Dating After Divorce –Introducing Your Partner to Your Children

Divorce can be quite difficult for your child. However, what’s even more challenging is moving on and embarking on a new phase in your life – dating. Integrating your child in the dating process can be tricky if not handled with utmost care and concerns. You’re not necessarily looking for their approval, rather their acceptance in this regard.

Our parenting consultation focuses on addressing questions such as the why, when and how of introducing your new partner to your children, after a separation or divorce.

WHY Your Children May Have Reservations About Your New Partner

It is important to understand that watching their parents date is certainly an odd scenario for kids. It creates confusion, anxiety and reservation within them. However, more than anything, you need to understand an important fact that some parents tend to miss out on. Your decision to begin dating is the end of your child’s harbored fantasy – the notion and hope that his or her parents will get back together. It is a harsh reality they may not come to terms with easily. It is important that you continue to make your presence felt in your child’s life.

WHEN Should You Introduce

Timing is everything. It is important to understand that not all relationships will go on to be long-term or permanent. Therefore, parents must only introduce their significant other to their children once they’re certain about the relationship. Take into account that kids from divorced families have already experienced a great deal of loss.

Understand the stage you are at, at the moment: Is it courtship, dating or a relationship? Integrating your children too early on is not recommended. Introductions should wait until you’re dating exclusively for 6 months.

HOW to Introduce Your Children To Your New Partner

While divorce is difficult to handle for every child, each kid’s reaction will depend on their age. Pre-teens may be more sensitive towards the idea of their parent dating. During this process, you should be extra responsive to the needs of your child, making sure you continue spending time with them, without your dating partner.

Once you are sure about your relationship, and think it’s the right time to introduce your new partner to your kids, the ideal way to do it would be to plan an activity. Don’t just hang around the house with your partner and your kids; in fact, get involved in a group activity. Going out for dinner, movie, or to an amusement park as a family may help break the ice. Finally, when hanging out in a group (i.e., your partner, your children, and you), at no cost should your child be treated like a third wheel.

After your child has met your new partner, encourage them to express their feelings, but make sure to do this in private. You should be open to the idea that your child might not be comfortable with your new partner. However, this is not something that should alarm you. It is difficult for kids to understand this transition without extra care, attention and tact.

From parenting through separation and divorce to family and individual consultations, Triangle Parenting Solutions is geared towards ensuring a healthy psychological state for the children as well as the entire family during and after a divorce.

Call us at, 919-539-4840 or email us at, [email protected] to set up an appointment.