So we agreed to divorce (I'm more on board after I found out about her EA/PA) and I'm wondering, whats appropriate before you start dating again?
In her case, she was kissing another guy she had an emotional connection with the day after she told me we should divorce.
I'm 39 years old, have a decent job and not many friends. At least not many friends I call on a weekly basis. My marriage lasted about 6.5 years.
It's been my experience that the couple of times after a break-up I've dated immediately, it's resulted in a short term relationship - yeah, it's the "fog". However with my first ex-wife (that's another story, but it was short term and we should never have been married), I had met my current wife and started dating her about a month after the ex moved back to her/our home state.
I thought about volunteering some where, but my only free time is weekends and Mondays - and I usually spend most/part of the weekend with my son. Mondays are the morning to myself (errands and house chores) and then afternoon with son to save money for him being at after daycare.
It's different for everyone. You should get to a place where you are happy with yourself, and the general direction of this new life.... and then you'd be ready, IMO.
I met someone 10 mos. after being separated. Divorce didn't actually happen for about 3 years....nobody pursued it, etc... Some people don't understand dating while separated, some people get it.
For me, there is no "separated".... either you are married or you aren't, and "separated" is the time period of waiting for divorce paperwork.
Look into single parent activities. There used to be "Parents Without Partners"...not sure if there is anymore. There is also meetup.com which is separated by activities... dancing, bowling, hiking, dinners, dog walking, everything. They are nationwide and might be near you. They are also group activities, some people there are looking for love, some are just looking for companionship...but you just sign up for things you enjoy doing anyway!
Just an FYI. I am legally separated. In March the papers will be filed, and probably April or May be divorced. In my state, I am legally married until that time. The property division is a done deal. However, she can get me, as I can get her for adultry. In my case I would shave two months off the divorce time, and is not worth it. Every state is different so don't get burned on some fluke in the law.
Past that, the Meetup.com seems to be pretty cool. I joined last night. I lost alot of the friends...even though she cheated and then after reconciling decided to divorce anyway. So I can relate to the few friends comment.
Go to the pound and adopt a dog. Unlimited companionship, great exercise, they're always glad to see you, they never talk bad about your mama, never run up your credit cards, they won't run off with your best friend, they don't care if you gain a couple pounds or if you don't get that promotion. If it doesn't work out, they won't take half your stuff, or call the law on you, or post ugly things about you on Facebook.
I use meet up.com as well, its a good site to meet more people with similar interests.
As for the OP's question, I dated during separation, but made it clear I wasn't divorced yet, and likely rebounding, to give the women the proper expectations of what their long-term prospects with me were.
I'd say date whenever you feel ready. I'm out of the house four months, and began to see someone a couple of weeks ago. In this case we're both recently out of bad relationships, and expect to keep it platonic, but it's a good start. It beats the snot out of sitting at home every night, and it's good for both of us. We wind up discussing problems with our exes at times, and it highlights how neither of us is in a position to get into a proper romantic relationship now. I see it as an important step.
Point is, go ahead if you want. You'll find out quickly if you were really ready or not anyway.