Dating With Children After Divorce
What do you most likely experience? Two things – doubting if your loved ones will like your choice. And doubting if this is the right choice for you.
Ok, here you are now, divorced, scared, ashamed and doubting if you want to introduce your new partner to your kids. What do you feel now? Right, most likely you have the same doubts like you did before, introducing your teenage friend to your parents.
This is the main call of this article. Before somebody steps into your life, you shouldn’t doubt whether to invite them in or not. You can not let your children suffer once again if it appears that this is the wrong person. You can not let your children experience a loss all over again. Children may ask, “Did I do something wrong?”
Think twice, check twice before. Make your conclusions carefully before you decide to start dating someone with children or having children by yourself.
There is a proven fact, children of divorce are the ones who suffer from separation most of all. All the emotions that adults experience after divorce plus their kid’s emotions multiplied several times.
Your children after separation are in a more complicated situation than you are. They need much more attention now, like never before. Fragility. Thats the name of that tune.
There are typical conditions of children in divorced families:
• They may secretly be hoping that “mommy and daddy” will get back together again, and will act out ways to accomplish this, i.e. start dating with children again.
• They may be jealous and possessive of the single parent’s love, not wanting to share mom and/or dad with anyone else.
• They may be fearful of losing the single parent. “I lost my dad. Is my mom next?”
• They may not trust any outsiders. That’s why be very cautious starting new dating with children.
• They may upset by their single parent dating. Expressing romantic feelings for someone other than the other parent.
Caring about your children after divorce is not only crucial for them but for you as well. Actually it is blessing for you to have someone to care for and love in this particular moment of your life. It helps a lot not to concentrate on your own emotions and it heals like nothing else.
From any point of view, practical, religious, psychological, caring for somebody who needs care more than you, heals you much faster and effectively.
This topic might be endless and each and every situation should be considered separately. Let me only outline several situations and give some advices which, I do hope, will help you to start dating again having children.
You are divorced. The person who used to live with you is no longer in the house. But you are not alone. Besides friends and relatives your children are with you. They look at you; they do not want to feel emptiness, and you do not want that either. Meet them, talk to them, and spend as much time with them as you can. No matter what – DO NOT FOCUS your kids on what has happened. Focus on what’s happening now. The fun, school, what happened today. It will help them and it will help you adjust to this new life easier.
• Never say bad things about your former spouse to your child. Even if your “ex” was a disgusting person. Your child has a right to love and forgiveness. Don’t take away this right. They will stay father or mother for your kid forever. Don’t cause a trauma to your child leading him to think that he is a child of garbage.
• Do not think that a small child is different from a teenager in accepting your new partner. Kids mostly feel but do not analyzing. And this feeling is impossible to deceive. Again, think carefully before starting to date with children, especially introducing your new partner.
Also if your five year old does not like your choice it is hardly possible they will change their attitude at fourteen. Unless your new partner will change himself. Very rare but sometimes it happens though.
• Before you start dating again try to “socialize” your kid. Spend more time with friends, in good company, so when you start dating your children won’t feel that your date is taking their time with you, but just a normal time going out.
• Let your children know that their relationship with you will not change because you are beginning to date. Being secured and assured in their relationship with you, they are less likely to feel afraid.
• Spend as much time with your children as you can. Spend this time both by yourself and with your new dating partner if you made a decision to introduce him or her to your children. It will tell your kids they are important and that you are paying attention to their needs.
• Listen to your children. Let them express their thoughts and impressions of your new date. It is not only good for them to feel important to you but you can also surprisingly find out some very interesting things about your new partner. A child’s view is free from “adult wisdom”, they see things as they are. And this can be very helpful. Just listen to your kids.
• Do not criticize your children in the presence of your new partner. And don’t allow your date to discipline your kids. Otherwise kids will realize somebody more important came into your life. They will not feel secure.
• Don’t introduce casual dating partners to your children. Children become attached easily and then suffer more loss. Having a revolving door with many short term relationships in your child’s life causes ambivalence. Think which model your child will follow when they grow up.
• Do not force an introduction of your new partner. If you have already decided they are the right person, do not force your children to meet or accept them. Give them time to get to know the new person in your life. If handled correctly, given time, your child will accept the relationship.
Being single with children after divorce is often challenging and exhausting. Another set of challenges appears when it comes to dating with children. It’s easy to be confused as to how to parent and date at the same time. Don’t forget that communication with your child is always the goal no matter the situation.
Children of Divorce