Divorce: it’s a word that most of us average folk try to avoid like the plaque. The reason: SIMPLE; divorces are lengthy, stressful, ugly, and more importantly, EXPENSIVE. The idea of dissolving funds, sharing custody, splitting property and paying fees can be a headache which leaves most people completely BROKE, sometimes even worse off than before they fell in love. As a result, some couples choose to bypass the finalization of divorce and settle for separation. This means that although both parties are split up and are no longer in close contact with each other, THEY ARE STILL MARRIED! Using this alternative can be quite beneficial: you save money, property, and maintain your desired lifestyle, but this seemingly ideal arrangement can quickly become complex, ESPECIALLY if you want to reenter the dating game, or more so, starting another serious relationship.
Let’s say things aren’t working out for your spouse, and you both discuss divorce proceedings. After doing a little research, you both find out that the outcome would leave you with no money AT ALL. As a result, you both agree to file for separation and begin your individual lives. After several months of being “single”, you go out and meet a wonderful person, but soon find out that he/she is looking for a serious commitment, one in which you can’t provide due to baggage from your current marriage. Because of that, there’s not only the awkwardness of a marriage in limbo, but the ongoing pressure of someone who’s starting to be turned off by your inability to finish things. In essence, settling for separation has its disadvantages, one of them being the perceived inability of a dependable or independent person. People generally look for independence, solidity, and stability when looking for a potential mate. Having the track record of unfinished business, especially in a divorce, sends red-flag signals about how a continued relationship will be with you. Furthermore, most people are very smart when attempting to mate; they will look at your past relationship behavior and link it with your potential behavior with them. Will you display the same wavering habits as the last relationship?
My only advice for people in this situation is this: if you must find someone while you’re separated, find someone with identical desires. If this means that you have to resort to a “friend with benefits” situation, depending on your choice, you will either accept it or work on resolving your current issue. Search for someone who is similar to your situation, financially and goal-wise, and always ask what they want before you express your desires and goals. Finally, don’t throw false hope; a lover who banks on the hopes that you will finalize your divorce and commit will slowly become resentful and bitter once they realize you won’t commit to your word. Be honest to your word from the start: whether or not you plan to divorce, what you’re really looking for and what you’re not willing to do are prime examples. Blowing smoke in a potential lover’s face just because you’re afraid to lose him/her is an unhealthy and manipulating way of starting off a relationship. If you fear being truthful with your lovers, perhaps you should consider a reconciliation…you may just have been better off married in the first place!
Questions for readers:
1. Should you stay in a relationship if you are NOT happy?
2. Is separation ALWAYS appropriate before divorce?
3. How many times should you forgive a cheating spouse in 2011?
4. If your lover/spouse is physically and or verbally abusive should you stay?
AskDrO would love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic this afternoon.