Do’s and don’ts of post-divorce dating

Don't rush into dating

Man holds red broken paper heart in his hands

Post divorce dating is a tricky business.  Aside from dealing with how to return to the world of dating and how not to repeat your last big relationship there are some things that you want to consider as you re-enter the social dating scene.

Don’t rush in

It is no secret that some women rush into another relationship too soon and too fast.  The rebound effect (where your ex said you would never find anyone who loves you and you are out to prove him wrong), can cause you to jump into a new relationship and create further troubles.  Trouble number one is bringing new male friends into the lives of your children too soon after your divorce. The kids have gone through this trauma with you.  Their family no longer lives together and they likely do not see their dad as often.  Bringing new male romances into the home too soon can create issues with resentment and confusion.  It can cause them to feel insecure in the safety of their home and environment. If you are going to date don’t bring your dates home for a good six months to a year after your divorce.  It will give them time to adjust to their new reality and give you time to do some soul searching about your past relationship so you can avoid a repeat.

Take it slow

If you find a new love don’t jump into having him move in with you. Most father’s will not react in a positive way to having a boyfriend living with their kids.  According to a study done by the University of Chicago Medicine in 2005 (http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2005/20051107-abuse.html), in homes where young children died from inflicted injuries, 21% lived in homes with an unrelated adult and more than 80% of those consisted of households where the mother’s boyfriend lived with them.  In 74% of those cases, the boyfriend was the perpetrator. Remember, your parenting arrangement can always be challenged by your ex so don’t create a good excuse for the court to revisit who should have primary custody.

If you need time, take time

The best idea is to give both you and your kids time to adjust.  Reflect on what you really want and do an inventory of why your marriage did not survive.  Don’t let friends push you into dating too soon.  Be happy by yourself for awhile and pamper and indulge yourself.  When it is time to date, you will know it is right.  When you meet the right guy, bring him into your kid’s world slowly and you will avoid those pitfalls.

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