Back in the Game?

• Once you start dating, have a woman-to-woman chat with her about being a woman on the dating scene. The object here is not just to make her comfortable with you as a single lady but to make her feel even more comfortable telling you what is going on in her life. Confide details with discrimination. She is your daughter, not a peer. She obviously doesn't need to hear that you're obsessed with "Dan" and why he hasn't called back after what you felt was a fabulous date. It will be helpful for her to hear that you have doubts sometimes about your desirability, occasionally spend too much time thinking about a man versus other areas of your life or wonder how a woman can balance being independent with having a partner. Don't bring any one man into her presence too often unless he becomes a very important part of your life. She doesn't need any more confusion or loss in her young life.

• Once you start seeing a man seriously, it's time for talk number three. You want her to feel comfortable with your level of involvement with this man who isn't her father. You need to introduce her to this man in increments: a dinner here, a movie there. Can she judge him in his own right, or is she still too bitter and upset over the divorce? You want to take the pressure off. Don't just spring on her that you're falling in love. Make this man a part of the fabric of your lives. Perhaps he is a computer whiz and can help her become more PC-savvy. Does she like him, mind that he spends an increasing time in the house? (Don't have a sleepover until she's emotionally prepared for this eventuality; instead, hire a baby-sitter or wait until she's with her dad to spend the night with your beau.)

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