When is it OK to Date Again?

I have been separated for six months and have met a really nice man that I would like to date.  Is it okay?
Thanks,
Robin

Hi Robin,
I am going to give you my stock answer, one that I never waver from and one that you probably don’t want to hear.  My answer is NO.
The LAST thing you need to do is date during your divorce.  Dating creates more problems than it is worth – especially if you are going through a Toxic Divorce, which I assume you are.   First of all, you are not emotionally ready to date yet.  I remember when I began dating again, I can’t count how many times a first (and last) date was spent listening to some guy go on and on about the horrors of his marriage and how terrible his wife was.
Dating while separated is just a bad bet all around.  If you are going through a Toxic Divorce, I promise you that your soon-to-be ex-husband will use any dating you do as a weapon against you.  An innocent dinner date  will morph into Fifty Shades of Grey.  I met a woman who had one dinner date with a man, but her husband was able to distort the date into a sexual orgy – so bad that she lost her children in the custody batter.  The last thing you need to do is defend your integrity to a judge, especially if your ex is able to paint an unsavory picture of you.  Remember, in a Toxic Divorce, your ex will pull no punches.
Going through a divorce is a very dramatic time in a person’s life.  Why add any more if you don’t have to.   I have spoken to some many women who have literally jumped from the frying pan into the fire.  It is a rare occasion to enter a long lasting healthy relationship while you are going through a divorce.
My divorce lawyer gave me some sage advice and that was, “No dating until the ink dries on your divorce decree.”  I wholeheartedly agree with this wisdom.  Once you are divorced you can date with absolute freedom.  Personally, I think the time to begin dating is when you know that any man you go out with comes to you with a clean slate meaning if a relationship should develop from the date, he will not pay for the ills of your ex husband.   Take your time to focus on yourself while you are separated.  There will be plenty of time to date once you are divorced.