Can u date awaiting on anullment?


I received a civil divorce 15 months ago and filed an anullement 12 months ago and still awaiting a decision on the matter. I have a girlfriend now and have been dating for 9 months.

We are not living together nor having sex, but can I still refer to her as my girlfriend?
Am I even allowed to kiss her on the lips?
Can I hold her hand in Church?
How do I introduce her to fellow parishioners? friend or girlfriend?


*Hi there CorvetteGuy…probably best to refrain from affection like kissing on the lips, and so forth…right now, she should remain in a friend status, and behave like you are friends, and not ‘bf or gf.’ I say this, because, suppose…there’s the odd chance, your request is denied? You won’t be able to date/remarry, if the Church doesn’t recognize your marriage as invalid. I don’t want to alarm you, lol…but just saying, maybe err on the side of caution, until you receive a definitive answer. I hope things work out. God bless. *


Hey again…found an older thread on this EXACT thing…this should help! :slight_smile:


I will agree with what 1ke said in the post that Whatevergirl linked us to. It is imprudent, but not a sin to date after a divorce but while awaiting an annulment.

I’ll just say that in my opinion it was a bit premature to get involved in a relationship that quickly after your divorce. All the more reason for you to take things slow now, even once you receive a decision on your petition for a declaration of nullity. I’m hoping that you have had sufficient time to reflect on any of the warning signs you may have overlooked when you married your ex and perhaps to have had some counseling.


Can I date before an annulment is received?

Can I date a man who is waiting for an annulment?

There clear answer is NO.


This was a pretty good thread. It covered a great deal of material and answers most questoins regarding how the annulment process works, what an annulment actually is,

As an update, to that thread, I received my second instance and declaration of nullity in April 2008.

Currently, I do not have a lady friend.


none of the above. you are still a married man. married men do not have girlfriends, nor do they date, or hold hands with anyone who is not their wife.
you introduce her as Ms. Sue Jones. no explanation of her status is required at any time. it is nobody’s business who attends Mass with you.


:thumbsup: Go Michelle Arnold! :thumbsup:


I read the thread whatevergirl posted and it seemed the consensus in that thread was that it was okay to date while waiting for an annulment so long as the relationship was chaste.

However, I didn’t understand how dating while you’re still technically married in the eyes of the church was okay. Dating others while still married to your spouse is never okay, so I didn’t understand why that thread was saying that it was okay so long as you were in the process of getting an annulment. If your marriage isn’t annulled, you’re still married. So thanks for posting the links to the apologist’s reply, as that makes more sense.


There are mixed viewpoints in that thread, I am thinking it might only confuse the OP reading through it again:blush:…sorry, OP…I was trying to show you that there was another thread about the same topic. I don’t think that someone should conduct themselves as though they were not married, and as I said above, largely because you’re still married in the eyes of the Church…but suppose the Church doesn’t declare your marriage invalid? To carry on with another woman, and that ends up being the result…she would have invested a lot of time into something that should not have happened. So, be friends for now, I know that might not be easy, but sometimes, we put the cart before the horse…it’s good that you’re asking the question! I am sure you want to do the right thing…praying for you in this. :gopray:


I can’t speak to the morality of it, because I just haven’t ever looked into it, having never encountered it myself, but as for the idea of it, I’d think it would be better to hold off.

The idea behind it is, what if you fall in love with the girl you are dating, and your marriage is, in fact, valid? Then you have a horrible decision to make. You will find yourself tempted to leave the church to be involved in a clearly sinful union, or you will break your heart by having to end things with the girl. It’s best to hold off on romance until you know for sure whether you are entitled to love another woman. It only seems the most prudent thing to do.


I’m going through my civil divorce now, and I will promptly file for annulment as soon as it’s finalized. In the meantime, I would say that it is OK to get to know different people, but to refrain from anything that would be considered adultery in a marriage. Technically, you, as well as I, are still married. By avoiding anything untoward, you are also respecting the lady you have befriended.


I voted no.

The reason a person dates is that they are looking for someone to marry.

If the anullment is not granted then, in the eyes of the Church, you are still married.

Can you date while being married?

If you are dating and the anullment is not granted then what? Do you “marry” anyways and make is so that you can no longer receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church as well as having any confessions being questionable in the future or do you end it and tell the person you have been dating that it was all a mistake because you ended up still being married?


