Dating after divorce - even the words fill some divorced parents with dread.
The idea of getting back into the dating scene after years being married is daunting at best.
Dating after divorce is as hard on kids as it is on parents.
Know yourself, know your children and ask yourself this key question: Is this a decision I think is best for my children, or am I reacting out of guilt or fear?
If your answer is the latter, you may want to address these powerful and often destructive emotions before making a final decision about dating after divorce.
With teens (15-20) it is important to be honest about your actions. It's been long enough after the divorce that I am ready to meet some new people.
I'm wondering how you feel about that." Since your teens are also likely dating, it is important to talk with them about how it may be awkward to have a parent dating at the same time. How will my children be affected by my decision to date?
Just as you like to spend time with your special friends, I also want some time to be with my friends."With pre-teens and young teens (11-14) you can broach the topic of dating after the divorce. I'm wondering how you feel about me starting to date." Note: This does not mean that you are asking your child's permission to date. You are simply initiating discussion that is likely to be ongoing.
This is a good time to reassure your child that even though you are beginning to go out on dates, you will still always reserve time for just the two of you.
What if my children don't like the person I am dating? On one hand, it is important for parents to listen to concerns that their children raise about new partners.
Dating after divorce requires some caution on the part of adults. Gary Neuman, author of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way offers a list of things for parents to pay attention to.
On the other hand, you should not be asking permission from your child to date someone. Putting your child in the role of parental decision maker is not healthy for either of you.
When it comes to dating after divorce, parents are in the driver's seat.
Obviously the time needed to heal is different for everyone.