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Why Dating Someone Who is Separated is Just a Bad Idea

Why Dating Someone Who is Separated is Just a Bad Idea

EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to (selected questions will be posted anonymously).

QUESTION: I was working a photography gig at an event. During the course of that evening, a young man approached me and we hit it off instantly. He called me the next day and we talked for a long time. I learned that he was separated 7 months at that time and going through a divorce. We are both Christians, but we did become intimate in our relationship. He told me he wanted to slow all the way down because he believed God wouldn't bless our union since he was still legally married. We continued our friendship at first and then stopped talking because we both agreed he needed to be divorced before we communicated anymore. I realize that God may heal their marriage, but now I feel rejected, alone, and unworthy to be loved. What is your advice?


Even though half of all marriages in America fail doesn’t make the vows two people make in front of God and witnesses any less important or less binding.

You had an “encounter” with a married man. Whether he was “separated” or not doesn’t change the fact he had a wife. Although he was correct in wanting to slow all the way down, it should not have even happened in the first place especially between Christians.

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."  Matthew 19:6

At the point you found out his marital status, you became fully accountable for your actions and are probably reaping some of the consequences of your decision to pursue a relationship with him.

Consider his wife for a moment, how would you feel if your separated husband had an intimate encounter with another woman?

I truly understand the difficulty in finding the right (or any) one in today’s world; however, dabbling with those who are married or even newly divorced is NOT the place to start.

Over the past couple of months, my singles group went through a fantastic series of sermons and a follow-up book by Andy Stanley called, The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating.

He speaks about how we have been raised to want the perfect person and are determined to find the “right” one for us.  His twist on that premise is to “become the person the person you are looking for is looking for.”

The problem for singles comes when we give in to what other people are doing, or comparing our “time-line” to where others are. We then start questioning God’s plan for our (specific) life and quit trying to live in the way we want and were called in favor of “immediate gratification.”

Andy goes to the extreme of challenging us not to date for an entire year as we work on ourselves without the distractions, influence or diversion we have while dating. I can vouch this can be and is possible, and it does work.

Utilize this time of alone-ness to become the person the person you are looking for is looking for. 
As you grow closer to becoming whom God created you to be (not settling for what or where the world says you should be), the right (single) guys will take notice. 


Well your feelings are true. Anytime you get involved with someone (whether intimate or not), your heart is affected. But the extreme pain you are sharing may be coming more from conviction than circumstance. Because God loves you so much, he wants the best for you. Dating a married man was one mistake but to be intimate with him takes it to another level. Yes, your boyfriend was right to stop things, as the Lord was convicting him as well. Even to the point of not seeing you for fear of failure. What we often don't realize is that we can become emotionally connected to anyone that you share your life with. You don't even have to sleep with them or commit a sin to feel attached to another person. So when there is rejection, even for the right reasons (he is still married, etc.), it hurts.

So here is my suggestion. First, you are loved, and very worthy because Jesus says so. You are his child, and he died for you. What you are feeling is real. You miss this man in your life. So learn from this, learn how easily things like this can happen and the consequences that come from them. You do not want to date a married man. If he cheats with you, he will cheat on you. Second, go to God and confess your part in this relationship. Allow healing to begin of your own heart. Allow the Lord to restore you. Next, if need be, get some counseling and/or talk to someone older and wiser to be your accountability partner. Make a decision, after some time of healing to only date men that you have become friends with for a season. This way you will know they are single, and you will know more about them.

Be encouraged, God has forgiven you both. But you both have to allow the Lord to work on you separately. If it's meant to be for you two down the road, God will bring you together HIS way. Trust the Lord for all areas of your life, especially your heart.

Psalm 28:7   "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."

HE is … Cliff Young, a contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of Ministries and Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.

GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.

Publication date: October 22, 2015