Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Parenthood with the D - Divorced and Dating

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 3:14 PM 0 comments
Dating as a Divorced person is beyond challenging, and I have been at this for 7 years, so I have had some practice. My kids were about 2 and 5 when we split, so that is quite a bit different than teenagers, or any other ages. We all know it can be done, that people remarry, it just hasn't happened for me yet.
Here is what I have learned from dating so far:
  • I strongly and whole-heartedly disagree with the likes of Dr. Laura and others that take a stance on waiting until your kids are 18 to date. AS IF! Why should our kids see 1) you put your own happiness in the partnership realm on hold for YEARS? and 2) why on God's green earth would we want our children to see the last relationship that you've ever been in as a dysfunctional unhealthy mess? What does that teach them as they are teens and venturing out into the world of dating? NADA! 
  • The healthy version in my world from the extreme of NOT dating at all, would be to date healthfully - not having men or women in and out like a revolving door; being choosy in who you are dating; being careful and at what level do you have someone meet your kids, and how you two interact with and in front of the kids as a couple to teach them about healthy relationships. Only 3-4 men in 7 years have even met my children and oddly enough, my daughter now 12 was shocked that I had dated others she didn't know about! HAHA! Finding the balance of dating long enough to get to know the person, sense potential for long-term seriousness, but not too far along before meeting kiddos works best I feel. 
  • Keeping the communication open with the kids along the way - I have always had an open relationship with my children (kind of easy to do since I'm the health/wellness/coach/weirdo lady!) and talked to them even when they were 2 and 5 about dating, that we would both meet other people over time, etc. In fact, one of the best explanations for young ones that I learned from a former boss was that dating men/women was like trying on a see if it fit, felt comfortable, matched other things in your closet, and fit with your lifestyle, personality AND them...I used that and to this day my kids will handle a break-up decently without much damage, because they have known all along that we are trying this out, spending time with this man to see how it works.
That's what I've learned SO FAR....but I am in an all-new area in my life, because I have a wonderful man and his three children in our lives and it is getting pretty serious! I love it and it feels right, AND I broke MANY if not ALL my 'RULES' that I had for myself for dating to boot (another post with links from previous blogs coming!) All the kids seem comfortable with each of us, and we have both kept all the communication and discussions open all along the way, taking into account each child, issues, personalities, and more. Things seem to be falling into place and happening naturally, so it feels WONDERFUL!
In fact, it was with this dear man that I realized that in seven YEARS I have never been on the other side with ME meeting somone else's kids! Never! Oh how I was so nervous!!! That went well, is going well, as we all get to know one another, hang out, get comfy and move forward.   It is what I have dreamed of - not a fairytale dream - but the REAL dream of doing well for the most part, working through issues and adjustments and life's happening all around us, for us, the couple, any one or more of the kids and working as a TEAM on those things. It is amazing and the best partnership I've ever experienced....This is the way it should be!

Enjoying this journey in dating in the land of divorcees that we are on, as we blend, merge and integrate our lives and that of our children too. BONUSES....
Delightfully Dating Diva :)

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