What’s the etiquette on divorce dating?

I got a note from an old friend saying some divorce dating topics on the blog would be helpful to her. Here’s what she wrote:

“Not sure if you know that I a divorced mom of 2 …  I have been on my own for several years and have been very careful with dating, integrating etc…  I have been dating someone for over a year and am now starting to integrate the kids into the picture.  I have been very slow in the process as I do not believe in parading men in and out of my kids life, etc…

Would love to hear thoughts on…

1.  How long should you wait to introduce the kids to someone your dating? …

2.  How long should you wait to have “spend the nights” with the person you are dating and your kids.  Should you have a talk with your kids beforehand….  Should you ease into it… have the person start with the couch and then move to the bedroom???

3.  Steps to make sure that the person you are dating is a good fit for you and for your kids.  I do not think people think this through…  Can they handle day-to-day life with the chaos that kids bring – from sibling fights, every day chatter, activities, etc….”

So ladies (and gentlemen) gives us your thoughts on my friend’s questions. I’m sure you all will have some good insight into what has worked and what hasn’t!

340 comments Add your comment

the truth

January 15th, 2010
12:06 pm

why are u not posting my comments? Because the truth hurts?

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:07 pm

I dont think you need to take them on the blind date but really dont have them interact – do you not talk to your new gf/bf until the kids are gone??? I guess you would wait until you are engaged? that there is nuttier than a fruit cake

Dar

January 15th, 2010
12:08 pm

Okay, I am fully prepared to get crucified for this, but I will share anyway. Nearly two years ago my ex walked…and it was truly all of a sudden. A few months later I met a great guy who was in the same boat. I know that I was not really of sound mind, and neither was he, because of all that I was going through, but we really clicked. And he moved in shortly thereafter. We have been together ever since and will be getting married. I have my soon-to-be-12 son fulltime, and I do mean FULL time, because his father is almost nonexistent in his life in terms of actually taking him out of my home for any meaningful period of time (like overnight) I wasn’t even looking to date but I met this man and it worked out. I know I am lucky and looking back now I see just how much I risked in terms of my son’s emptional well-being and in hindsight I would have just dated this man and not moved him in. Anyway, I certainly would not recommend to anyone that they do what I did, but I do wish all of the “lefts” good luck with someday finding that special someone to love and be loved by. BTW, my son and I have both been in counseling since the split and this whole “living together” dynamic has been discussed and hashed out and we, all three of us, truly are “okay” — I am blessed to have a wonderful son and now a great man to help him grow into a great man in his own right.

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
12:09 pm

Julia – you are. If not quilt, than fear (or both). You may not realize it. Do a mental house cleaning (yes, our minds need to be “cleaned” on a regular basis as i say). List thoughts, believes that you have, then think why you have such thought or believe and you will realize where some of your thoughts came from and that these thoughts need to be discarded. I have done it you feel much happier afterwords.

Go find a man who deserves you. Remember, not all men are like your ex and there is a nice guy somewhere. God made men and women for a reason.

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:09 pm

Tiger I can respect that… I at this point.. if a guy only wants a one night stand… look some where else…

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:15 pm

Good Fit, I need time to heal and so right now I just need to fix that… I also need to give my attention to the boy because he was just as affected by this as I was….. he really liked the man….I today will not even start looking. I was alone for years after my divorce, you just need time to heal and not jump right back into some thing… :)

I was not offended by your comments :)

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:16 pm

one more thing good fit, its really just disgust :)

lovelyliz

January 15th, 2010
12:18 pm

The etiquette on divorce dating also has a lot to do with the nature of the divorce. If it was an abusive situation you got out of, it MIGHT do your children some good to see Mom or Dad being treated kindly.

Brannon

January 15th, 2010
12:20 pm

My girlfriend and I do the sleepover thing—we live in different cities and don’t have much of a choice. Her son is 18 and understands that it’s a normal part of a relationship. He also knows that I was on the couch when we first started seeing each other and that there is a lot more going on with his mother and I than just sex.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
12:21 pm

I think wounded warrior raises an interesting question.

Does divorce dating etiqette differ from widow/er dating etiqette?

