Divorce can often seem so much like the end of something that it’s hard to imagine picking up the pieces and starting again. However, many Pennsylvania couples who have gone through divorce don’t want to give up on love entirely just because their marriage has ended. Dating after divorce can seem rough, whether it’s deciding when is the right time or trying to be sensitive to the needs of children who are still dealing with the breakup of their parents’ marriage. Here are a few tips that might make the process easier.
First and probably most important is to take the necessary time to heal. Even a marriage that might have been on the rocks for quite some time before the actual divorce papers were signed may take some time to move on from, and that’s okay. Well-meaning friends sometimes try to pressure those they care about to get back on the dating scene before they’re ready. However, each person knows when the time is right so they should stick up for themselves if they know their heart just isn’t in to it yet.
Spending plenty of one-on-one time with children can be a great step toward fostering a bond between parent and child. It can also help children to feel secure and loved, which can in turn make it easier once a parent does decide to start dating again. They may still take time to adjust to the idea, but if they’re feeling secure in your life, that will definitely go a long way toward easing the process for everyone.
Avoid the urge to bash your ex online, even if one feels taken advantage of in childcare issues or due to infidelity. Before acting, think about how lashing out online may hurt your children or even your reputation. Once something is online — it’s potentially there forever.
Sometimes, Pennsylvania child custody agreements actually include language that neither parent will bash the other. Alternatively, such agreements can place limits on when parents can bring dating partners around the children. In situations where one parent materially violates the terms of the divorce decree, it may become appropriate to seek a modification in child custody status.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Dating after divorce: 7 things to consider,” Dr. Laura Berman, Sept. 11, 2012