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.


1. How soon after divorce or the death of a husband is it appropriate to start dating?

It depends on the individual, but anyone going through a divorce should wait at least six months to one year before even considering dating someone new. Emotions are running high, and a person needs time to heal before putting herself back on the market. Some newly divorced or widowed people jump into relationships too early because they're afraid of being alone. That's almost always a mistake.

The first year after a divorce is the time to re-group and focus on making new friendships. A woman can reflect on all the things she wanted to do when she was married but didn't. This is a rough time emotionally, but it helps to view it as a fresh start. It's the perfect time to re-develop a sense of self and decide what one really wants in life. A woman can consider what she hopes for in a new relationship and let go of the past in the process.

Dating after the death of a husband or partner is also not recommended for at least one full year. Two years is even better. The grieving process should never be rushed, and the length of time it takes for the bereaved to move on varies according to the individual.

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.

As with divorce, this is a time to spend with friends. It also helps to join a support group of others who have lost a loved one.

2. How long should the mother wait before introducing a new boyfriend to her children?

She should know him at least six months to a year. Otherwise, if she decides after dating him for 4 months that the relationship is going nowhere, the children will inevitably feel another loss. No child should be put through that after going through divorce or death of a parent. Children need time to heal as well. If the new man doesn't respect that, he's probably not great boyfriend material.

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.


3. What is the best way to introduce a new boyfriend?

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.

4. How should she handle it if the child resents the new relationship? Should she stop seeing the boyfriend?

Children will often resent a new relationship for the simple reason that they now have to share their mother with someone else. A woman can reassure her children that even though she is going out, she is coming back home to them. She should continue do the things with them she always did. Before she even starts dating, it might help to hire a babysitter and use the afternoon to go shopping, just to get the children accustomed to seeing her go out every once in a while.

Observing the children's reactions while the new man is around should provide some clues to other causes of resentment. A woman should also gently ask her children why they don't like her new partner. She should remember, though, that some children may not know exactly how to express why they dislike someone. It's important to tread carefully. A new relationship is stressful for the whole 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.


5. Is it ever acceptable to allow the boyfriend to sleep over, or should the couple book a babysitter and get a room?

Get a room, unless the kids are at Dad's for the weekend. Children don't need to see some stranger coming out of Mom's room in the morning (or their Dad's, either). A new relationship is exciting and the partners are certainly entitled to time alone, but a single parent must handle it delicately and deliberately. Her (or his) behavior will instruct the children about man/woman relationships in ways they will carry around with them for the rest of their lives.

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

In The News:


Hollywood Life

Teresa Giudice To File For Divorce After Jail Time — New Report
Hollywood Life
Is Teresa Giudice serving her husband with divorce papers right after she serves jail time? The Real Housewives of New Jersey star is reportedly planning to leave Joe Giudice, after she completes her 15-month sentence, which would be at the exact time ...
Teresa Giudice Will Reportedly Send Divorce Papers To Joe In JailThe Inquisitr
Will Teresa Giudice File For Divorce After Jail? The 'RHONJ' Star May Leave ...Design & Trend
'RHONJ' Teresa Giudice Is Getting Those Divorce Papers Ready as Marriage to ...Music Times
Mstarz -Reality TV World -The Epoch Times
all 57 news articles »

International Business Times

Bill Cosby's Wife Might File For Divorce Amid Rape Allegations; Nephew Says ...
International Business Times
Bill Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, may file a divorce lawsuit in the wake of a series of rape allegations against the actor that resurfaced in recent weeks, The National Enquirer reported Tuesday, citing sources. Several women have accused the 77-year ...
Bill Cosby Divorce: Camille Cosby Rumored To Be Leaving Husband Amid ...The Inquisitr
WORLD EXCLUSIVE! BILL COSBY $350 MILLION DIVORCEThe National Enquirer
Bill Cosby Camille Cosby Divorce Rumours: Tabloid Claims Wife 'Humiliated' by ...International Business Times UK
The Epoch Times
all 1,685 news articles »

Celebrity Dirty Laundry

Kim Kardashian Divorce: Kris Jenner Forbids Kanye West Breakup - Will ...
Celebrity Dirty Laundry
Loyal CDLers know that we have been following the trail leading to the divorce of unhappy couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. We told you that Kris was doing her due diligence and testing the waters to gauge how fans may react to another Kim K ...
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Divorce Rumors: Kris Jenner Forbids Split, Source ...International Business Times
Kris Jenner to Kim: Divorce Kanye and Your Kareer Is KaputJezebel
CLAIM: Kris Jenner "Forbidding" Kim Kardashian From Divorcing Kanye WestGossip Cop
Latin Post -Latinos Post -HipHollywood.com
all 203 news articles »

International Business Times

Jeremy Calvert To Divorce 'Teen Mom 2' Leah Messer: Report
International Business Times
Jeremy Calvert is apparently "done" being married to "Teen Mom 2" star Leah Messer after he allegedly filed for divorce. MTV/Viacom. Jeremy Calvert has filed for divorce from “Teen Mom 2” star Leah Messer, In Touch Weekly exclusively reported Tuesday.
Jeremy Calvert Reportedly Files For Divorce From Leah MesserThe Inquisitr
'Teen Mom 2' Leah Messer, Jeremy Calvert Divorce Fallout: MTV Star "Scarred ...Mstarz
'Teen Mom 2' Star Jeremy Calvert Files For Divorce From Leah Messer ...In Touch Weekly
The Epoch Times -Us Magazine
all 124 news articles »

Why I'm Thankful for My Divorce
Huffington Post
For me, a gentleman who had been my cheerleader -- then lover for two years after my divorce -- went back to live in Arizona. My daughter and I looked at each other and giggled. Chocolate was everywhere! On our fingers, our faces, even on my white ...


