How Do I Enter The Dating World and Not Affect My Children?

Parents are always concerned about how dating following a divorce will affect their children. This divorced dads guide will help you develop a solid plan for beginning to date again.

Give it a Year or Two

There are several good reasons for waiting at least a year – and two may be better – before beginning to date again. First, you’ll have had time to recover from the emotional trauma of divorce. You will gain a sense of healthy independence. The last thing you need to do is to jump back into a serious relationship “on the rebound” to fill an emotional void in your life. This often leads to a failed relationship and possibly a second divorce. Neither you nor your kids need that.

Secondly, giving it time will allow your children the same type of adjustment period you need. They’ll need at least a year to become comfortable with the effects of the divorce on their lives. Don’t complicate things for them by dating before they’ve had a chance to regain some semblance of a “normal” life.

Keep your Dating Private

If you don’t have physical custody of the children, then this is easier to do. Don’t go on dates on the weekends you have the children.  Choose mid-week dates or non-visitation weekends. Take the dating process slowly. Network with friends to find suitable dating partners. Avoid the club scene since it’s simply not an ideal spot to find a life partner. Consider using an internet site that matches people based on compatibility. If you’re going to remarry at some point, the best thing you can do for your children is to find a spouse that you can really make it work with.

Dos and Dont’s of Dating Again

Keep your dating life separate from your relationship with your children in the early going. If you begin to date someone with whom you believe there is potential for a great relationship, you can refer to them as a friend. There’s no need to introduce the person to your children for several months and the two of you have begun to talk about life together on a permanent basis.

Once your kids know you’re dating someone special, they’ll likely have lots of questions – depending on their age. They may be angry, hurt, jealous or have other emotions. Spend time listening. Don’t argue. Remind them that they are your first priority and then prove that by your behavior. Don’t let your new relationship get in the way of great parenting, and in time your children will likely warm up to the person you’re dating and be glad you have found new happiness.