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Dating Tips for Divorced and Widowed Moms
Dating is tough for just about everybody, but it's even tougher for people who are divorced and widowed. Along with the fears of being "out of practice," there are often children's feelings to consider.
How can a single mother enjoy a new romance without lying awake at night worrying about doing emotional damage to her children? Personal Strengths and Life Coach Sue Tosto of Garfield, New Jersey provides the answers.
Other matters to consider before dating include waiting until estate matters have been handled, i.e., insurance matters, review of the will, and the assignment of an executor or executrix if necessary. The stress a new relationship can cause during this emotional time is not recommended.
The first three months of a relationship is the honeymoon period. Everything is fresh and exciting. After around six months, the couple tends to relax and good behavior wears off. A woman gets to see what she's really dealing with. Before she introduces her new beau to her children, she needs to find out what his goals are, to see if his values and beliefs are consistent with hers, and really develop a friendship with him.
Once a woman decides to start dating, she should explain it to each of her children in an age-appropriate manner. After she and a new partner have spent six months to a year together, she can start telling the children things about him, particularly what she likes about him or little stories about places they've gone together. This way the children understand that Mom is still Mom, which is critical, but they'll also see that she's happier. They will slowly make the adjustment that they may soon share her with somebody else. Inevitably, the children will become curious about him. They may ask to meet him. I think it is wise to slowly incorporate the new partner into the family.
If the children are really having a hard time with it, family counseling can get to the root of the problem, especially if all other avenues have been exhausted. The most important thing a single parent can do is to treat her children the same way she did before she met the new partner.
Terry Hernon MacDonald writes frequently about relationships. Her mission is to help single women to stop settling for substandard Romeos and to marry men who are truly worthy of them. Please visit her website at http://www.marrysmart.com
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