As one relationship ends it is likely that another will begin. When is it the time to begin dating after divorce? When should the new person be introduced to the children?

If you have come from a relationship where you felt unappreciated or marginalized the thrill of someone new and exciting can be overwhelming. It is so exciting to feel the thrill of new love that you may want to share that love with your children. Stop. Your children are not feeling the same excitement you are. They are not anxious to meet mom’s new boyfriend or dad’s new girlfriend.

What to do? Each parent usually has some evenings and every other weekend that the children are with their other parent. This is when dating should occur. After divorce children need some stability and consistency in their lives. They need to feel connected to their parents – even though they are now living in different places. As everyone adjusts to a new reality it isn’t the time to bring someone new into your children’s lives.

A good rule is to never introduce a new partner to the children unless the relationship has progressed and is on the path to a long-term commitment. Even when there will be a long-term relationship – proceed with caution.

“Remember, you are a parent first. The well-being of your children MUST take precedence. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take care of yourself, you should. However, make a separate time and space for your adult dating life and maintain your role as mom or dad when you are with the children.”

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