Ten years ago when I was dating, I had trouble with shifting definitions of "single." A couple of times I found myself on a date with a man who presented himself as single, but who turned out to actually be legally married. Sure, the boy was separated and absolutely certain that his marriage was over, but in at least one case, the guy ended up reconciling with his wife.
This taught me that different people have different ideas of what "single" means. Some people (men) think being separated counts as "single." Some people (men) think that simply deciding their marriage is over counts as being "single." But if you're still legally married, you're not "single." You're "married."
To those of you who are dating, I offer the guidelines I created for myself the first go around. If a boy said he wasn't married, I'd follow up with "Have you ever been married?" If the answer was no, so be it. If the answer was "yes," then I'd follow up with, "So you're divorced now?" If the boy couldn't give a clean "yes" answer to that, the date was over.
Sometimes a guy would insist that even though his divorce wasn't yet done, his marriage was absolutely over. Then I'd ask, "Would you wife agree with that statement?" The answer had to be "yes," but even if it was, I would only bother with boys who were absolutely free and clear of legal entanglements that could make a relationship difficult. If the wife doesn't agree that a marriage is over, the marriage isn't over.
These days I find myself having to remind my post-husband that he's not single yet. You can imagine how it irritates me when he tries to call himself that. For the benefit of single women everywhere, I'm doing my best to keep him from calling himself "single" until we're actually divorced. I mean come on, it'll just be a few more weeks. Men!