It’s understandable to seek comfort in a new partner after separation. We all know separation is stressful and causes a lot of pain or even self-doubt.
You just need someone to make you feel desirable again, but it’s not always that simple.
Dating after separation should be approached with a lot of caution. If we are being honest, jumping into a new relationship immediately is not the best idea.
But how long should you wait? Is dating three months after a separation too soon?
Let’s find out, but first, let’s understand what separation in marriage means.
Understanding Separation in Marriage
Though divorce often follows separation, separation is not the same as divorce. In a separation, spouses are still legally married; it’s just that they are living apart. The different types of separation include:
Sometimes, spouses have marital issues but are undecided between divorce and reconciliation. So as they figure it out, they can take a break from their marriage and live apart.
One spouse can move out of their matrimonial home or into another room in the same house, especially if finances are an issue or kids are involved. This physical separation is meant for soul-searching as partners figure out what they want.
A trial separation is temporary and does not involve a complicated court system. This means that, depending on your state, legal marriage rules still apply.
So if spouses decide to reconcile, they can easily do that because no third party is involved. Simply put, spouses choose how to go about things in a trial separation.
Often, spouses in a trial separation intend to reconcile. But if there are no intentions of reconciling and the spouses live in different physical locations, they are considered permanently separated.
A permanent separation affects property ownership, mainly that acquired during the separation, depending on the property ownership regulations in your state.
But remember, even in a permanent separation, you are still married to your spouse, so marriage regulations still apply.
Depending on the state, spouses can file for legal separation in family court. Being legally separated affects the legal status of your marriage. However, you are neither married nor divorced.
Legal separation affects property ownership and child custody if kids are involved. And though it’s not the same as a divorce, some insurance plans consider it a divorce and may terminate the health benefits of a spouse in a legal separation.
Dating 3 Months After Separation
Dating three months after a separation depends on several things. For example, the type of separation might be “trial, permanent, or legal.
As already mentioned, there are intentions of reconciling after a trial separation. So if you start dating a new person three months after this separation, it implies a different thing. It might even be considered cheating, especially if there were agreements with your spouse not to date until you figured things out.
Besides, you are still legally married to your spouse in a separation, particularly in a trial or permanent separation. As such, if you proceed with a divorce, seeing someone else might affect the procedure.
Separations are complicated depending on your state’s regulations, and one wrong turn might affect many things. Forget the regulations; if kids are involved, how do you introduce someone new to them three months after separating from their mother or father?
Kids are the innocent bystanders affected by separations and divorce. Actually, it causes severe psychological damage to some kids. As a result, parents are advised to exercise extreme caution during separations, particularly in terms of how it affects the children.
Is it too soon?
Three months of separation can’t be deemed insignificant, as it says a lot about the marriage. If partners are not talking or making any effort to reconcile three months after a separation, it can be assumed they don’t intend to get back together.
However, we also can’t rule out that there is hope for reconciliation. So the question of whether it’s too soon to start dating or not has no straight answer.
Besides, it also depends on how the marriage was. Assuming the marriage was toxic and violent, three months of separation could mean the end of the marriage, especially for the victim of marital abuse.
Generally, dating three months after separation, even when you know the marriage is truly over, might not be the smartest thing to do. Forget how it affects the divorce procedure or your kids, if you have any; what about you? Are you in the best position to start dating at this time?
Though you might seem fine, there is still a lot to figure out. You can’t say your marriage meant nothing and move on to try something new.
Besides, you are not in your most rational state at this point. Chances are, you won’t vet the next person thoroughly before going on dates with them.
Simply put, it’s not a good idea to start dating again three months after a divorce. Let’s see why in the following discussion.
Why It’s Not advisable to Date 3 Months After Separation
Some of the reasons include:
You’re still unclear about your feelings
Three months after separation, your wound is still fresh. You might be healing, but that doesn’t happen overnight.
You were married to this person, which means they were once your happiness, regardless of the current status. As such, there is much to figure out about your emotions.
You still have a long way to go, both mentally and emotionally. The last thing you want is to add someone to your confusion. Actually, it’s not even fair to them because you probably won’t be in a position to offer what they are looking for.
Besides, we’ve seen couples get back together after a year of separation. Some were sure the marriage was over, but for some reason, they decided to give it a shot.
