Waiting until your children are grown before you begin dating again
can seem like the ideal situation, but adult children can still have
strong reactions to the thought of you having someone new in your
life. Prepare to deal with some possible reactions your children might
have to keep your relationships strong.
1. Your New Partner Is Intruding
If you have close relationships with your adult children, make an
effort to ensure them that your new significant other will not intrude
on your relationships with them. If you have a standing weekly lunch
date with your daughter, try to keep that tradition going. Even if
your children are adults, they can feel like a new partner is
intruding on your time together if you suddenly cancel your times with
them because you are in a relationship.
2. You Are Betraying Your Previous Partner’s Memory
An adult child may feel like you are betraying the other parent’s
memory when you begin dating again. This is especially true if your
spouse passed away instead of leaving through a divorce or separation.
If you always proclaimed your previous spouse was the love of your
life, seeing you with a new partner can be confusing for your
children. Be honest about your feelings toward both of your partners
to avoid any resentment your children might have about the situation.
3. Worrying About Holiday Gatherings
When a new romantic partner comes into the picture, so do their own
family members and holiday traditions. It is natural for an adult
child to worry about how your family will now spend the holidays if
your usual gatherings are spent together. Work out a plan so you can
spend some important holidays with your family as well as your new
4. Wondering How the Grandkids Will React
If you are a grandparent, be prepared to talk with your children about
your grandchildren’s feelings about you dating again. Younger children
often won’t know how to react to your new romantic partner and can be
confused about the entire situation. Discuss whether you will call
your new partner a friend or something else to minimize confusion for
the little ones.
5. Relief and Support
Your adult children might have a very positive reaction when they
discover you are dating again. They may be relieved that you have
found someone and will not be spending as much time alone, and that
you have a new support in your life.
About the author:
Christa loves nature walks, a good romantic comedy, and is a regular
contributor for seniordating.org