- Is it ever okay to date a person
who is separated?
- [Audience Member] Yes!
- Okay, so can we have an emotional conversation
and not a legal conversation?
'Cause I'm in it.
I'm completely in it right now.
I filed for divorce.
I took some time for me.
I took ownership of my heart back, slowly.
I was actually that girl that thought,
I'm never gonna date again.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever.
All my friends were laughing at me.
It's never gonna happen.
But when I was emotionally ready,
I felt free and I felt okay to go out and date
and I'm dating right now
and I'm still technically married,
but in my heart,
I am emotionally separated.
- For me, it's not about what's right or wrong here,
it's how you operate.
And for myself, how I operate is I wouldn't
until you are completely divorced.
And the reason why,
is 'cause if we wanna allow the technicality,
then what's wrong with cheating?
Technically, we're not married, we're just dating.
- Divorce can take years.
Some people stay divorced for financial reasons,
because of family legacy, different things.
Divorce is a paper, paperwork.
- Honestly, I feel like this is where
you sorta have to be a private investigator
because some people are different.
The question now becomes,
okay, what is your intention in the separation?
And you have to be upfront.
- Sure. - Right.
- You want to look into that person's eyes and say,
I wanna hear exactly what your intention is
in this separation, 'cause then that will dictate
how we move forward.
- Dondre, the reality is that most separations
do end in divorce.
The problem is that if you get involved
with somebody who is separated,
you don't even know where it's gonna go.
You don't really have a real value yet.
What that person's struggling with
is am I gonna get divorced or not?
And once I do, I've gotta get through that.
Even getting involved with somebody who says,
I'm going to get a divorce for sure,
that's a very treacherous position for somebody to be in.
- And very different.
Divorcing, I've filed for divorce.
We're separated, we're doing a trial separation.
We're still married. - That's exactly right.
- Those are three very different things.
- Young people always go,
oh, marriage is just a piece of paper.
The Constitution is just a piece of paper, everybody.
The Bill of Rights is a piece of paper.
These marriages are contracts.
They have meaning
(audience applauding) and it is very challenging
for them to break up.
- I've been approached by men who have said,
yes, I'm separated.
So I say okay, where are you living?
Well, we still live in the same house.
Okay, that's automatic no, right?
(laughing) But then I talk to,
I meet a man who says, I've been separated for six months.
We're on track for divorce.
We are both disputing household issues,
who is owed what.
We didn't have a prenup.
This is going to be a lengthy divorce.
She is in a new relationship.
We do not live together.
We have a co-parenting situation with our children.
We have separate residences.
- [Dr. Drew] Are you dating that one or not?
- Maybe, yeah!
This is my thing, you have to use your common sense.
You gotta lurk.
You gotta do the things that you have to do
and if it feels right to you and to your gut,
I don't think there's wrong
with dating someone separated
as long as it looks like it will be ending in divorce,
but no guarantee.
- I agree with what she's saying.
I agree with what Drew said.
Here's the problem.
People don't understand.
The divorce is simply the date
that the court signed off on it.
When you file for divorce, your marriage been over.
So I'm okay with people who are separated
as long as they think it's heading for divorce.
The danger of it is the other person
who may be datin' the person who's not completely divorced.
Feelings get involved.
Somehow, somethin' crazy happen
and here come some reconciliation.
- Yeah. - It depends, too, right?
On how long a person has been separated.
Like you said, if you have emotionally done the work,
you know this is not going anywhere,
you know your marriage is over,
you've gone to the therapy,
you've tried to make it work.
It just ain't working, you have filed, it has been years.
That is a whole different story than
I moved out two weeks ago.
Okay, you don't need a relationship, you need a cat.
(laughing) - Yeah.
But like she said.
This my buddy right here.
We got some more Straight Talk when we come back.
Don't go away, y'all.