Just because you and your ex are ready to move on doesn't mean that your kids are.
Dating after divorce isn't easy, but most of the time it's even harder for your kids. Regardless of whether you and your ex-spouse have been separated for awhile, the wound may still be fresh for your children; there's a possibility that your children are holding onto the hope that you'll get back together someday. Because it may be hard for them to grasp the fact that one of their parents may not be around at home anymore, treading carefully when it comes to introducing them to someone new is the best way to shield them from the pain of going through another loss. But just how soon is too soon to mention that you or your ex is dating again with your kids?
Divorce Coach Micki McWade offers advice on how to talk to your kids about your (as well as your ex's) new relationship and the right time to bring it up with them. Whether you've found love or are taking it slow, it's important that you both do not take this introduction lightly. Give your kids enough time to adapt to their parents living apart before springing a new relationship onto them. Waiting at least six months before introducing anyone new into the picture will give them a chance to get used to the idea of having to bond with someone else. The only way that you and your ex can officially move on is if you are both honest with your family about what is going on.
For instance, if seeing how close he's becoming to another woman is hard for you, just imagine how much harder it'll be for your kids to accept her only to find out that it was just a fling. Even if you're still friendly with an ex, a new love interest entering his life is never easy. That's why you both need to sit down and explain the situation to your kids. Make sure that this person you're introducing your kids to is someone who is going to be around for awhile; otherwise it isn't worth confusing your kids. They'll end up experiencing more loss if the relationship doesn't last.
The same goes for when you're finally ready to move on and jump back on the saddle again. Remember that it's better to be slow and steady to make sure that the connection between you and your partner is real than risk causing any emotional damage to your family. For more parenting tips on how to navigate the minefield that is dating after divorce without it negatively affecting your kids, watch the video above.
... and hoping the distance will naturally end the relationship. "No, honey, don't bother moving across country with me (even though you could). We'll just do long distance," said no happily committed person ever.
Similar to this guy's story, you're desperately hoping that the other person will simply stop calling at some point if you make a pilgrimage somewhere else ... anywhere else.
Gym attendance at an all time high? Check. Finally lost that spare tire? Check. Sudden new interest in grooming when you didn't care before? Yup. The act of eyeing the door has launched you off the couch and back into looking-for-a-mate fighting shape.
Do you find yourself flinching (or even wanting to scream) every time your paramour plasters signs of their devotion all over your Facebook wall? Have you given up on commenting in hopes of "not encouraging it"? Have you locked your social media accounts to prevent posts by others?
Since you started pulling away, your partner has redoubled their efforts to win you over in ways that you're starting to consider deeply pathetic.
Suddenly, there's no time like the present to re-ignite your long-dormant personal goals. That popsicle stick model of the Eiffel tower (to scale, of course) that you started in 8th grade suddenly demands you finish it.
You've solidly rocketed yourself right into IDGAF (I don't give a f*ck) territory when it comes to making decisions. You no longer care whether the other person is irritated, pissed-off or inconvenienced by anything you do. In fact, you welcome their displeasure, since in a small way it gets the message across that you're done.
In a futile effort to drive them far, far away, you've had that talk that goes, "Dah-ling, I'm a senseless disaster (fill in your own adjectives) who could never, ever be as nice to you as you are to me. I don't want to tie you down/hold you back/dull your shine."
"You deserve someone better." a.k.a. Please date anyone but me!