If you are recently divorced, there will come a time when you start to feel ready to get back into the dating scene. If you have children from your marriage, you need to make sure that you are very careful about the way you introduce your new man to your children if you want them to accept him. Divorce is hard on your children, and they need to have some time to acclimate to the idea that their mother is going to have someone new in her life, because it means that this man is going to be a part of their life, as well.
Before you start dating, it is a good idea to mention it to your children that you are going to do so. Let them know that you are just going to be going out and making new male friends, and that a date doesn’t mean that the new person is in any way going to be a replacement for their father. Explain to them carefully that their father will always be their father, and make sure you tell them exactly when and how often they can expect to see their dad after the divorce.
Once they have grasped the idea that you are dating, they will eventually be more comfortable when it comes time to meet the new man in your life. Allow them to ask as many questions as they need, and always be aware of how they are feeling and any uncertainties they might have.
You should wait at least several months before you introduce the person you are dating to your children. This gives you more time to develop the relationship and make sure that it is going somewhere. You don’t want the children to meet someone only to have him disappear from their lives in a few weeks. If your children are receptive to the idea of having an ‘honorary’ daddy, they may start to form bonds with any new men you bring around, and be crushed if they meet someone they like, who turns out to be just a two-date fling.
The age of your children is going to be a big factor in determining how much you tell them and when they meet the new man. Also, it’s important to make sure that your children know that you and their father are still friends and have the healthiest relationship possible. They will see that the new guy isn’t in any way a threat to their ‘real’ dad, and will be more receptive to the idea of having him in their lives.