Dating someone newly separated.
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|Thu, 07-18-2013 - 7:37am|
I began dating a guy in early May. We hit it off immediately and went out weekly, sometimes twice a week. He told me after our second date that he was "smitten." It took me a little longer to feel the same, but I eventually got there. Each time we hang out, it's just so natural. We can spend hours just talking, the physical side is great as well, but it's not the reason we get together. I always assume in the first few months that we're not exclusive until we have that talk, and I'm fine with that because I'd rather get to know someone over a longer period of time than jump into an instant relationship. That's where things here get a little complicated.
He told me he and his ex wife have an amicable relationship and the kids (he has 3 all under the age of 10) seem to be coping well with the divorce. While I am not worried that he's looking to reconcile, I did learn that he is not yet divorced. In my state you have to separate for a year if there are minor children before the divorce can be finalized. In the beginning, I just took things as they were, didn't really ask how long they'd been apart. I assumed (my mistake) that he was fully divorced. Or at least very close to it. I recently learned that he's only been separated since March. This threw me for a loop because after my ten year relationship ended, I needed a while before I was ready to date despite the fact that I'd been emotionally detatched from my ex for a long time. So the fact that this really great guy jumped so quickly into dating scares me. Further complicating things - our time together feels very much like a relationship - it's just how we fit together. I've met his friends, we hold hands when we're out and about, we get lost in conversation - all the boxes are checked off. I have never pressured him for exclusivity, never even brought up the topic of "us." I have let him set the pace of things since learning of his recent separation. And now it seems he's pulling back, we've gone from talking several times a week to just once in a while. Yet we seem to get closer and closer each time we hang out. I do take into account the fact that his kids are out of school for the summer, and he's looking to change careers while also working through the financial aspects of his eventual divorce, so I know he has a lot on his plate and that contacting me daily isn't necessarily doable.
Talking to my guy friends, they've said it sounds like he ended up in something he didn't expect this soon and now doesn't know how to deal with it. This guy is not a player, he's kind and down to earth and I would hate to lose him from my life, but I know how I screwed up numerous relationships after my breakup and I don't want that to happen here. I just wanted some independent feedback. I'm new to the board and am looking forward to any advice you guys might have: do I stick it out, date other guys while still trying to have this guy in my life, or do I cut him loose? I feel like this is an example of terrible timing. If we'd met a year from now, I doubt I'd have these questions.