Relationship expert, author, and divorce blogger Kimberly Pryor answers: Deciding whether to date after divorce is a very personal decision. Having said that, here are some things to keep in mind. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is role modeling a good relationship. If you were to start dating again and you found the right person-someone who has his or her act together, who treats you right, who works on resolving conflict peacefully-you are demonstrating to your children what it takes to have a good relationship.
The key is to make sure you’re in a place emotionally where you are more likely to meet a good person who does indeed work on resolving conflict peacefully. You want to make sure you have released all your anger at your ex and have thought about why your marriage ended, as well as fine-tune your relationship skills. The way to do this is to read books and watch DVDs about recovering from divorce, as well as possibly attending a support group.
If you do decide to date, you can shelter your children by waiting until you’re dating someone for five or six months before introducing them to your kids.
Finally, I suggest doing some soul searching to discover if the real reason why you don’t want to date is really because you’re afraid of suffering heartbreak all over again. That’s perfectly understandable. Dating after divorce, putting yourself out there again, takes courage. But showing your kids you’re willing to get back up on the horse again after it threw you is yet another important lesson that will serve your little ones well in their own life journey.
Kimberly Pryor is a journalist and the author of The Indestructible Relationship, which won the EPIC eBook Award for best nonfiction of 2012. Visit her blog at www.afterdivorceadvice.com.