If you’re a senior man in your 50s and facing getting back into the singles game after your divorce, and if it’s been more than five years since your last date, then dating again can feel truly daunting.
If you’ve got teenagers, you might be feeling ridiculous with them observing your adult dating behavior and even feel a little embarrassed at the scrutiny.
However, your own social life is important. You’re still alive and breathing, right? You’re not a monk. Don’t put yourself on a shelf.
Make dating a priority.
If you choose to value your own romantic life, then decide to make it a priority.
That means some of those Fridays and Saturdays when your kids might be at your home you’ll be going out, and not with them.
It’s actually good for them to see you going out for a few hours even if it’s your custody visitation weekend.
When you were married, they were not with you every single moment then either, right?
It’s also important you model to your kids that adults have healthy romantic lives. The only source they have for learning about dating and romantic relationships is other teens with no maturity and meaningful relationship experience.
Yes, you’re probably shuddering a bit just reading that and pondering the implication. Remember, they are soaking in everything you do.
They might have opinions and share them with you in surprising moments at breakfast. Or your more internally focused teen might be watching all you’re doing and say nothing for six months until you’re sipping your coffee: “How do you ask a girl out?”
“Leave the lines of communication open while
maintaining an appropriate adult veil of privacy.”
Timing is key.
Until you’re in a serious relationship with a woman where the two of you have negotiated exclusivity with an eye toward a long-term, committed relationship, then don’t introduce your teens.
If you introduce each woman you have one or two dates with to your teenagers, they might get the impression each of those women is their new stepmother.
Or they can form attachments or hard feelings. Either response before a major love relationship has been developed is premature.
You are safe to respond to your teenage daughter’s interrogating question, “Dad, this is the sixth time you’ve seen Melissa. Are you two getting serious?”
Your response should treat your date and yourself with respect and appreciation.
You could say something like, “I care about Melissa a lot and enjoy her company. It’s just too soon to know how serious we’ll become. Feel free to ask again later, and I’ll let you know, OK?”
By doing so, you leave the lines of communication open while maintaining an appropriate adult veil of privacy to your personal life with your teens and enjoying a healthy midlife dating life.