@WW…I’m very sorry for your loss, btw.

Ezra

January 15th, 2010
12:23 pm

I watch two and a half men and I know which one I want be like!

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
12:25 pm

Julia – if you need to heal, check out this book: You Can Heal Your Life by
Louise Hay. It saved my life, although i recognize that some things are far away from what i believe in, but overall it helps you to understand why you think one way or the other and helps you to change yourself etc. You can get it cheap on http://www.thriftbooks.com

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
12:27 pm

I love Two and a Half Men….

looking to fall in love again....

January 15th, 2010
12:28 pm

It took my 15 year old to seal the deal on my latest boyfriend…She came to me and said..”Mom, I think he’s kind of a loser.” And I said, “baby, you know what? You’re right. Please learn from my mistakes.” It really opened a forum for us to really talk about relationships and dating and expectations, etc.(we would chat here and there all the time about BOYS, though).
My daughter is 15 and her father and I have been divorced for 5 1/2 years. I’ve only had 2 “serious” relationships since the divorce. But looking so forward to another relationship. Won’t give up. And no sleep overs…Not into stifling any sounds, etc….

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:32 pm

Good Fit I will look into that. Thank you, I also went thru a divorce care class that was very helpful.

That Jake is my Jake :)..

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
12:32 pm

I think a sleepover is fine if you are in a serious relationship and you make sure that kids do not hear or see inappropriate things.

FCM

January 15th, 2010
12:34 pm

@ Julia — I am proud of you girl. You do need to heal. YOu will know when it will be ok for you and the boy to venture into letting someone in again.

@ Brannon the “child” in your case is an adult. In my case the children are both under 13. NO WAY NO HOW I am having a pj party. I think it was 8 months before the kids met my last BF.

@ cougar crusher — I don’t know many women who say not before you put a ring on me anymore. I don’t get why a single date means you should get to be in my bed. Sure it has been nearly a year since anything of that nature has happened (when the BF and I split)….there has been one guy I was interested in tearing it up with but I haven’t gotten the guts to tell him.

@ fyi — I admitted sex at 18. I also said that it is about modeling behavior for my kids. When they hit 18 I am sure they will know mom has done the horizontal bop with more than just thier dad.

the truth

January 15th, 2010
12:34 pm

Funny how almost immediatey after i got divorced my ex was already dating and made it a point to me that it was none of my business, which i agree it isn’t. But I told her I did not want a parade of men being brought before my 8 year old son. My how the tables turn as soon as she caught wind of me dating again. Talk about jealousy. You women rule the world with that insecure trait.

Here is the deal as the mastercard commercial points out.

Cost of getting a divorce? Thousands of dollars.

Monthly child support to ex wife? to much.

Knowing that my new girlfriend is young enough to be my ex wifes new boyfriends daughter? PRICELESS.

Caroline

January 15th, 2010
12:35 pm

Come on people… How many of you had sex before marriage? I bet it was most of you. I didn’t wait and I don’t expect my children to either. I think it’s okay for the divorced mother to have sex with her boyfriend…just not in front of the kids. Do it while they are over at the ex’s house. Stop being prudes!

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

the truth the only thing you have in common with your new child bride is what goes on under the sheets. Child support is one thing, you did the deed now you get to pay if you dont have custody. Alimony is a whole different ball of wax. So just how priceless is it now that your child has NO respect for you since her *cough* new mother is her age???

Billy Davis

January 15th, 2010
12:41 pm

After 20 years of a sexless marriage it is liberating to have an enjoyable sex life. As far as my kids no one and I mean no one will be exposed to my children. I had one woman say she’d like to meet my kids and I said goodbye. I’m not at all interested in a long term relationship getting to know each others kids. I enjoy the freedom of being single and having encounters that includes only adults.

Dar

January 15th, 2010
12:44 pm

To The Truth – It works both ways, trust me.

Cost of the Divorce: he got more than he deserved from me, but he spent it all and then some within one year and is now in debt up to his eyeballs.

Monthly Child Support from Ex-Husband: honestly, he should be ashamed as it is half of what I put away each month in my child’s college fund. But at least it is something and I put the support in a bank account each month in my son’s name so he has SOMETHING from his father when he turns 18.

