Socializing > Social Encounters

Dating and Kids

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I'm 16 months out and thinking about dating. I recently had a couple of unexpectedly romantic evenings with an old friend. Dating wasn't on my radar before then but he stirred feelings that have been dormant awhile. While developing a relationship with him would be my ideal - there's already a built-in trust and comfort level - he lives a million miles away and travels constantly.

My question for those of you who are dating with children: when and how did you tell your kids? Did you wait until you were actually seeing someone, or when you first made the decision? Was it a discussion or more a statement of fact? How did they react?

Mine are teenagers which makes the conversation both easier and harder. We've joked about it - apparently my son thinks I'll have a 30 year old boyfriend called Francisco - but not sure how they'll take it when it happens for real.

First Widow:
My kids are 19 and 21 and when I started dating earlier this year, I didn't say anything right away because I was really just testing the waters to see if I was ready.  I didn't want to stir them up if it was something I was going to quickly put back on the shelf, but I found I was ready and I needed to tell them before someone else saw us out and asked them about it.

My 19 y/o son took it matter of factly, but he was the one who told me he would support me dating again the night my LH died.  My 21 y/o daughter was studying abroad at the time she took it less gracefully #understatement but has come around is really supportive now.  Last night she started asking questions about NG's daughters referring to them as her stepsisters. LOL

My relationship was long distance for nearly three years.  This allowed me to introduce the "idea" of Andy to my then 7 year old incrementally so that by the time she actually met him after our being together for nearly nine months, she felt - I think - like she already knew him.  This worked well for us. 

One thing I did not do was lie or sneak around.  Even though she was little, I was open and honest about what was going on, always asking her if she wanted to meet him or talk to him or see pictures of his cats on Facebook (she chose the latter for a long time).  If she asked me a question, I answered her honestly.  I did what I wanted to do, of course, but I tried to make she she did not feel like she was getting shunted off or in some way replaced (a genuine concern I had because the two of us became pretty tight during my husband's illness and especially after his death). 

Good luck and enjoy it! 

My girls are 13 and 17. We are honest and blunt in our home. When I told them I wanted to try dating, the girls were supportive and understood my need for companionship. They only asked that I don't bring anyone to our house since it is our sanctuary and also they did not want to meet any of these guys unless it's one I was serious about. That has not happened yet. They did like hearing after date stories or about my adventure attempting to date. They totally had advantages when I got annoyed like the time a guy ticked me off so we got ice cream for dinner.

I didn't really discuss it with my kids, they are younger too though. It was more or less just a fact. NG has been around them since day 1 pretty much. I never felt the need to hide him from them or hide the fact I was dating.

It had been 2+ years since DH passed, so it was time. There was some resentment from my oldest at first, but now he loves having NG around for the most part.


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