Read on for our expert-backed rules on navigating the dating scene while still keeping your kids interests at heart.
Rule #1: If you’re newly single, ease into it Remember, you’re the grown-up here.
Rule #5: Avoid the revolving door Introducing women into your children’s lives too frequently can skew their perceptions.
“Children can get attached to them, and then if they disappear it can make children cynical and pessimistic about romantic relationships,” says clinical psychologist Ken Condrell, Ph. Rule #6: Be sensitive about when and how much time you spend on dates Never sacrifice time with your kids for time with a date, Fisher says.
However, be sure to add that at some point in the future if you should ever meet someone you want to date exclusively, you will want them to meet her.
Most children will be okay with this because they can’t really imagine that happening.
The kids may also struggle with either or both parents’ new significant others.
According to Fisher’s research, single moms are not looking specifically for a man with kids, but single dads are looking for a woman who is a mother.
Rule #10: If you want a sleepover with the kids around, you’d better be serious Never assume your kids don’t get it. Even toddlers who would be fine with a woman sleeping over turn into adolescents and then teens—and if you have been cavalier about sleepovers when they are 3 or 4, it is easy for them to get lulled into doing it as they age.
You should be in a committed, exclusive, marriage-on-the-horizon relationship if she sleeps over in your bed when your kids are home.
But as much as I love to spend time with my friends and family, just like you do, I’d also like to have friends of the opposite gender, someone who I can go to the movies with, to dance with, to have a drink with,’ ” Fisher says.
Rule #3: Find the right gal The woman you’re looking for should understand that your kids are your priority, says Armin Brott, a columnist for .
If your potential partner is one of these divorced custodial dads, you'll need to contend with issues that go above and beyond the typical dating scenarios, such as his family's dynamics, scheduling conflicts and his children's feelings about you.