The story illustrates the confusion and anxiety children often feel when parents, eager for some measure of happiness and success in a new relationship, struggle over how much distance to place between their children and a newly developing romance."Seeing a parent date is an odd scenario for kids," says M. "It sometimes hammers home the message that our parents are never going to get back together."The power of the reunion fantasy is not to be underestimated, says Neuman, observing that some childrencling to the belief that their parents will get back together even after one parent has remarried.
The reasonis simple: A child's own identity is very much tied to that of his family.
By the same token, make sure your online profile is genuine—and keep it short, using bullet points if possible.
Coffee or cocktails is a better first date than dinner.
"About 20% of the men I've considered dating weren't who they said they were; they lied about their job or even current relationships," says Tiffany Beverlin, a divorcee who founded Dreams Recycled.com, a website that helps you sell items from your marriage.
She checks the social media profiles (especially Linked In) of potential dates, and also does a web search before agreeing to meet.
"It could be something as mundane as 'I have a car appointment at so I need to leave by 10,' " says Stan Tatkin, Psy D, author of .
It's also smart to meet at a public place and let at least one of your friends know where you'll be. Vodka Martini Talk of the ex is off-limits—at least for the first time out.
Neuman recalls, "This 13-year-old kid once said to me, 'I feel, now that my parents are separated, that Idon't exist.'"While most children don't articulate their feelings so strongly -- in fact, most shrug or say "okay"if asked how they're coping with a parental split -- therapists who work with children of divorce agreethat divorce makes kids question who they are, where they came from, and where their lives are headed. If you're newly single, that's a lot of potential people to date.If you feel curious or excited, then you're probably ready."She's just a friend."Tears followed some time later, when the father asked his sons for "permission" to allow Joanne move in with him. C., author of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way.Given the power to vote on the relationship, the children cast "no" ballots and told their dad that, per his earlier declaration, Joanne couldn't move in until after they went away to school. Neuman is creator of a divorce therapy program for children mandated for use in family courts by many states.
"Then you might benefit from some counseling sessions to see what's holding you back—for example, a lot of women feel overly self-conscience about their appearance," she says. Try the New Year, New You Rodale Challenge today.)Online dating is the norm now.