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Introducing Your New Partner to Your Kids After Divorce

Dating can be a bit awkward after a divorce, especially for spouses who took a long hiatus from the single scene because they were married for years. For example, some divorcing spouses were married before online dating, and they don’t even know where to begin.

Dating after divorce can be challenging at first, but it can be even more complicated for divorcées who have children. Sometimes, they are eager to date again, but they’re worried that their children will never accept a new partner. This is one of the key reasons why divorced men and women throw in the towel on ever finding love again, but it does not have to be this way.

A New Partner Can Be Good for Your Family

While dating after divorce can be hard for some children to accept, that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. In fact, if you find a new partner, someone to share your life with, it may actually be good for your family. But, the outcome usually depends on how you go about it.

If you’re divorcing and your children are infants or toddlers, they probably won’t have any issues with you dating. However, if your child is in elementary school or older, he or she may have a more difficult time accepting the idea of you entering into a romantic relationship with someone new, especially if they hope you and you’ll get back together with their mom or dad.

Taking the Slow Approach

The best way to introduce a new partner to your children is to take it slow. Remember, you’re single, but you have children, so finding a new match will involve your kids to an extent. For starters, we do not recommend introducing your children to a date or a new partner shortly after the divorce. Instead, it’s better to hold off on any introductions.

If you have children who are mature or older, their emotions may still be raw. You don’t want to upset them by introducing them to your new partner when the ink has barely dried on your divorce papers.

If you do start dating during or after the divorce, avoid dating on your nights with the kids because this can make them feel as if they come second, leading to resentment. When you do decide to introduce them to the new love in your life, tell your children before the introduction; you do not want to surprise them.

Arrange the first introduction so it’s in a safe, fun, relaxed environment like dinner out, the movies, a park, or a bowling alley. If your children see that they can have fun with your new partner, they are more likely to feel at ease around him or her and accept them.

Lastly, make sure you really get to know someone before you introduce them to your children. You want to be certain that he or she is a kind, honest, and caring person. You don’t want to bring anyone around your children who may turn out to be verbally or physically abusive toward you, or your kids.

Next: Dating During a Divorce: Is It Okay?

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