Life does go on after divorce, and it's your right to find love once again, Rabbi Shmuley says. At the same time, if you are a parent, it's important to get back into the dating scene in a manner that's respectful and understanding of your children's needs and emotions too, he says. Rabbi Shmuley lays down his rules for dating after divorce to ensure both your new romance and your children flourish.
Rules for Dating After Divorce:
Don't immediately introduce your children to your date if it's not serious.
Balance your responsibilities as a parent with your dating time. "Don't underdate, but don't overdate," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Bring your children into the process. Explain to them why it's important that you actually date, and reassure them that no person will ever take their place, he says.
If your children become angry or scornful, ask them why. "Sometimes kids actually have insights into people's characters that you're oblivious to," Rabbi Shmuley says.
If you're certain your children are wrong about the person you're dating and they simply don't like them because they're jealous, be direct with them. "You have to tell them gently why there's no room for jealousy and it's the wrong emotion for them to be exhibiting," he says.
Never allow your date to move into the house—and don't let them spend the night either. "It's disrespectful to your kids," Rabbi Shmuley says. "It's confusing to them, and it exposes them to adult matters that they're scarcely ready to handle."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014