There are many challenges when it comes to dating after divorce. You are a little older, and hopefully wiser, than the last time around, but wiser can’t always help. If you are a single parent, you have to worry about how soon you introduce the children to your new love interest or you have to work out the parenting time schedules if both of you are single parents. What if your kids are on opposite weekends from his/hers? Are you willing and able to switch weekends? Can your new man/woman? Who should make the change and when are things that will have to be discussed.
What if your extended families both live quite a distance away? At what point do you want to introduce your new potential mate to family? How is that going to work? How would holiday plans work if each of you has coparenting issues that must be addressed?
What if you are in what is called the sandwich generation where you have an elderly parent to care for? What if you had to move back home to your parent’s house during the transition? How much do you want them to know about a new person in your life and when will you decide to share that information with them?
Dating is very fun and exciting. It is easy to get wrapped up in it all and jump into a relationship that you are not quite ready for. Take the time to make sure this person is right for you before deciding to share your life with them, but be ready to make changes where ever necessary.
The most important thing is to be able to have some tough conversations. You have to be straightforward and ask the other person to be as well. Be open and honest about your situation and set ground rules about the kids and exes if they are part of the equation. Make sure you express what you want in a partner and also how you see it going and make sure that you are not the only one making sacrifices for the relationship, if you are…run like hell! Don’t expect everything to happen at lightning speed and don’t think that you can plan for everything. Unexpected things will occur.
Most important of all, have fun. Date, date, date and do not panic about every little issue when you cannot make scheduling work. If it works most of the time, that is all you need and never, never, never date to find a new parent for your child. They already have another parent. Also, do not push yourself on your new man/woman’s children. Let your new love figure that out and let the kids come to accept you and the new relationship over time.