Parenting is difficult enough without the added stress of trying to date at the same time. Children, no matter their age, are sensitive in the wake of a divorce and divorced parents dating with children face even more difficulties than those not yet dating. The biggest problem with divorced parents dating with children is the reaction of the child when he learns you are dating. It is impossible to know how your child will react to the news, which makes it even more difficult to break the news to him. Additionally, you will eventually need to break the news to your ex.
Small children will not understand the concept of dating so it is not necessary to say anything more than you were enjoying time with a friend when your young children ask about what you did last night or where you were. It is imperative you give older children the opportunity to talk to you about their feelings regarding your dating. However, you should not expect them to be okay with it at first; some children need time to adjust to the idea of their parent dating.
Telling your ex that you are dating is not necessary; it is none of your exes business what you do in your personal life so long as it does not affect your children. You will, however, need to inform your ex that you are dating when you make the decision to introduce your children to the person that you are seeing because it is a common courtesy. You would undoubtedly want to know if your ex was exposing your children to someone new, after all.
Introducing your children to the person you are dating should only be done once you have gotten to know the other person and your relationship becomes serious. Divorce is difficult and becoming attached to a person you are not serious about having a relationship with causes unnecessary hurt to your children.
Lastly, it is important that you listen to your child’s feelings about your new partner to ensure that any dislike does not stem from inappropriate behavior.