Dating after divorce with children can be challenging; who has time to fit one more thing into a single parenting life-style let alone something nerve-racking as dating?
think before you start dating you need first to understand how your children may feel about it. It shouldn’t keep you from taking that step, but it may help you understand their feelings about it.
Many children have a strong desire to see their parents get back together. It may be hard for them to accept the fact their parents are going out with other people. They may even try to compete for your attention or undermine your attempts to date. Just remember, this is because they love both parents and want to be together as a family, they may not know how to manage what they are feeling; that is why it is important to show compassion when they act out. On the other hand, some kids will encourage a parent to start dating just to get them out of the house.
When I started dating after the divorce, I felt it was very important not to involve my daughter too soon. She already suffered one loss between her parents I did not want her to suffer more if could be avoided. Children can get attached to the person you are dating, and if it doesn’t work out they may feel bad about it. This is easily avoided by not introducing them until you are serious about someone and it could be the real thing. Also, remember the values you want to raise your children with. How would they feel or what would they learn if they were to see someone in your bed inadvertently? Again, easily avoided by not putting them in that situation, by not doing it or getting a sitter. It is your job to guard their hearts and eyes and to parent by example.
One of the most significant hurdles for dating after divorce with children was finding the time to do so. Each time the weekend rolled around I had to clean, shop, wash laundry, homework, go to the park and hopefully relax a bit. Sure didn’t feel like I had much time to date. Nevertheless, you can fit it in when your child is with the other parent, and if that is not an option, you can look into having someone child sit.
Online dating is also a good alternative after divorce because it saves you time and it helps you weed out some of the “yeses”, “maybes” and “absolutely nots”. It also provides the opportunity to get to know someone before actually meeting in person, which you can do from the comfort of your own home while your child is sleeping.
When you are dating after divorce it is important to understand who you are and what you want in a partner. Second and third marriages fail because people don’t take the time to deal with their baggage. Make sure you are ready to date, have fun dating, be sincere, honest and learn about other people-it can be a rewarding experience.