As a dating coach based on Los Angeles, where the 75% divorce rate dwarfs the national average, many singles come to me with complicated relationship histories.
Dating after divorce is one thing. Dating with kids after a divorce is a whole other story. When and how should you tell your new squeeze that there’s someone else in the picture…your kids?
Here are the top 4 questions that arise when you’re dating with kids:
- Should You Put Your Kids in Your Dating Profile?
- Do You Talk About Your Kids on Your First Date?
- When Should You Introduce Your Date to Your Kids?
- Is it a Good Idea to Have a Playdate Date?
Your kids are your number 1 priority, but should you share that in your profile? Yes and no.
You definitely want to say that you have kids in the short answers but photos and essays about your kids do not belong in a profile. The other members are trying to see you as a romantic partner so the fastest way to turn off your date is by writing a profile that makes it seem like your life revolves around your children and their activities. What about the activities that you enjoy or would like to try with a partner?
You need to be the star of your profile. It’s a given that you love your children but this is your time to shine.
Mention your kids on a first date? Definitely. Talk about them the entire time? Definitely not. If you have no other hobbies aside from being with your children, you’re not going to have a lot to offer in a relationship.
If you’ve been off the market for a while, your flirting and communication skills could be a little rusty so make a list of things you can talk about, other than your children, on a first date. The more you prepare, the less likely you will fall into the trap of talking about your ex or your kids the entire time.
Finding the right time to introduce your kids to your new love varies from person to person and relationship to relationship. My general rule of thumb is to wait until you feel that this person is going to be in your life for a long time.
Kids have the ability to bond to people very quickly and those bonds are especially important after a parents’ marriage breaks up or the loss of a parent. It’s not advisable to intentionally put them in a situation where they may have to experience loss again.
Plus, if you bring a special friend into your kids’ lives too early and they do not get along, you could end up sabotaging a wonderful relationship.
Some parents wouldn’t dream of introducing their child to a potential partner on a first or second date, but I’ve heard from many clients who are busy parents that sometimes it’s easier to just get the kids together for a casual gathering and see how it all goes.
This not only starts the romance off on a casual note but it also makes the kids the focus of your relationship rather than getting to know each other first.
You don’t have to put your dating life on hold until your children turn 18. Dating with kids is completely possible if you put yourself first in your relationship and put your kids first in your life.
Singles – Text your way to real dates with relationship potential with The Texting 10 Commandments Workbook and Video Training.
Couples – Amp up the passion in your partnership with Damona’s Relationship Bootcamp.
Both programs are free at DamonaHoffman.com.