It’s a definite no. You should presume you are married until you get the annulment and married men don’t enter into romantic relationships with other women. also, something really strange might happen and you might not get the annulment and then you would be left in a real pickle. stranger things have been known to happen. you should err on the side of caution for now and behave as if you’re still married until you get the decree of nullity.


Canon law only states that prior marriage is an impediment to contracting a new marriage, not to dating.

People take it too far when they want to pile extra burdens onto the divorced. Of course you don’t have to act exactly as if you were still married. When you are married, you should be paying the marriage debt. We don’t expect this of those who are divorced.

Getting a decision on your annulment takes about a year to a year and a half, and it is not the end of the world to wait that long to start dating. In fact, it is a pretty sensible thing to do. Although, divorce is painfully lonely, and it is nice to have the kind of social outlet and companionship that dating provides. I think the best course of action is to discuss your particular situation with your priest.

Myself, I almost waited until I received the decision on my annulment. I think I had gone out with two different people when I got my affirmative decision. The decision came in sometime between the second and third date with my current boyfriend. That was over a year ago.



Can I date before an annulment is received?

*I was married for three years and am now separated and in the process of divorce and annulment. I have seen a few priests to understand the Church’s teachings on dating. So far, the first three I have spoken to told me if it is a pure relationship, entered into prayerfully, it is not a sin and I may go to Communion. Is this correct? *

No. Currently you are not even legally divorced, much less have you received a decree of nullity from the Church. In every sense of the word, you are a married woman and may not date anyone.

Once you are legally divorced, you will no longer be married in the eyes of the state, but you will be married in the eyes of the Church unless and until you receive an annulment – and there is never any guarantee that an annulment will be granted. That means that you may not date unless and until you receive that annulment. If you maintain a life of chastity, appropriate to your state as a married woman legally separated from her husband (the Church considers civil divorce the equivalent of a legal separation), and otherwise remain in a state of grace, then you may receive Communion.

Only once an annulment is granted will you be free to date.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers Apologist

Recommended reading:

Annulments: What You Need to Know by Jimmy Akin
Annulments and the Catholic Church by Edward Peters

Can I date a man who is waiting for an annulment?

*Is it okay to date a man who is waiting for an annulment? *

No. A man who is waiting for an annulment is presumed by the Church to be married unless and until a decree of nullity is granted. Until he has an annulment, you must consider him a married man and may not initiate any relationship with him that would violate his obligation to observe marital chastity.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers Apologist


While I totally agree that those going through a divorce are having a really rough time, I don’t think dating really is the answer. I mean, canon law aside, what if your annulment doesn’t go through? There are too many unknowns, and while I don’t believe you are sinning by dating, the emotional toll of dating someone, then finding out you or the SO is still married is rather crushing and can be a little too dangerous.


I still don’t see why it would be okay to date while technically still married in the eyes of the Church. Your first marriage is not considered invalid until you are told so by the tribunal correct? I honestly don’t know much about annulments, so correct me if I’m wrong.

Normally dating means that you care for someone more than just a friend. Is it right to give someone else those feelings when you are still married? I think it’s just inviting more problems. Especially in cases where it’s not a casual meeting to spend some time together like getting coffee as friends. Dating someone generally means you have an emotional investment with that person.


It wouldn’t be morally wrong to go to the movies with your female friend, to go out to dinner, to go on a hike, or whatever. Those things could be viewed as dates, sure, but the Church doesn’t teach that you must abstain from those activities with members of the opposite sex while waiting for an annulment.

The problem is that, what if you don’t get an annulment? Does your friend understand what you believe? Does she realize the consequences to your relationship if an annulment is not granted?

As long as you’ve told her these things, as long as she understands that if an annulment is not granted you may tell her that the relationship will never progress I see nothing wrong with what you’re doing.


The marriage tribunal at my church saw that I would always attend Church solo and they told me that I’ll find a good Catholic girl one day. I originally told them not I wasn’t interested in dating, but six months after my divorce I met someone and began dating them
My ex-wife re-married her co-worker 3 months after our civil divorce which says a lot of her actions.
So my biggest question now is if the annulment is declared valid then I’m not allowed to re-marry and If I do I just turn Protestant so I can re-marry or stay Catholic, but never receive communion. So if married men can’t date then do I break up with my girlfriend and stay friends with her, but this might ruin our relationship. She’s 24 and I’m 30 we both want to be Saints in the eyes of GOD, but spiritually this is difficult for us givin our age.

Another question
Am I married in the eyes of GOD or eyes of the Church?

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