Divorce can be an extremely traumatic experience for you and may leave you feeling resentful and angry for months afterward. It can be especially messy if there are kids involved as they may not fully understand what's going on and may try to cope with their negative emotions in unhealthy ways.
You need to treat your divorce like the loss it is. Once you've processed your painful emotions and mourned the loss of your marriage, only then should you consider the possibility of finding love again.
In this blog, we'll take a look at a few dos and don'ts of dating after divorce, especially when you have kids.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Before getting back out in the dating world, you need to have a clear picture in your mind about what you're looking for and what a healthy relationship should look like for you. Your kids will play a huge role in your new relationship, so you must take their needs into consideration as well and make sure they don't feel neglected or left out as you move forward on this new journey.
It would be wrong to have unrealistic expectations of your potential partner as it may take a while before they can adjust to your reality. Make sure you've established healthy boundaries with both your kids and your new partner to avoid making either side feel resentful toward you.
2. Be Open about the Fact That You're a Parent
The last thing you want to do is start a new relationship based on lies. There's no reason for you to keep secrets about your life from your new partner and give them a false idea of what they can expect from you.
You need to be open about the fact that you have kids to the next person you let into your life, so they know what they're getting into. The more you'll share about your life, the more chances you'll have of finding someone who's compatible with you and shares the same interests. And you want a new partner who not only wants to build a relationship with you, but also wants to have a meaningful relationship with your children.
3. Don't Do It for the Wrong Reasons
You may feel jumping into a relationship not long after your divorce will allow you to heal more quickly and get your life back on track, but this couldn't be further from the truth. You may think a new father/mother figure is just what you need to help your kids cope with their stress and anxiety, but it can end up having the opposite effect.
It's understandable if you're afraid of being alone, but you need to keep your kids' well-being as your topmost priority before rushing into something that can potentially drive your kids away from you. Instead of making the same mistakes that you made during your marriage, you need to allow yourself and your kids the time and space to recover before searching for a new companion.
4. Don't Introduce Your Kids until You're Seriously Involved
It's important to understand that you don't have to settle for the first person you meet. You need to be careful with whom you choose to bring into your life and make sure they understand how sensitive kids can be.
You should only consider introducing your partner to your kids if you're serious about your relationship. It's easier for children to get attached to new people. If you keep bringing someone new home every few months, it may affect your kids negatively and weaken the special bond you have with them.
Dating after divorce with kidscan be quite overwhelming. It's advisable to get in touch with other single parents to get some perspective and figure out how you can make it work without harming your relationship with your children.
Atlanta Family Law Group is a law firm that specializes in divorce and high conflict child custody cases. Call us at (404) 963-9452 to schedule a consultation and let us provide you the legal support you need to protect your assets and relationship with your children.