Bloomberg

Steve Cohen Can't Shake SAC's Crimes in Divorce Lawsuit
Bloomberg
In a stack of court filings over the years, Patricia has claimed Steven cheated her out of at least $2.75 million in their 1990 divorce; he calls her allegations “legal extortion” and a “three-ring circus.” She contends his business is built on fraud ...

and more »

The Inquisitr

'Teen Mom 2' Stars Leah And Jeremy Calvert Are Still Working On Marriage
The Inquisitr
Leah's alleged infidelity was first reported on October 17, when the Teen Mom 2 star's husband told his Twitter fans he caught her with Robbie Kidd and planned to file for divorce. Hours later, Jeremy deleted the tweets, and Leah denied having cheated.
'Teen Mom 2': Jeremy Calvert Files For Divorce From Leah Messer — ReportHollywood Life
Teen Mom 2 Star Doesn't Want To Be A Part Of Season Six Now That She's ...PerezHilton.com

all 6 news articles »

ABC News

Are Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott Getting a Divorce?
Heavy.com
Has Tori Spelling filed for divorce from husband Dean McDermott? Are the two still together? Even though McDermott has quit their reality show True Tori and though there are countless reports that Spelling has split from her husband, the two are still ...
True Tori Recap—Spelling's Boob Implants Were Recalled...15 Years Ago!Popdust

all 87 news articles »

Divorce Laws: Time for a Change
Huffington Post
Okay, so there are plenty of divorced men who deserve what the judge decrees. I get that. We have absentee fathers running all over the country. I also am well aware that there are men who physically or emotionally abused their wives, hid their ...


TMZ.com

'Entourage' Actress Autumn Reeser Files for Divorce -- I'm Done Hugging it Out
TMZ.com
Autumn Reeser Divorce "Entourage" actress Autumn Reeser has just filed for divorce. It's a familiar Hollywood story -- citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorcing Jesse Warren Strutzel. They got married in May 2009 and separated last ...
'Entourage' Star Autumn Reeser Filed for DivorceExtra
The OC's Autumn Reeser Files for DivorceProgress Index

all 253 news articles »
Google News

9 Steps to Regaining Self-Esteem After Divorce

Divorce is difficult at the 'best' of times. Even when... Read More

Steps Toward Divorce

When you're faced with the possibility of divorce it's important... Read More

Reasons You Arent Starting the Decision Making Process About Whether To Get a Divorce Or...

Stay MarriedAlong with any tough decision comes reluctance, especially when... Read More

Spousal Emotional Abuse During Divorce--What You Can Do

Is your spouse violent, abusive, harassing? In cases of harassment... Read More

The Job of a Divorce Attorney

Marriage is a very solemn and serious chapter on any... Read More

Healing Dysfunctional Families

In a recent article entitled "Some Evidence On How We... Read More

Women And Divorce: How Women Should Protect Themselves Financially Regarding Divorce

Women who believe a divorce is a possibility or who... Read More

Avoid Lawyers! Do-It-Yourself Divorce Saved Me Tons of Money!

Let me preface this by saying right up front -... Read More

Surviving Life After Divorce

After divorce, the most important thing you can do is... Read More

Choosing Your Divorce Method

The biggest mistake that people make when getting divorced is... Read More

Marriage - Divorce - Separation - How to Handle the Split Loyalties with Friends After Separation

We have all most probably encountered it at some stage... Read More

Two Hearts Are Now One

It is fitting that I should write this story on... Read More

Commitment

Being marriage means being fully committed to your husband as... Read More

Divorce Decision: Things To Consider When Making A Decision About Divorce

When making a divorce decision, there are quite a few... Read More

Reasons For Divorce; What Constitutes Viable Reasons For Thinking About Or Wanting A Divorce?

According to the Center for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics... Read More

Does Your Sexless Marriage Have You Thinking About Divorce?

If you are in a sexless marriage and are unhappy... Read More

10 Ways to Keep Divorce Lawyers From Ruining Your Life

Everyone has heard the story (from friends, co-workers, and family... Read More

Cheating Husbands - Meeting Needs?

Husbands cheat on their wives for many reasons. They could... Read More

Divorce--Overcoming the Obstacles to Agreement: Ten Steps

You're going to want to be working on your divorce... Read More

Things To Consider When Making A Decision About Divorce

When making a divorce decision, there are quite a few... Read More

Divorce Online Sevice - Why Should We Lose Money And Time Applying For Divorce?

Attempts to use the worldwide Web as an effective means... Read More

There Is Life After Divorce

A married woman becomes a single woman for one of... Read More

Divorce Advice: Getting Divorce Advice From the Right Source

Getting the right type of divorce advice depends on what... Read More

3 Major Divorce Parenting Mistakes And Learn How To Avoid Them

What 3 major divorce parenting mistakes that surely lead to... Read More

Divorce--Getting Legal Help Without Paying Exorbitant Attorneys Fees

Ignorance is the most common trap in the business of... Read More