I luckily don't have to deal with this issue right now. But, I have a lot of friends who have gone through divorces in the past couple years. I am encouraged that most of them have gone on to meet new people and have relationships. But, I can't imagine having to go through that with kids. This guest post is about telling your kids when you're dating someone younger. My parents were divorced when I was in elementary school and my dad actually dated someone younger than himself and they have been married forever now. So, I can understand this at least from that point of view.
How to tell your kids you’re dating someone much younger than you
As a single parent dating someone new, it’s important to try to understand your children’s reactions to your new relationship, even if these reactions are negative. This article offers some advice on how to tell your kids you’re dating someone much younger than you.
Be honest about the relationship
Be open with your kids from the start. If your kids are old enough to be aware of what is going on, you need to tell them you’re thinking about dating again. You shouldn’t bring new partners around straight away, but at least by being honest about your life decisions, you’ll be preparing them for the time when you introduce a new partner into their lives.
Sit down with them and have an open conversation about their fears and worries and let them know your motivations behind looking for a new relationship. If they feel involved and consulted in your decisions, they’ll be more open to accepting your new partner.
Prepare yourself for different reactions
Everyone has different opinions on large age gaps in relationship, so prepare yourself for different reactions from your children. Some may be completely understanding and happy for you while others may react with anger.
A lot of children feel uncomfortable when their parent dates someone much younger, especially if that person is of the same sex and a similar age to them. Your children may have concerns about being replaced or that you have the wrong motives for entering such a relationship.
Listen to your children
It’s important to listen to your children even if you’re upset by their opinions. All you can do is explain your feelings and reasons for entering into the relationship and reassure them that you’re not trying to replace their mother/father.
Let them know that you love them and respect their opinions and that you don’t want to damage your relationship with them. You need to try to put yourself in their shoes and understand that they are having a hard time adjusting to these changes in their lives.
Your children will come around eventually when they see that you and your partner are in it for the long haul and that you are happy together, but this may take a while. Be patient and keep trying to get them to understand.
Make sure you still spend time with your kids away from your partner and you let them know that they will always be your first priority. They may be used to having your undivided attention and so are finding it hard to get used to someone new coming into their lives.
Let them know it’s your decision
At the end of the day, it’s your life and your decision and they need to accept that. Do everything you can to keep them involved and try to understand their reasoning, but make it clear that you need to be happy too and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your relationship for them.
If you’re having a hard time finding someone new to date, visit the eHarmony dating site and look for people who are compatible with your lifestyle. These sites can be useful as you can filter your matches according to your ‘deal breakers’. After all, the right one for you might well be a different age, live in a different part of the country, or even be from another country! Online you can try everything from European dating to over 40s dating.
When you find someone who makes you happy, you should go for it – no matter what reactions you get from the people around you. Just remember that your kids should always come first and should always feel involved in your life decisions.
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