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Dating after divorce: How dating influences teens

As a parent who has gone through a divorce, your goal was always to help your child get into a better situation. You wanted to stop the arguments that caused tension in your home. You wanted your child to feel comfortable.

Now that you've done all the right things, you feel like it's your right to begin to date again. Is it something that you should do now, or is it more appropriate to wait? The answer to that question is dependent on the age of your child and how he or she reacted to the divorce. Before you decide to date after divorce, consider talking not only to your child but also to your ex-partner if you're able to communicate with each other safely.

Why would you want to talk to your ex-spouse about dating?

From a parent's perspective, it's a good idea to be on the same page when you start to date again. That way, both people have the ability to support the other parent's decision and to encourage a child to adjust and treat the new girlfriend or boyfriend with respect. Some teens and children lash out when their parents finally introduce someone new, but if each parent is prepared, the likelihood of that happening reduces.

Don't introduce all your dates to your kids

Even if your teen seems comfortable with you dating, that doesn't mean you should introduce every date to your child. Children need time to adjust to the idea that you're dating, and they don't want to see you get hurt. Instead of introducing everyone you want to date, consider bringing home only those whom you could see yourself being with for a longer period of time. This reduces like likelihood of your child feeling let down if a new boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't work out.

These are a few things to think about before you decide to date after divorce. Every situation is different, so take it slowly.

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