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Dating After Divorce: How to Inform Your Kids About Your Decision to Begin Dating

Posted on in Divorce

dating after divorce, children of divorce, Illinois divorce lawyer, Lombard divorce attorneySounds a bit strange, does it not? You are an adult, you have been married and you have been divorced. Currently you are on your own and now feel you are ready to take a chance on dating. Be prepared; your children may not be supportive of your decision.

According to Constance Ahrons, Ph.D, family therapist and author of "The Good Divorce" and "We’re Still Family," your decision to begin dating, no matter how long after divorce, is probably going to be received by your children with chilly resistance. It may also stir up a whole new cauldron of feelings for your offspring. In fact, your decision to begin dating may even be as traumatic an event as the divorce.

So how do you approach the subject? Try the following these tips and remember you are an adult and you are capable of making an informed decision.

The Sit Down Conversation

Of course, your kids are going to view this as another family meeting dripping with dreadful news they may not want to hear. Explain to them you are considering dating. There may be a distant glare or expressed disdain, but stand firm as you address their concerns.

The Replacement Risk

Stress the fact that you are not seeking a replacement for the estranged parent, but you are adding adult activities back into your life. Depending on your kids’ ages, there may be strong feelings of resentment as they may believe that you will be walking down the aisle in the near future. Mention that you are interested in meeting new people your own age with whom you can share experiences.

May I Introduce?

Not so fast. If you are considering casual dating, an early introduction in a budding relationship can be hazardous to your children's emotional well being. For example, the children could become attached to your new interest and you risk hurting their feelings if the relationship ends.

Setting Boundaries

Boundaries should be solidified early in the relationship for both your kids and those you many be dating. Remind your kids that this is your decision and they will mind their manners and show respect but also remind your partner that trying to become the replacement parent early in the relationship is not an option either.

Setting an Example

Remember that kids learn by example. Take this opportunity to demonstrate healthy dating patterns. This may be a welcome change from the disruption caused by the divorce. Be careful not to send mixed messages on the rules of dating. By remaining a strong role model, you could be setting the stage for your kids with regard to their own dating experience.

Deciding to begin dating after divorce does not have to be an unpleasant experience for you, your kids or the person you are dating. Take it one step at a time. Keep your kids informed but also remember you are the adult.

If dating is currently the furthest thing from your mind as you find yourself in the beginning stages of contemplating divorce, the legal team of A. Traub & Associates, understands the weight and significance of the decision facing you. We encourage our clients to move past the experience quickly but effectively. Our Lombard divorce attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the information you need to move swiftly through the divorce process.
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