You say you’re available, but you’re not…legally
You probably already know that if you’re waiting for the “right time” to tell the person you’re dating that you’re married, both of your relationships are probably doomed to failure. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re separated, planning to divorce (someday), or none of the above. “Lying about availability for a relationship is devastating for partners who discover their significant other has been dishonest. Sometimes people lie, and say they are single when they are not, or they may lie about whether or not they have children. This is never fair to the person being lied to, or to the people being lied about,” says Shadeen Francis, LMFT, marriage and family therapist. Francis recommends telling the truth about your external romantic, and familial relationships up front, before you get involved. Don’t even think about dating post-divorce until you’ve done these 11 things.
You say you’re available, but you’re not…emotionally
True emotional availability requires honesty, to both yourself, and your partner, Francis says. Pretending to be ready to take it to the next level, and then either stopping short, or self-sabotaging the relationship, can be overwhelmingly confusing, and heartbreaking, for someone you probably care about deeply. If you can’t figure out how to make your relationship grow, some honest soul-searching can help. Maybe you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and just don’t want to let the person go, even though you know you won’t go the distance together. It’s also possible that you’re hauling around some baggage that is making it hard for you to fully commit. If so, a therapist can help. Either way, be honest with your partner, so that they can make the right decision for their own life—either with you, or without you. Find out the 11 signs you can trust your partner.