"As kids get older, you may choose to share more casual details about your new boyfriend," says Esther Boykin, a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship coach outside of Washington, D. "But for younger kids it's often best to start by introducing the idea that you have a new friend who you like to spend time with." When you're finally ready for the first meeting, start with a casual group activity your kids enjoy, like a picnic at a park with friends who have kids.If you do break up with someone your kids have already gotten to know, try to explain it to younger children in terms they'll understand.
The children may already feel they lost one parent in the divorce, Baumgartner says, you don't want to put them through another loss if this relationship ends.
It's also important to consider the age and personality of your children.
"In my coaching practice, I suggest that single moms do the inside work to get really clear about their wants, needs, values and beliefs and get in touch with their intuition," says Kerri Zane, single-mom lifestyle expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the Real One.
Once you've decided that you're ready to date, it might feel impossible to find the time.
Instead, focus on topics that are easy to discuss and help you learn about each other.
Though you may be excited about a new relationship, be extra cautious about sharing this information with your kids.For the timid or busy, it's a great way to get used to the idea of looking for love without the pressure.Whether you're looking for a fling, a ring, or something in between, remember that dating is part of the journey, not a means to an end, Zane says.Whether you're six months post-divorce or six years, there is no "right" time to start dating. If you're dying to get out of the house, call your girlfriends for a night out. If you're looking to get your heart pounding, try some cardio."Perhaps a better question than when is why," says Christine Baumgartner, relationship coach at The Perfect Catch. Expecting dating to fulfill all your needs is unrealistic and might attract (or cause you to accept) people who aren't right for you.No date likes to be surprised by that info later on.