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Dating After Divorce

adating_after_divorceHow Soon Can I Wait To Date After A Divorce?

All of us believe that when we get married we have found the one. We are through with the whole dating scene, sometimes happily so. Unfortunately for some of us that isn't the case. Sometimes the marriage doesn't work out and we are once again left to start over, and dating will be a part of this.

Is there a protocol for when to start openly dating in public after a divorce?  In this day and age it's difficult to put a tag or a judgement on the time frame. Your divorce may have been a long time coming.  Seldom do these things happen overnight. So how should you proceed?

How Soon is Too Soon to Date after a Divorce?  

The best thing you can do is to take inventory and decide what is best for you.  And what makes sense given the details of the transition to single hood.Then consider those closest to you.

Believe it or not there is Life after Divorce, and dating can be a key part of it. You may begin quietly by agreeing to go on a double date with your best friend.  Or having a drink after work with a trusted colleague.  Who knows what opportunities you will find until you look around an open up to possibility.  What you don't need is concern about what others may think about how you reconstruct your personal life.

If you need to justify your actions, considerthe folks around you who now see you as a single rather than part of a couple.  Taking into consideration your children, relatives, friends and the people at your church may become a bit of a conundrum.  At this point in your life, do you really need to please everybody?  In case you are having trouble with this question, the answer is a resounding "NO."The best thing you can do is to narrow the field down to the few people in your life who REALLY matter.  Your immediate family, your loved ones and most importantly, your children.

Dating After Divorce?   What is Best for You and Your Loved Ones?

But what if the decision to start dating again not only effects you, what if you have children? Yes, this is another issue that will be faced. The kids can be another major factor. Dating with children after a divorce can be tricky to say the least.

The kids have already dealt with the fact that their parents are no longer together, which is hard enough to handle, now they have to deal with their parents going out with other people. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep the communication open.  Hopefully you have been candid and gentle with your children during the process of transition from marriage to divorce. 

Communicate With Your Kids During and After Divorce

It's always best if both parents are able to collectively communicate the changes in family structure to the children.  If the kids know what is going on, based on their individual ages and ability to understand the dynamics, then they are more prone to being supportive and understanding themselves.  The responsibility is on the parents to  prepare the kids for each new change that happens as a result of the family restructure.

Tell Children the Truth About Your New Single Status

The best course of action would be to talk to the kids before the date and explain to them that you are needing new friends and new people for grown up "playdates".  If you have more then one child, odds are you will get more than one reaction. Your oldest child may be supportive while a younger one will be less then happy about it.  Don't expect the kids to understand you or to support you unless you are open with them. 

Special Time for Kids

Chances are if the kids feel emotionally supported and get special time with you for themselves they will be happy to see you having special "adult" time for yourself.  So your first priority is to keep the kids feeling attended to and make sure they have their emotional needs met through your attention to them. 

But regardless of what your child’s reaction maybe don’t let  guilt keep you from jumping back into the dating game.  Part of being the best you can be is taking care of your needs for adult companionship.  As much as you want to be a good parent there are times when you need to put your needs first. 

The whole family is experiencing life changes after divorce, but part of your new life has got to be getting out there and meeting new people. Yes, you love your children,and you also need to do what is best for you.  Just keep the lines of communication open and your happiness will benefit the kids in the long run!