When you are ready to date again, you may use a popular dating site to meet singles online. You may have met someone wonderful that you’d like to go out on a date with, and things go well. You may even start to see them regularly. Many parents struggle with deciding when they should tell their kids that they are dating again.
While dating after going through a divorce isn’t a big deal, and it shouldn’t be any more complicated than other transitions in your life — and people have to stop thinking the divorced family is a “broken” family.
As a single parent who approaches dating post-divorce like something they need to tiptoe around or treat it like it’s a secret, you’re giving your kids the idea that you’re doing something wrong. Instead, you should strive to make your children understand that dating and coupling with someone are natural parts of life. When you keep that in the forefront when you’re managing parenting and dating, you’ll find everything runs a bit smoother.
While you don’t have to tell your kids where you go to meet singles online, you are honest about dating! If you like the courts or American therapists, they would recommend leaving your kids in the dark about your dating. However, it’s not that simple, especially if you have children over six years old. Why? Because they are a lot more intuitive and observant than many like to give them credit for. They see that you’re going out and will get curious. Naturally, they will ask you where you’re going, and while you may want to tell them a lie, they may not believe you — especially if the children are older. And should they find out that you’re lying to them, it could hurt the trust between you too.
Instead of lying, we recommend that you just be honest to a degree. Yes, you can tell them that you’re seeing someone, but you don’t have to gush and go on and on about the hopes you have for the future.
Kids have an attachment to their parents more than we may realize and they’re going to want what you want. So, for example, if you tell your children that you are excited about your relationship with someone and that relationship doesn’t work out, they’re going to be as disappointed as you are, especially if you include them in your relationship and they become attached to the other person.
Instead of including them in the relationship, just tell them you’re going out for some grown-up time with a nice person that you’ve met. Tell them that you’re going to go out and enjoy a nice meal together and maybe even see a movie or go dancing. You should give your child a round-about idea of when you’ll be coming home. If your child is young and they experience some separation anxiety, you can call them at some point during the evening to check in. Don’t let that phone call be too long — just a quick check-in will suffice.
Reaffirm Your Love
When you do become more serious with someone that you’re dating, you have to make sure your child doesn’t feel like they are being replaced by your new partner. You can keep the balance within your new family (yes, you’re becoming a new family!) by making sure you still make time for your kids without your new partner. Remind them that because you’re dating, it doesn’t mean you don’t love them any less.
Quick Tips for Parents Dating Again:
- When you’re telling your children about your budding love life, keep all information age appropriate.
- Be honest with you kids about what is going on without putting them on some sort of emotional rollercoaster.
- Don’t bring your kids on the date.
- Don’t have the person you’re seeing sleep over if your children are there.
Top 5 Tips For Dating From Single Parents
Do: Only introduce people to your children who you think are going to become a more permanent fixture in their lives.
Don’t: Bring every new person you go out with around your children.
Do: Introduce the idea of you dating again slowly. Emphasize the fact that dating is something all adults do and it is part of being an adult.
Don’t: Let the fact that your dating comes out of the blue.
Do: Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to take some time and do things that you can enjoy as an adult.
Don’t: bring your children with you on each date you go on.
Do: Listen to what they have to say and what they think about the person you’re seeing. However, make sure they know that they are not deciding the fate of your relationship.
Don’t: Allow the things they say dictate your feelings and actions toward the person you’re seeing unless they tell you they don’t feel safe or they are being hurt.
Do: Create a safe space where everyone is open and honest with each other. Feel free to include the other parent, so your children don’t feel like they have to take sides with you and their other parent.
Don’t: Ask your children to keep the fact that you’re dating a secret from the other parent. You should never put your children in the middle of you and their other parent. Also, never ask them to lie for you. Not only does it teach and encourage them that lying is okay, but it confuses them because if you’re lying about dating, it will make them think you are doing something wrong.