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How to date when you have kids

Updated on March 19, 2015
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Natasha Pelati has published three books of poetry and writes on real-life experiences with the help of psychology.

Divorced with Kids - How to start Dating

Life after divorce can be hurtful and confusing to the entire family and the children are the most effected. Dating after divorce is something that many do not even consider until much later on. It is not as easy as it was when you were younger and having children to consider makes it difficult and sometimes complicated. There are a few guidelines to help you enjoy a vibrant and happy dating life with kids.

Although you need to consider your children when dating after divorce, there is also a time when you have got to think about you and what is best for your happiness too.

Some children reject the fact that their parents are going to be dating anyone but their mother or father and the way that you deal with it will make all the difference.

Divorce can be complicated
Divorce can be complicated

When to start dating after divorce

Divorce is a messy affair and many people get hurt, including your children.

Jumping into the next relationship after a divorce is not really the greatest idea but it is good to get back out there and enjoy your life.

You can start dating as soon as the paper work is over and it does not have to be Mr or Mrs right in the beginning, fun is what you need and you have the time to explore all options before you jump into being serious.....which I am sure is the last thing that you would want after a divorce.

Go out and meet as many people as you can. Make new friends and have fun, let your hair down and don't take anything too seriously.

The rule for dating after divorce is to date without letting your children get involved, which means that you can go out with as many people as you choose to but keep them away from your kids and don't tell your children about every date that you will be going on. They do not need to know anything until you have a potential partner that you would like to date on a serious level.

You can let your children know that you will be going out with friends and they do not have to know that it is a date. Keep things simple and uncomplicated for both you and your children.

Put your kids first
Put your kids first

Put your kids first

Children can get attached or they can shut the world out and with divorce their entire world is destroyed. With this they lose their security and how you behave will determine the way that they will handle relationships when they are grown up.

Dating when you were younger without kids was easy because you could cuddle in front of the television whilst watching a movie, you could bring someone home and that would be fine. With children at home, this is not a good idea until you have met someone that you think could be marriage material.

Don't mix your home life with your dating life and keep them separate to avoid your children getting confused and hurt.

With someone suddenly coming into their lives and then leaving could cause more hurt and heartbreak for your children.

Always make sure that your kids are first in your life, don't just give into their demands and ensure that they still feel that both parents are there for them, care and love them and can still punish them if they do wrong.

This means that you have to behave like a mom or dad before you behave like a single social bunny.

Should you have a date on the same day as your childs event, then cancel it because your kids need you first. It doesn't mean that you have to wait for them to grow up first before you start dating, just put them first.

Healthy children who have the right frame of mind are raised by parents who are well adjusted and they need you to give them the security, safety and family values in order to become happy and have healthy relationships of their own one day.

Date as many frogs as you would like but do not bring them home!

How do your children cope with your dating?

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Take it slow

There is no need to rush into anything with anyone and you do not have to feel pressured to find someone in a hurry. After all you were married for so long, why rush into something serious so quickly.

Take your time and date as many people as you can before you find the one that you would like to be in a relationship with.

There are many men and women who have divorced and they have children too, which means that they are in the same situation that you are in which will help when it comes to children because they will also understand the importance of protecting the kids from heartbreak and hurt.

Your dates might also have children which could help with the understanding that they need to be protected, never assume this though as they might not have the same values that you do.

If your date doesn't have children it might take them a while to adjust to the situation as it is a huge responsibility and a very different way to date. Try not to discuss babysitters and family matters with your date and ensure that you get the time to go out and let loose. This means that your ex will have to support you in your dating expeditions.

Finding the right partner will take time but when you do find that one, they will understand that you have children, they are first in your life and that there are decisions to make with your ex about the kids.

Find a balance between children and dating so that you can enjoy your life and have fun. There is no need to be stressed and worry about your children so much so that you forget that you are single and allowed to enjoy life too.

Take it slow when kids are involved
Take it slow when kids are involved

When to introduce the kids to a new dating partner

Only if you are absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent sure that you are wanting to have a serious relationship and your dating partner is on the same page, then you can introduce him/her to your kids.

Dating needs to go through its process of the two of you being friends, dating and then entering into a serious relationship and before you decide to introduce to the kids, you need to know that you both feel the same way.

Kids get attached to new people more so than you will and what might not work out for you, could affect the kids.

Confusion sets in for kids when they do not understand why someone other than their mother or father is with you and you need to be sure before that partner walks into the door, that he/ she is the right person to have a serious and committed relationship with.

Introduce your kids to your new partner once you have both established that you are in a relationship that has a future for you and your kids.

How to introduce your kids to your dating partner

Before you arrive home with a stranger, talk to your children and tell them that you have been seeing a friend that you like and he/ she likes you too.

Let them know that their dad/mom will always be there for them and that your family will not change with your partner involved.

Ensure them that you love them completely and that they will always be first in your life.

Tell them a little about the dating partner and ask them if they would like to meet him.

At the end of the day it is your decision to make and they will have to accept that you have someone new in your life.

Once you are all ready to meet introduce him/her as your friend first and keep yourself dignified while he/she is in the presence of your kids.

Take it slow and allow them to get to know your partner first before you decide on sleepovers.

It is selfish to enter into a relationship with someone without considering your children or that person too. Be honest with your dating partner and allow them the opportunity to think about the relationship as they might meet your kids and then decide that this is not the relationship for them.

Be considerate to your kids when bringing a partner home to meet them
Be considerate to your kids when bringing a partner home to meet them

When to have dating sleepovers

Once your children have met the new partner and you are certain that they like him/her and he/she likes them, then you can have your partner over for a few movie nights or dinners but no sleepovers until the kids are familiar with him/her.

After a few months of everyone becoming familiar and comfortable with each other, you can then have a "sleep over."

Always ensure that your children are comfortable with your partner and once they have slept over you need to ask your children if they are okay before you continue.

They will eventually become used to the idea and things will feel natural and they will adapt to your new lifestyle.


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