Thanks for your feedback. There is an article by Lisa Duffy right here on Catholic Match about this very topic. It is called The 3rd Biggest Mistake: Dating Without An Annulment. www.catholicmatch.com You will find this there: "But truth be told, you shouldn’t be dating, in a serious relationship, or engaged unless you have a decree of nullity in hand." The emphasis is hers, not mine.
Lisa Duffy also co-authored the book called Divorced. Catholic. Now What? www.amazon.com
Getting back to your reply: It would be helpful to hear how your priest, and other priests, justify (via theology, morality, etc.) their sidestepping of the things we know to be true, like indissolubility of marriage, marriage has the favor of the law, etc. Those details would be good to learn, because a generic statement saying the priest approves the dating, does not say why he approves it, i.e., what Teachings of the Church does he use to back up his statement of approval when we believe dating to be errant?
Based on the many comments in various threads from people who say their priest has given them the okay to start dating while the review of their marriage is underway and the file is still open, I would say there are many priests who do not abide by Canon Law and the Ten Commandments when it comes to counseling lay people on this topic.
Thought: If I wondered about my personal circumstances, I would make an appointment with my priest to discuss the specifics mentioned above. If he still claims that dating is ok, then I would make an appointment with another priest, one that is known to be a solidly orthodox, i.e., traditional, Catholic priest, and get a second opinion, just like we do with doctors. He could be outside of my Diocese. I would show the article and book above to both priests, and any other write ups that help, including Canon Law. I would discuss it all with both of them - and pray a lot. Pray for God's will. Pray for guidance. Pray for the priests. Pray for my own inner peace. Pray for my ex-husband and children.
Talking directly with priests about these things is prudent. It is okay to disagree with them and ask them what to do next, if something next is needed.
Here are some excerpts from Canon Law that are relevant.
Can. 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility, which in Christian marriage obtain a special firmness by reason
of the sacrament.
Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is
They can be found at www.vatican.va