After your divorce, you will begin building your life again, and co-parenting will be part of that new life. At some point, you will probably want to open up your love life again. And, you will, of course, wonder how to balance dating and co-parenting. Thriving after a divorce is just as important as surviving it.
Do not feel pressured
It is OK to wait. Do not feel like you have to date immediately after the divorce. It is okay to allow for a grieving period after the figurative death of your relationship. There were good times, even if it ended badly. You need time to heal and be your best self, prior to jumping back into the dating pool.
Be upfront with the kids
You will also need to consider how dating will affect your children. How will it affect your time with them or will it at all. Consider this now, before you begin dating. When you do find someone, make sure you are honest with your kids. But, do not force anything on them. Make sure they are comfortable with everything before introducing your children to any new partner.
Be mindful of your ex
Remember, you co-parent with another, and bring another adult into that mix can be tricky. Be respectful of your ex’s feelings. Respect the terms of your divorce decree, and let your ex know when a new person is going to be around. You would not want a stranger around your kids when they are with them.
Boundaries and expectations
Be open and honest with your ex and your dates about your boundaries and expectations. You want to communicate to ensure that everyone is comfortable, including you.
Do not be afraid to get help
You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed trying to balance dating and co-parenting, and if you do, do not be afraid to ask for help. This can be from friends and family to help you manage time, or from professionals, like mental healthcare professionals that can help you build healthy relationships and healthy coping skills.
Getting back out there is healthy and can be rewarding. However, it will be challenging. If you are willing to navigate the challenges, you can reap the rewards.