He was a nice guy. We had talked a few times about faith, our families, hobbies—you know, all the normal stuff. He showed me pictures of his kids. They were cute.
Then he dropped a bomb. Well, it was a bomb to me. He made it sound like an ordinary thing.
He was separated from his wife. Not divorced. Not in the process of a divorce. Separated.
I froze for a while, not sure how to handle that news. So, I did what every single girl would do. I told my best friend the news over dinner and then waited for her reaction.
“Is this a normal thing—to date when you’re separated?” She didn’t hesitate in her answer. “No. Nothing about it is normal. I don’t think you should keep talking to him. I think you should pray for his marriage.”
She was so right. That’s why I keep her around.
So I prayed. I prayed for reconciliation in his marriage. I prayed against pride that would keep both he and his wife from seeing truth. I prayed for protection over their children’s hearts. I prayed for godly counsel to help them figure out what went wrong. I prayed for conviction to hit this man’s heart for seeking someone besides his wife.
Then I let him know we had to cut off communication, and I was praying for his marriage to be reconciled. He received the news well, but I have to wonder if he walked away shaking his head at the last part of our conversation.
I’ve never heard from or seen him again, but I write this today, hoping my prayers availed much and this man and his wife are serving the Lord together.
Here are 4 reasons to avoid dating someone who is separated:
The person is not ready to enter a relationship that would lead to marriage. Dating is meant for two people to get to know each other with the intention of marriage. It’s not to satisfy loneliness or have someone meet your needs. If you are so lonely that you are willing to date someone who is still married, then you are compromising God’s best for you.
The person isn’t emotionally healed from the marriage. If the person separated isn’t emotionally healed by God, then they will be upset when you can’t meet their emotional needs. They also won’t be able to support you when something is going on in your life that needs support, because they will be dealing with their own junk.
The person may still be living with their spouse, even if they aren’t divorced. Need I say why this is a bad idea? You really have no idea if they are really planning on getting divorced or are just playing you for a fool. There is always a chance they will get back together.
The person is committing adultery, and so are you. God’s word is clear: Adultery is sin. Anyone who is still legally married and dating is committing adultery. Anyone dating a married person is committing adultery.
Do you think dating someone who is separated is okay because neither of you are looking to get married anytime soon? Well, it’s still wrong to be emotionally intimate with someone who is only supposed to be intimate with their spouse.
Do you want to invest in someone who isn’t investing in you but taking from you? Every relationship takes two people committed to giving more than taking. You deserve someone who is deserving of you!
Whether you meet a man at the local sushi joint (that hasn’t happened to me, but it would be cool because I love sushi), or converse with a man online … if you see or hear the “S” word, I highly recommend you run from the situation. Don’t put your foot in that water. Don’t even stand near the water, for fear of falling into the pool.
If you are not divorced yet, or the one pursuing you isn’t, you’re walking in dangerous, sinful territory. Don’t do it.
A marriage could be saved. Relationships restored. Children could experience grace and redemption in the lives of their parents. Generations could be changed.
What are other reasons you can think of to not date someone who is separated?