At some point for every parent, the time will come for your teenager to start dating. And if you’re a divorced mom, it may come around the same time you’re ready to start dating too. The subject can be a challenging one to approach and your teen may express some resistance. Introducing the subject of dating is like walking a tightrope. It requires a delicate balance. But by keeping open lines of communication with honesty, your teenager will be able to adjust to your dating easier.
It is extremely important to be open and honest with your teen when you start dating after your divorce. Take the time to explain to your teen that it is time for you to grow into the next phase of your life and even though the divorce was the end of what you thought would be a lifelong love, you hope to find a person you want to spend your life with. The older teenagers will understand that mom needs to have a social life. A younger teenager may have some difficulty understanding why being a mom isn’t enough.
Keep Your Dates And Kids Separated
Even if your teenager is aware of you dating, it isn’t necessary for them to be introduced to every person you date. It can be confusing and stressful for the kids. It is best to plan your dates so that your kids and the date do not meet immediately. You only need to introduce them to the person once you feel the relationship could get serious.
By talking about the person you’re interested in too much or introducing them to the kids too soon can create an attachment between them. Wait until you have dated that person for at least 6 months and you are certain there is a mutual commitment between you before introducing them to your teenager.
Confirm this is Companionship and Friendship
Depending on the age and maturity of your teen, they may have trouble understanding that relationships start with both parties needing companionship and friendship. Reassure them that while you love spending time with them, you need something more. Talk to your teen about your need to have a social life with someone that has the same interests as you instead of making it a big deal that you’re dating again.