Knowing that the unemployed married mother of 3 that my ex was cheating with dumped him when he no longer had all of my hard-earned money to spend om her and that I am the one who ended up with the “wonderful new life” (straight from my ex’s mouth) with a great man who my son can look up to: priceless.

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:44 pm

Billy I am sorry you had a sexless life but really do you have to treat women now like a piece of meat?

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:45 pm

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:48 pm

I am going to throw this out here.. but we adults should be able to get this one….. I think we are now ALL way too old to be just having fark buddies…. We all know how std’s are transmitted and to just fark one and then the next…. you really are setting your rear end up for HIV or the crabs….. just sayin!

Good golly Mis Molly...

January 15th, 2010
12:49 pm

…I get so tired of you guys and girls who are on this blog but cannot read and comprehend the written word -Bob, cougar crusher, Caroline, and good fit – it is specifically to you that these comments are aimed.

NO ONE has mentioned or championed NOT having sex after divorce before the next marriage – that was not even the question.

I suggest you all return to high school and learn to read and understand what is written before you ever comment on any blog again! Evidently you were all to busy with other extra curricular activities to get the message the first time!

Brannon

January 15th, 2010
12:52 pm

@ FCM- He may be 18, but he’s still her son. So I always try to be sensitive to his feelings. At least he realizes I treat her much better than his father did when they were married.

As far as the ‘no sex before marriage’ thing…that worked well when most people got married at 18 or 19. Nowadays you need to finish college and somewhat establish yourself in a career before you evenb THINK about marriage or children!

@ the truth – LMAO! Myt girlfriend and I are the same age (40) and I just can’t date 20-somethings. But I had a friend in his late 40’s who’d never married, and it pissed-off our femaled friends and co-workers. They were always on him about “when are you going to get married”…etc. One time he shot back, “Married? Married? Hell, my wife ain’t been BORN yet!”

Boy did THAT silence the discussion :)

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
12:53 pm

Miss molly – do not miss – people also respond to other people’s comments. Don’t read it if you do not like it.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
12:53 pm

@ Good Golly….actually…Liz and Mom of two girls both championed waiting until marriage to have sex after divorce on the first and second posts of this topic.

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:54 pm

Brannon that was funny!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
12:55 pm

Enter your comments here

the truth

January 15th, 2010
12:57 pm

Julia and Dar, perhaps you need to go back and reread my previous post. My son is 8. Sorry my new GF is a little older than that. BTW my ex was the one cheating around on me. I was not the one having the affair. Dont even get me started on child support. I have already raised one daughter that is now in college. So i know how much it takes to raise a child today. We share joint custody with my son, which would lead me to believe she spends as much on him a month as my child support check. Please, dont even try to get me to believe that.
Fact of the matter is, if society really wanted to lower the divorce rate. Quit making it so attractive for women to file and benefit financially. Hell, just pop a few kids out from a few different baby daddys and just go to the mailbox the first of the month.
Most men would divorce their current wives if they received the financial benefit that women do.
Oh, and btw, why was it that she was cheating on me and wanted a divorce but I was the one who had to move out of the marital residence?

Julia

January 15th, 2010
12:58 pm

Caroline if you dont expect your kids to wait to have sex I expect you to be a young grand mother…… :)

the truth

January 15th, 2010
1:02 pm

the truth of the matter Julia, is i bet we share the same ground on most morale issues. I respect and agree with your thoughts.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:03 pm

@ julia…love you to death…but I don’t expect my son to wait until marriage, and I also don’t expect to be a young grandparent. I expect to talk to my kid about the when’s and how’s and how to avoid pregnancy and STD’s.

You know what girls I had the most success having sex with in High School…the REALLY religious ones who thought they were supposed to wait until marriage to have sex.

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:06 pm

@ Brannon I agree—I am thinking you sound like a stand up guy. I am just saying I think it is different if the kid is 18 -21 than if they are my childrens age. Maybe I am wrong I guess I would know more when I get there.

@ the truth — ok I am going to go ahead and say this. BF I spoke of (dated him 3 years and I have been divorced for more than 5)…is TEN yes 10 years younger than me (My children never knew his age and neither of us looked to old for the other…I look closer to the BFs age).