If spouses can reconcile after a year or even two, three months is not enough to make a final decision. So, three months after your separation, you’re still unsure about your feelings.
Even if you’re sure the marriage is over, you’re not in the best place to rush into a new relationship.
It might affect your divorce procedure
If you are permanently or legally separated and have filed for divorce, dating three months after separation may have an impact on your divorce proceedings.
First, the question of whether this is a new relationship or an affair will arise. By affair, I mean whether the relationship began before separation. Questions about when you met, whether before or after separation, will be asked.
This may result in a legal war that may cause tension or even more conflict. There have been instances where the other side’s lawyer asked the new partner uncomfortable questions under oath. However, this depends on different states’ regulations.
The new partner may be asked to testify and determine when the relationship began, if the marital property has been transferred or used as gifts, and basically to find anything that can be used against you in the case.
Even if the relationship is justified, the whole thing becomes messy, especially if kids are involved.
If you have kids, it might add to their pain
As I said, kids are the innocent bystanders in separation and divorce procedures. No kid wants their parents to live separately or end up as enemies. They are left in the middle to endure the pain.
As such, the worst you can do is make the separation more painful by bringing a new person into the picture. Three months is too soon to introduce a new dad or mom to your kids.
They might act okay, but deep down, it may have adverse effects. This is especially true if they are younger and barely understand whatever is going on.
We’ve seen cases where kids blame the new partner for their parent’s separation, so the relationship kicks off on the wrong foot. And though the new person may not be to blame for the separation, how do you explain to your young one that this person is not replacing their loving dad or mom?
It might lead to unnecessary complications
While finding someone to share your thoughts with during this stressful time might be relieving, dating three months after separation may cause unnecessary complications.
For example, if you’ve filed for divorce, bringing a new person into the picture may delay the procedure or cost you more money.
It’s natural for your spouse to get jealous, and they may use anything in their power to exact revenge, especially if you were in the wrong.
Assuming they bring the new person into the picture, the procedure might take ages, increasing your attorney’s fees. So, whether it’s justified or not, dating someone three months after your separation is not the best thing to do.
So, How Long Should You Wait to Start Dating After Separation?
Now that three months after separation seems too soon to start dating, how long should you wait?
Honestly, this is not a question anyone can answer for you. Separations affect different people differently, so while someone might take six months to get back in the game, another might take one or even two years!
As with most aspects of dating, there are no hard and fast rules. It narrows down to you as an individual and the possible consequences if you start dating. So basically, here are some factors.
It depends on your emotional and psychological state
Separations leave partners in emotional turmoil. You get mixed feelings and barely know how to react to current events. Sometimes you discover things that cause self-doubt or leave you feeling undesirable.
All these affect your emotional and psychological state. And before you start dating, this is the first thing you need to work on. People take different lengths of time to get to a good place emotionally and psychologically.
It might take a year for one person to recover and six months for another. As such, these people cannot get back to dating at the same time. When you take time to heal, you get to a better place mentally and address your feelings.
Even if you start dating at this time, you are in a better place, so there won’t be confusion regarding your feelings.
If there are kids involved
Kids significantly affect how long someone starts dating after a separation. As I said, you have to be extra cautious with how you go about the whole thing, so you don’t add to their pain.
Assuming you live with them, they will notice you going out in one way or another. Besides, no matter how hard you try to hide it, you’ll still have to talk about the new person sooner or later.
Your children, like you, require time to heal from your separation. Remember, they were also separated from their parents, and though you might not be undergoing the same suffering, everyone is hurting in their own way.
Is it a legal separation?
Dating three months after a separation is not the best move, regardless of the type of separation. Even worse, if it’s a legal separation preluding a divorce, dating may cause unnecessary complications or more conflict.
As already mentioned, it might raise suspicion about whether you were having an affair before the separation, and all these things affect the judgment and delay divorce proceedings.
I wouldn’t recommend dating three months after separation, even if you’re sure your previous marriage is over. It might affect many things, like divorce proceedings or your kids’ psychological state.
But most importantly, it might affect you in one way or another. So take your time to figure out your feelings and address them before rushing into something new.
With so many expectations and the confusion caused by your separation, you may cause more harm than good.