently broke off a 2.5 year relationship with someone I deeply loved. It was horrible. I was feeling crazy and needy and lonely and very desperate. And with this motivation, yes, I started looking at people on match.com right away. I even started talking to someone because I was lonely. But it became clear to me very soon that this is not a time to get involved. It's like grocery shopping when you are starving. That it would not be fair to another person to think they had my full attention; they wouldn't. I'd just be using them for my own emotional needs.<br><br><br><br>
Other people may be totally different, but my own experiences as the person on the rebound will definitely play into how I consider a relationship with a person getting a divorce.
 

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+1 to black and white positions. I'd say don't get involved. The cost-benefit just doesn't look good, and there isn't any real way to collect unbiased information to improve your statistics.
 

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It really, really, just depends. My divorce took three years, for various reasons - and there was *no* emotional entanglement with the ex or other issues that would have disturbed a new relationship.<br><br><br><br>
It's not the piece of paper that matters; it's the whole situation. And there aren't any shortcuts to the "right answer" - you have to judge where the divorcing person really is in their life situation, and what kind of relationship opportunity they present.
 
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