Dating too soon after divorce with children
The worse thing a romantic partner can try and do is parent a child who doesn’t want them to be there.
In situations like that, it may be best for the new partner to think of themself more as the child’s uncle or aunt: a friendly, supportive person who occasionally holds children to account for what they do.
Parents who get into these relationships may have very different expectations for how things should be than the men and women who they’re bringing home.
For example, Hadfield found that custodial parents wanted their new partners to take on a parenting role with their children, as well as being the parent's romantic partner.
After all, they didn’t choose to break up and can become very upset when they lose contact with another caregiver, especially if they had begun to like having that person around.
After all, older children especially can feel like they have a close relationship with their custodial parent and might feel betrayed that something as big as a new love interest wasn’t shared.
Kids, Hadfield says, may actually mistrust the new partner more if they feel like he or she was the reason their parent lied.
As if that’s not complicated enough, parents are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
Telling kids about a new romantic partner doesn’t guarantee that kids aren’t going to be resentful either. Like Hadfield, I’d be inclined to suggest that despite the risks, parents shouldn’t talk with their kids about every date they go on.
Lately, I’ve noticed a pattern of serial romantic relationships among friends who are dating online.