Dear Rabbi,

I am writing to ask you what I should do about my listed relationship status. I separated from my husband a year ago and I am waiting for my divorce to become final.  I listed “divorced” as my JDate profile status, but it seems misleading, as does “separated.” Do you have any advice on what to use?

-Status: It’s Complicated


Dear Complicated,

Whether full disclosure is required in a relationship is not as clear cut as you might assume. There are times when a “white lie” is permissible, and maybe even preferred. In your case, however, I don’t know if you have many options besides revealing your true relationship status — which is, at this moment, separated.

You wrote, “I separated from my husband a year ago and I am waiting for my divorce to become final.” Do you have an exact date when you are sure you’ll be receiving your divorce? If you do, and that date is only a short time away, I’d suggest you take a break from online dating until you actually receive your divorce. Otherwise, I feel you must categorize yourself as “separated.”

The real question you need to answer is this: what is your objective in dating right now? If your goal is to meet someone who is serious about marriage, then you should wait until you’re divorced to date. Most serious-minded men will not want to get involved with a woman who is still technically married. It’s just too risky. They don’t know if you’ll get your divorce in a week or, due to unforeseen circumstances, in a year. Maybe you’ll decide to get back together with your husband? While you might know that will never happen in a million years, your date doesn’t. The types of men that are open to dating “separated” women are primarily just looking for a good time — which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for too.

Bottom Line: If your divorce is imminent, take a dating break and get your life in order before jumping back, legally divorced. If you feel the need to date now, then categorize yourself as “separated” and be prepared to date men looking for a good time, no strings attached.

Best of luck on finalizing your divorce and moving on.


Rabbi Arnie Singer dated for 15 years before meeting his Beshert. He offers dating and relationship advice on and on
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