The majority of people dream of true love, happy marriage, and commitment to one person. However, sometimes things don’t end up the way we’d hoped. And while such situations are hard in their own right, things can be even trickier if there are children involved.
But life goes on and there are hundreds of happy days waiting for all of us. And it means that our job is to move on and take brave steps towards a new life, happier life. Of course, for the majority of single parents, it means going out again, dating someone new, and building an entirely new relationship. Armed with experience, single parents tend to be more careful when choosing partners, hence there are ground to assume that they also have more chances to build happy and lasting relationships with someone special.
However, it goes without saying, that dating is different when there are kids involved. There is a need to arrange plans with kids in mind. Turns out, it is not as hard as it may seem at first glance. The first step (read: the first date after divorce) is the hardest, but things tend to get increasingly simpler over time.
But if you’re at this first step of starting your life anew after divorce, these do’s and don’ts guide will help you get started. Ready?
DO establish your priorities
Even if finding a special someone is your first priority at the moment, you should remember that you’re a parent and keep it top of mind no matter what. You have a little human being dependent on you, which means it’s okay if sometimes your date will have to adopt his or her plans if you need it.
DO make introductions after serious thought
Of course, your kids should know who are you sharing your life with. However, there are factors to consider. First of all, you should only introduce them to each other if you are sure things are getting serious. Second of all, keep in mind that age matters. According to studies, children under age 10 might feel anxious and angry in such a situation.
DO be honest and upfront
When you start seeing someone new, it’s one of the biggest stress events for your kids. Even if you haven’t told your kids anything yet, remember they have great intuition. Don’t make them guess, talk to them, check in with their feelings and make sure they understand the situation. Remember that your new partner deserves honesty as well. Tell your special someone that you have kids to make sure this person is even open to this.
DON’T keep it in secret
It’s true that kids who have been through a divorce can be extra sensitive and emotional. However, it might be important for them to understand that you’re dating again and attempting to move on to live a happy life. Children tend to mimic the behavior of adults, which means it’s a good idea for you to try living an active and happy life again.
DON’T rush it
Take things slow. When the pain of divorce is still there, your kids might suffer from anger and anxiety, and your role is to help them through it instead of giving them another reason to feel even more stressed out.
DON’T talk about kids all the time
Of course, you are a parent and your kids are the most important part of your life, but it doesn’t mean you should keep from talking about other topics. Discuss books, share your outlook on life, make jokes, be the best version of yourself. Not only will you get a chance to turn your focus from kids to something else for a couple of hours, you will have fun chatting about something other than your daily routine.
Starting over again may seem overwhelming, but at the end of the day it’s worth taking the chance at finding that special someone. If you feel like it’s time to put yourself out there, go ahead and dip your toes into the dating pool.