"Life goes on," is an old-saying that applies to many divorcees today. When children are involved, it can be difficult to know how to begin dating again. If things between you and a prospective mate get serious, it can also be difficult to know when and how to introduce them to your children.
Introduce your ex or estranged spouse first.
This is not ideal if emotions are rampant, but if you and your ex-spouse are amicable, allow them to meet the person you are interested in before introducing that person to your children. Use caution with this approach, and only introduce prospective mates that you see can see a future with. Introducing your ex to every person you date suggests that you are not comfortable with your own decisions. It can also make the other parent feel as though you are "loosely dating everyone in sight."
Introducing someone you are ready to date sets the foundation for future dealings. It may go over smoother with your ex to hear about your new love and meet them personally rather than learning about your new love from excited children yelling, "Mom/Dad has a new friend."
Be respectful of time.
You may desire for your children and your new love to bond as quickly as possible. However, try to have activities that involve you and your children alone. Also, have date times for you and the person you are dating to share alone. It may become overwhelming to the person you are dating to be around your children every time they see you, and your children may become resentful if they all of a sudden have very little time alone with you.
Be a respecter of feelings and scheduling.
Dating when children are involved requires you to consider the feelings of others. For example, one obstacle you may face is dating someone who also has children by someone else, and at times, your plans may not align. For example, you may envision having a Thanksgiving dinner with all of the children present, but Thanksgiving may be the holiday that the person you are dating will not have visitation or custody of their children. Working together and looking at events weeks ahead of time can aid in preventing disappointments.
Understanding the terms of your divorce decree or legal separation is an important part of resuming dating. Overlooking one minor thing could result in your ex-spouse petitioning the courts about your actions. A lawyer like Christopher R Vanroden, is the best resource to use if you need a refresher on the terms of your divorce or separation.