Don’t rebound too quickly.
Before you head out on that first date, make sure you’ve taken enough time to heal, reflect, and get back on track after your last relationship. Reflect on what qualities you now want in a new partner might have also evolved. When you’re happy, upbeat, and positive, you attract the best people – and that’s the best recipe for a fresh start
First Date Do’s and Don’ts for Single Dads
Don’t talk about an ex-wife, ex-girlfriends, or any past relationships you have been in. This is a fresh start, so focus on your date (ask lots of questions about her!) and getting to know one another. Lot of things have changed over the years, but being a gentleman has definitely not gone out of style. Chivalry is sexy, so make sure to pull out her chair, open doors, compliment her. It goes a long way. Instead of a lunch date or coffee, make plans for a nice romantic evening where you’re out of work-mode, relaxed. Make sure you have a great babysitter so you can be fully present on your date.
Do talk about dating with your kids.
Be transparent and honest about dating with your children early on and answer questions they may have. Tell them that you want to start a new relationship with someone that makes you happy. Reassure them that both you and Mom still love them, and that will never change
Don’t introduce a causal relationship.
Make sure that your relationship is exclusive, and serious, before you introduce a new girlfriend to your children. Making too many introductions can be confusing for young children who can grow attached quickly, and can lead older children to become pessimistic about your relationships and dating in general.
Set aside date time, and set aside family time.
Make sure that when you are with your kids you are present in the moment. Invest in a great babysitter, so when you’re out on a date you can be 100% focused on a great evening.
Don’t worry if your kids don’t connect with her right away.
It can be a hard situation to see Dad with someone who isn’t Mom, especially with younger children. To make the transition easier:
For younger kids: Do something fun together (ex: go to a soccer game where you can cheer on the team together, bring yummy snacks); make their interaction with her as enjoyable and carefree as possible.
For older children: offer soft invitations so they can choose when they are emotionally ready to meet her; incentivize them with a dinner out to their favorite restaurant.
Eventually your children will see that this new woman makes you happy, and that she is not here to replace anyone.