It happens for most people after a divorce. You go on a few dating apps, have a couple of dates and you finally met someone you genuinely like. It’s the first time after your divorce you have connected strongly with someone. But what will my kids think about this?

Dating after divorce is natural, even if your children do not agree with you. You will eventually find someone you will want to bring home, and the first introduction may be awkward between your new partner and your kids. Luckily, there are ways to make the process less painful.

Choose the right time

Timing is crucial in a relationship. And the best time to introduce a new partner will depend on your specific circumstances. If you had a long divorce with older children, they might transition faster than younger kids or a quick divorce. Consider waiting at least six months to a year before introducing any new love interests, so your kids have time to process and adjust to the situation.

Have an open discussion with your kids

It’s important to have open communication in a relationship, including the relationship you have with your children. You may want to have an open discussion when you start dating and when you finally commit to someone new. It allows time for your family to ask questions, learn expectations and know who they are about to meet before it happens.

Evaluate if an introduction is necessary

Relationships are exciting, especially at the beginning. It may even feel like love at first sight. However, you may want to pause for a second and consider if your partner is suited for your family. They may seem like the perfect partner for you, but issues may arise if they don’t like children or do not want to be a parent to anyone.

Talk to your new partner and ask what they think of meeting your kids. Allow them to be entirely honest and decide if an introduction is a right step for your relationship. Waiting a little longer to meet the kids should not hurt your partnership in the long term – it may improve it.