Dating after a divorce is always a complicated thing, especially when you have children in the picture. You want them to like the new person in your life, but your kids are your life. Keeping the complications to a minimum means keeping several things in mind. Here are things to consider before bringing kids and a new partner together, so you can keep the peace and harmony in your family.
Kids and a New Partner
There are tons of questions to think about when you bring together kids and a new partner. Is it too soon? What if they donâ€™t like your significant other? Whatâ€™s the best way to introduce everyone? What if your kids are confused? How do you deal with anger? Keeping some important factors in mind are vital to handling many of these complex questions.
Is This Going to Last?
Are you getting serious with your new relationship? Is there a chance of getting serious? Introducing your kids to every single person with whom you go to the movies may not be the best idea. They could assume that nobody is going to stick around. The moment you and your new S.O. talk about getting serious, though, discussions of meeting the family should come into play.
How Long Has It Been?
Have you been with your new partner for a month? Six months? A year? Only you know how long is â€œlong,â€ but if you go too long without introducing your significant other to your kids, they may think youâ€™re hiding something. At some point it becomes necessary to admit that yes, this is a serious thing.
How Old Are They?
Kids are resilient, but their attitudes and outlooks change significantly as they age. Younger kids are much more likely to accept a new person in their life more quickly, but will also have a harder time letting go if that new person leaves.
Older kids, on the other hand, are going to be more skeptical and distant with the new entry, but may form close and long-term bonds if things work out. If you have teens, you may have an important opportunity to set a good example for positive dating relationships.
What Does Your Ex Think?
Your exâ€™s opinion doesnâ€™t define your lifeâ€”that ended when your marriage did. However, you and they are still partners in raising your children, and you should both still value each otherâ€™s opinions. Take some time to talk with your ex about your new relationship. Consider even introducing your new partner to your ex before you do so to the kids. You may get some insights you hadnâ€™t yet considered.
Healing after divorce is a long process and new relationships are a part of that journey. If you would like more advice on finding yourself after the end of your marriage, read a few articles weâ€™ve put together, and call us for information on how a mediated divorce can help you salvage something of your lost relationship.