DivorceForce contributor Abby King is a magnet for people seeking divorce advice. Abby has agreed to share with the DivorceForce Community questions she has received and her answers and perspective. Here, Abby tackles the topic of “Dating After Divorce.”
Introducing My New Boyfriend To My Kids, How Soon Is Too Soon?
Question: I’ve been dating someone for two months, when I should introduce him to my kids? I’ve been divorced from their dad for over a year and I really like my new guy but I’m not sure if it’s too soon.
Answer: Somewhere between exclusively dating and a year is the sweet spot. Kids are adaptable but as parents, we should tread lightly. Don’t throw unnecessary change in their already divorced littered path. Until you’re sure that your new mate is the only person you want to spend time with, spare your kids. Keep in mind, sparing your kids (keeping your dating life on the down low), takes effort and sacrifice. You can’t text your new man while you’re having family movie night and you can’t plan faux “run-ins” at the park. Your children are savvier than you realize, they can sniff out romance at first whiff. You might not realize you’re acting differently but they know you don’t usually smile and giggle when your phone text dings and you don’t blush when you run into someone who is really just a friend.
So, if you can’t hold back texting, talking and seeing your new beau when you’re with your kids then it’s best to tell them the truth. Don’t lie; losing your kids trust is worse than the reality of a new boyfriend. Whenever you decide to let everyone in on what’s going on, give your kids time (several months), to accept this new situation. Do NOT go straight from hello to hanging out every weekend.
What Are The Rules Of The Dating Game?
Question: I haven’t dated in twenty years; do I still need to wait three days before calling or texting? Is sex still expected after a third date? Help!
Answer: Throw all your old rules out the window! With age comes permission to be yourself and date without dating games. If you want to call someone, call. If you want to text after a date and say thank you, go ahead. If you want to hold off on sex, fine. Wanna get between the sheets on a first date? Fine too. Be yourself, date in whatever manner feels good to you and a natural process of elimination will follow.
There is one rule that’s worth following, if someone you’re interested in isn’t saying “hell yes,” move on. A man or woman you’re hanging with will let you know if they’re into you. If they don’t respond to your texts, if they make plans but cancel, they’re not saying hell yes. Calling, engaging, responding, enthusiasm, those are each hell yes. Life is short; don’t spend your time chasing someone. If you’re unsure how someone feels, they aren’t saying hell yes. When someone likes you, it’s obvious and you don’t need to guess, wonder or decipher. Wait for a hell yes, don’t settle for less.
Are Dating Apps A Must?
Question: Friends keep telling me to give online dating a try but I’d prefer to meet someone naturally. Are dating apps a must?
Answer: Nothing is a must. If you only want to meet someone organically, have at it. But, most singles are dating online, so if you opt out, you’ll be severely limiting your options. When I started dating in my late 30’s (vs. my early 20’s) I noticed that when dates didn’t end in a romantic connection, other options were still on the table. I am still friends with several dates that fell flat, I expanded my network and I have potential suitors to setup with other single friends.
Often when divorced and dating your social pool is limited- many of your friends are married with children. It’s nice to meet people in a similar life circumstance, regardless of whether sparks fly. I say when you’re ready to get out there, go full throttle; say yes to what comes your way, give it all a try. While you’re waiting for something to happen naturally, agree to setups, put yourself online, join a few new groups in your neighborhood, do whatever it takes to meet new people. Whereas dating apps are easy, flexible and a fun way to meet new people, there are also dating websites that tend to dive deeper and offer a more complex and comprehensive picture of potential suitors. There are so many options; you’re bound to find one you find palatable.
Abby King writes about parenting, divorce, relationships and…. everything else at AbbyKingWriter.com, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, The Good Men Project, and Philly.com. Abby dishes out reality. Abby self-professes that she is “50% together and 100% authentic.” No doubt!