No one marries with the intention of divorcing. Til death do us part. The reality is married couples—more times than not— find themselves separated and divorced.
Being separated always leads to the age-old conundrum: Does separated mean still married so you shouldn’t date, or are you single? “According To Him + Her” will address Rule 35: "If you’re separated, you’re single" on the upcoming episode. Here’s our take.
When celebrities like Kevin Hart, Dwyane Wade and Swizz Beatz moved on to their new relationships while allegedly still being married, the public had opinions ranging from "separated is still married" to "their new girlfriends being homewreckers." Occasionally spectators would add a pinch of nuance about how complicated divorces are and that if a couple has been living separately for a while it would make sense they’d begin the process of moving on.
However, separated is not single. Not even close. Separated is actually still married.
People choosing to date or not before they’re legally divorced is an individual choice, but let’s not pretend that separated means single.
Separated couples are still legally bound to one another. Anything from shared last names, to joint taxes, to joint house deeds, to life insurance policies are only a few of the important connections the separated couple may still share. And we haven’t tapped into the emotional process both people face from a marriage ending.
Divorces are sometimes lengthy. There’s also people who emotionally and physically tap out of the marriage long before filing for divorce. In these cases it’s understandable why individuals will start behaving as if they’re single.
But what’s the harm in just waiting to date whether it takes 45 days or two years for the divorce to be legally finalized? Why not take the time to heal, process and focus on yourself?
Like the wise elders say, you don’t enter through a new door without fully shutting the old one.
(Photo: MotoEd/Getty Images)