How Do I Make My Children Comfortable With My Dating Life?

by - 11:40 AM

*Original Content by Dr. Gilda Carle

Q.

I'm a 45-year-old woman who has been divorced for less than a year. About six months ago, I reconnected with a friend I've known for 30 years. We hit it off and began a relationship. However, he lives 1,000 miles from me. We see each other occasionally, but talk all the time and have developed a strong bond. Recently, he and his two teenage children came to stay the weekend at my house with my teenagers. We had a great time and I thought everyone got along great.
Then I got a text from my ex-husband, with whom I have a very cordial relationship, and with whom I share residential custody. He said my daughter felt weird having the company. She denies it and relayed the conversation to me in which she claims he asked her the leading question, "Weren't you uncomfortable?" How can I tell if it really is my daughter who was uncomfortable, or if it is my ex that is, and what do I do about either problem? I don't feel I did anything inappropriate, no one shared my bedroom, but this is already upsetting the delicate post-divorce balance.
—Divorced with Children

A.

Dear Divorced with Children,
This is a new status for all of you, so while navigating “the delicate post-divorce balance,” consider this Gilda-Gram®: 

Here are the facts:
- Kids try to make both divorced parents happy, and may inadvertently feel they’re in the middle of a tug of war.

- Melancholy naturally strikes exes when a former spouse begins dating. There’s the reality of “We can’t go back to what it is,” expressed so well in the Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert duet, “We Were Us.”

- Romance should be kept out of view of kids—until a relationship becomes permanent.
Of course, you don’t want to make your daughter “uncomfortable.” But you need not detail your love life either. Asking her to level with you about her feelings will cement your mother/daughter bond.
—Dr. Gilda


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