Getting a divorce from the woman you assumed you’d be spending the rest of your natural life with can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a man’s life, especially when there is a child involved. Finding out that the woman of your dreams was actually the woman of your nightmares is bad enough without the guilt that goes along with the knowledge that you and your ex wife are officially making your kid the product of a broken home. However, sad things happen in life and are at times unavoidable, and it’s important not to let them bring your existence to a screeching halt. The only thing to do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and look forward into the future.
After the initial shock of divorce wears off, chance are good that you’ll want to get back into the dating game. This is a natural and healthy desire, and one you should not deny, but eventually your child is going to pick up on the fact that dad is lavishing his attentions on women who are most certainly not mom, and you’re going to have an emotional mine field to navigate.
If you have partial custody and only see your child every other weekend, try to make a point to keep your special ladies at bay when the time comes to care for your kid. Schedule your hot dates on the weekends when the kid is with his mom. If you’re only dating to have a good time and are not looking for something too serious, there’s no real reason why the kid needs to know you’re dating at all. You don’t have to hide it from them, but there’s no reason to flaunt it in their face.
If you have full custody of your child, you’ll have to sit them down and explain to them what you’re up to – there’s no way around it. Try your best to explain the facts of life to your kid and hope he or she gets the picture and understands that you need to romantically move on with your life. Once you’ve done this you’re good to go, but remember that when it comes to dating you should always put your child first.
Only bring women around who are genuinely kind to your child. Any behavior from the woman other than kindness towards your son or daughter should be an instant deal breaker. Not all of your dates are going to be comfortable with kids, and that’s fine, but at the very least they should be civil. Some women may take the opposite approach and try too hard to smother your child with affection, behavior that will more than likely put your child off and make them aggravated with your new lady friend. If this happens, kindly explain to the woman that she needs to back off, and if she doesn’t then break up with her.
This may sound kind of harsh, but realize that your child has already been through one traumatic experience with the divorce and the last thing you want to do is put them through another. In a perfect world you will meet a new lover who has kids of her own, and the two of you can combine your lives into a Brady Bunch picture frame existence (it does happen from time to time), but meanwhile you’ll need to figure out the best way to juggle being a single dad and an eligible bachelor at the exact same time.
If lightning strikes twice and you do manage to find that special someone, you’ll have to explain what’s going on to your kid. Let them know that the new woman in your life is in no way meant to replace their mother, and then try to set up some quality time between you, your new love interest, and your child in order to get them acclimated to one another.
It can be difficult being a single dad who’s unceremoniously thrust back into the dating pool, but with some care and consideration, and by keeping in mind what’s most important in your life, it can be done successfully.