Managing Your Single Life With Children

You are now divorced so now what do you do? You start over. The lifestyle that you are accustomed to is now over and it is time for you to make new decisions about how you will carry on with your life. Everything is affected by the divorce, including the children's birthdays, or holidays. All of these things must now be restructured for you as a single parent. Some of these changes may not go the way that you want them to go, but if you want your children to grow in a healthy environment, you must make some sacrifices.

Eventually, you will want to separate yourself from what you used to have and move on to a new life. This is very healthy for everyone. Divorce means starting over. It doesn't have to be a grim ending to your life.

Dating Again
Many people who are new to divorce make the mistake of jumping into a new relationship before the ink is even dry on the divorce papers. This is a mistake. Everyone in a divorce situation needs some time to settle before they begin a new intimate relationship. Each individual needs to take care of some specific needs before they jump into something they will regret.

When you think about dating again, remember that it is possible to be a great parent even though you will have a life that is outside a married one. Parents are not being selfish if they want to spend some time with another person outside the family. Remember, if the child see that you are unhappy because you are alone, then the child will in turn become unhappy. The child may not know what is troubling you, but they will sense that you are unhappy.

When is it Time to Date?
It is very difficult to determine when it is time to begin dating again. Most people just feel that it is time. The time not to date is immediately following the divorce. A person may be dating for the wrong reasons. It is possible that dating will help you get over your ex-spouse. Dating is not so much different than when you were younger, but the places that you meet people may change. It may be a time to join some new organizations.

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Next Page: Telling the Children You are Dating

Telling the Children you are Dating
Grown-ups have friends also. It is important that you tell your children that you have friends that are not only the same sex as you but also the opposite sex as you. If you have younger children you may want to explain it to them in terms of friends, but if you have older children you may want to explain it to them more as a need for a relationship. Older children will generally understand that you need something more.

It is not expected that the children will be too thrilled about your wanting to date. Most children have the hopes that their parents will eventually get back together. They may look at dating as you trying to get back at Mom or Daddy. Eventually they will come to grips with the fact that you need to begin dating and they will most likely accept it.

When is it the best time to introduce your relationship partner to your children? It is probably a good time when you know that the relationship is a steady one. Normally for the first couple of dates, it might be a good idea to meet the person out somewhere.

If the relationship begins to get serious, you may want this significant other to spend some time with your children so that your children can get to know him/her. This is important because you may want to see how this person interacts with your children, because if this person is not interacting well with them you may want to reconsider the relationship.

If he/she handles meeting your child/children well, then it may be all right for this person to be a part of your child's/children's life. It is also important to notify your children that the relationship with this person may not work out in the future. Children can get very attached to a father figure, for example. If this happens and you don't talk to your child about the fact that the relationship may not work out, the child may go through what he/she went through in the divorce.

Don't worry if your child does not like this person, and persists on going against the wishes of your new partner. This is quite normal. Children usually resent the fact that they can't see you happy with your ex-spouse again. Remember that children will do as much as they can to try and get their parents back together. So keep talking to your child.

Living Arrangements
Your new partner may ask you to move in with them. If your children don't like the idea then you should really think hard about not doing it. Remember that they are still becoming accustomed to being without their other parent. Your children need to be in an environment that is predictable, and moving them into someone else's house may be a wrong move.

If you are looking at it from a legal standpoint, the courts may be for your moving into your new partners home if the relationship has gone to such a level that you are engaged. But if the relationship is a new one, then the court may look at you poorly in your custody battle. Whatever the case, moving the children into someone else's house is a very difficult task to ask of your children. The parent must think very hard and talk to their children before making any move.

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