Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:

I’m dating to marry. A man my age contacted me and his profile sounds great, except he said he is separated. I asked him “How’s your divorce coming along — have to ask?” and he told me he is very recently separated but thought we have things in common and could offer each other a lot. He said if I need to move more quickly, he understands.

I’m kind of stumped as I am really ready for a committed relationship and don’t want to be with someone who really isn’t available. I finally wrote him back that I’m always open to widening my circle of friends, and we can talk if would like and gave him my number. Haven’t heard back.

But for the future, I’m really not sure about dating men who aren’t yet divorced and appreciate your advice.

— Quandary Gal

Dear Quandary Gal:

The legal side of a divorce can sometimes take awhile, especially if it is contentious, so I personally would not be hung up on whether the divorce is finalized. But people need emotional distance after a divorce, and time to be alone to process what they have been through, before they can really be ready to begin a new relationship from a healthy place.

A person who has just separated shouldn’t even think about having a date for the first 6 months after the separation. And ideally, he would wait a year. So, I think you were absolutely right to feel leery. Any person who is jumping into the dating field immediately after a separation is either running away from his feelings, or is too insecure or co-dependent to know how to be alone. And either way, that makes him not a good candidate for you.

A man can only be “Mr. Right” if the timing is also right.

— The Matchmaker Rabbi

To ask The Matchmaker Rabbi a question, please email

Joysa Winter, aka The Matchmaker Rabbi, knows all about how hard it is to find lasting love. It took her 17 years to find Mr. Not Wrong! In that time, she tried just about every singles site, dating club and Matzah Ball known to humanity. Now in her fourth year of rabbinical school and the mother of 1.5 kids, nothing brings her greater joy than officiating a wedding. She is finishing a book on her dating adventures called Chasing Cupid, Tales of Dating Disaster in Jewish Suburbia. You can follow her on Twitter at @wanderinghebrew.

  1. What!!! Wait 6 months or a Year? So what do we do in the mean time, Have lots of causal Sex? As a Separated and Soon to be divorced guy, the best thing to do is wait a month, then get out there and see what you were missing, don’t get into any serious relationships and i’d keep the whole “Married” thing quiet until u feel the relationship becomes serious, for guys we could care less if a woman separated from her husband 2 months ago or whenever, its women who automatically assume, “omg your still in love with your ex!!” No, we separated for a reason, keeping the marriage thing quiet worked great for me, i would have never been able to date or see the majority of woman that i did if i would have said i was married.
    its the same reason why men wont label themselves as Divorced or separated on Jdate.

  2. No all sitautions, not all people are the same. What may be adequite time for some may not for others. In my own case there was no emotional or physical connection between my ex-wife and I for two years before our separation. I was ready to date on day 1. Yet I have met women here on JDate that are insecure and afraid to be alone or haven’t let go after 10 years of being divorced.

    I think that Rabbi Joysa needs to go back to school and learn a bit about people, before being allowed to give advice to so important a forum. She makes some streotypical statements that are very rigid and hyper judgemental, and frankly can be harmful to many a realtionship.

  3. Honesty is the best policy here. There are women on Jdate who have half a brain and understand every situation is different. Trust me I’ve dated these girls and I know. I will say, from personal experience it is not healthy for a man to separate and then jump into another relationship. If you can handle it, dating is fine. But know that when you meet someone you/they could fall in love. I’m reconciled with not being with her and moved out 1 month ago. Not sure what 5 more months gives me other than more excuses to not go out.

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