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:06 pm

the truth well here is my story, my ass hat ex husband was a cross dresser and yes after years I left him. I moved out with the child….He only paid the mim of the child support… Well all hell broke lose for me last year and then he got even more stupid and had me served with papers for custody. Dont think for a moment that I did not use that as my weapon of choice… I knew one day he would lose the last brain cell he had in his head so after his lawyer got finished with him, he wound up me keeping the boy and paying more child support. Do not insinuate for one moment that what ever you give your ex for child support unless its several thousands a month this covers raising that child. Yes they eat, they need a roof over their head and they need clothes, etc..

Why did she keep the house… You let her

Juliahasacommentforeveryone

January 15th, 2010
1:07 pm

Julia, I sure wouldn’t want to encourage my kids to have sex – but if they want it to happen… IT WILL HAPPEN. Get your head out of the sand.

Lady Strange

January 15th, 2010
1:08 pm

I don’t think any divorced parent should put their life on hold because they have kids. After all, once the kids have grown and left home then what do you have. Unless of course you are happy to be by yourself.

Me, someday I hope to find a companion that I can spend the rest of my life with. I’m not going to wait till my son is grown and out of the house but I’m certainly not going to shack up with every man I see.

There won’t be a parade of men in my house in front of my son or otherwise. My son’s happiness and well being is the most important thing in my life. But my happiness and well being is important too. I think you can have both in life if you make the right choices. Communication with your kids is key IMO.

As to how long you should wait till you introduce your kids to someone you’re dating. I would say not until both parties are serious about the relationship, and in a monogomus relationship with each other.
Same with #2, but not with the kids in the house. If you get to the point where you want to live together talk to your kids before hand, after all it is their home too.

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:08 pm

Tiger needs me on his PR team I love ya too and so agree with you…. I have a friend that is my age yes I am 44 she had 3 kids out of wedlock and now has a house full of grand kids… I just wonder, I realize you could not keep your legs together but could you have not taught them that??

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

My head is not in the sand but I have also had the talk with him many a times… all it takes is one time and you can be or will be a father in high school and I will not raise it so do not get a girl pregnant!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

@ Julia….I’m going to take wild shot in the dark here….but I’m guessing that your friend has issues that go WAY beyond her views on premarital sex.

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

@ Tiger — I had a boss that said he always found his dates at the Catholic church as they left confession.

Juliaisnaive

January 15th, 2010
1:12 pm

I heard that the Catholic girls start much too late…

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:13 pm

Tiger needs me on his PR team oh yea… I do not want to be a grand ma now… I dont even think I could date someone with grand kids… sorry but I am not there in that part of my life yet…. now I will go back to being a prude :)

Brannon

January 15th, 2010
1:13 pm

Yeah Tiger…there was a reason we loved going to summer Church Camp :)

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

I’m telling you….the religious girls were like fish in a barrel! Especially the ones who hated their parents!

the truth

January 15th, 2010
1:15 pm

She kept the house because the laws are 30 years behind the times and are skewed towards believing that a women can raise a child better than a man. I beg to differ with that and anyone who knows me, know that to be true. So i was forced to leave the house not because i let her, because the divorce decree ORDERED me to.
Yes, food and shelter cost something as i provide that for my son as well. But rent or a house payment is not DOUBLE when you have a child living with you. My ex rent payment is the same if she is only one living there. So what is your point?

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:17 pm

Truth, I think we do and we both seem to be barking on that side of the fence.. I bet you are a good guy and you do have passion for that… I hate it for men to get screwed for child support and I never held that over his head I have never deprived him of the boy I was always always honest with him on the matters of the child. I felt he deserved that since he was the father… I would go as far as if it was his weekend and he really had other things to do, I would swap with him in a heart beat.

I do really feel bad for you dads that got the raw end of the stick but then there are some of us moms that got the same thing…. so yea we need to stick up and support each other on this which ever side of the fence on this we are :)

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

Juliaisnaive — yes but sooner or later it comes down to fait. So (you) might as well be the one. Only the good die young.