By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC
A divorce or end of a relationship leaves both partners feeling conflicted, guilty and upset. Having a new relationship is usually not the first thing most exes think about, especially when children are involved. Making sure the kids are okay–and trying to ease their pain with the changes in the family–is a full-time job. Like all changes, some days are good and others are a challenge.
As time goes by though, you realize you have a life too, and it can be lonely without an adult companion to share your life. Dating is a step that most single moms will consider. When they do, the first couple dates can be scary. Times have changed, and with the times, social media is becoming more and more a part of the dating scene. One of mom’s fears is how will her dating effect her children, and how can she avoid getting into the same type of relationship she left with her children’s dad?
There are no guarantees with dating someone new, but these ten tips can help.
* Let go of guilt. You don’t owe your children a lifetime of abstinence from having a new partner to share your life.
* Don’t rush into a commitment or trust your date with your kids. Your date should not meet your children for at least four months or until you are in a committed relationship.
* Never allow your date access to your children without you being there.
* Don’t lose yourself in the relationship. If you dislike football, then don’t go to football games every weekend just because he likes it. This makes you look too eager, and eager can be misconstrued as desperate or co-dependent.
* Don’t tell your kids all the details in the beginning of your relationship. This is a friend, not their new daddy.
* Put your kids first. Your child’s school performance is more important than a weekend away. If your date doesn’t honor this or deal with it maturely, he may not be right for you.
* Keep your boundaries strong. You’ve come a long way; prioritize what is most important for you. Don’t give into someone because you are afraid of being alone.
– Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..
– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.