Dating after a divorce is often a difficult experience in more ways than one, and if you have children, it can get even more challenging. It’s normal for children to balk at the idea of one of their parents beginning to date again or entering into a new relationship because this can often drive home the reality that you and your ex are not going to get back together. How you approach the topic of dating after divorce with your children can make a big difference in how they react.
While it may seem like the last thing you want to do, discussing with your ex-spouse how the two of you will deal with introducing the children to a new partner can be a good start if the two of you are able to communicate civilly. It’s very likely that your children will tell your ex about your new friend, and being on the same page ensures that your ex knows how to react and respond.
It can also be helpful to tell your children that you are interested in dating again before it happens so that they have an opportunity to adjust, cope and talk through any emotions before they have someone to take out the disappointment or anger on. Suddenly introducing someone to your children as your new partner can also undermine your children’s sense of stability and make them feel even more as if they have no control over what happens. If at all possible, let your child warm up to the person gradually and establish their own connection.
Unfortunately, your ex may also react negatively to you dating. It’s fairly common for there to be a sudden spike in communication issues or for your ex to become adversarial. If things break down too far, you may want to talk with an attorney about potential professional resources to turn to in order to get and keep things running smoothly.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Introducing Your Child to Your Dating World,” Jessica Denis, Aug. 17, 2015