Three Ways To Eliminate Guilt About Dating

heybaby is excited to introduce Amy Lee Kite. An author, poet, tutor, and mother of three who’s been through the single parent dating grind.

When I first got separated, I had three children under the age of seven. Divorcing with little ones and splitting up our family brought enough unwanted feelings of guilt. Add to that the idea of dating and potentially introducing them to someone new, and my concerns only increased. What if my children got attached to someone else and then we did not work out? What if my family and friends judged me for appearing to move on too quickly? 

These thoughts temporarily consumed me until I remembered why my ex and I got separated in the first place: We both wanted to be happier. Isn’t that what our friends and family want for us, too? And isn’t that what our children need most of all … to see their parents happy?

1. No one is looking out for you as much as you.

Maybe you just got divorced and feel that more time should pass before you meet someone else. Perhaps it has only been days since your announcement to the public about your private news. Yet, the reality is: You have been processing this breakup for a long time. While it may seem new to people around you, this idea has been sorting itself out in your mind and in your home for a while. 

So, what is the harm in putting yourself out there to develop new connections? Meeting new people does not and cannot take away from your previous experience. If you just ended a long relationship or a marriage, that experience is going to remain a part of you. You will have learned and evolved from that connection. Now, it is time to look out for yourself and to find new passion. 

We can easily become overly concerned with what others may be thinking, but most of us are a bit self-consumed anyway. No one is really spending that much time thinking about you, even though it feels that way. So, you look out for you. Make new friends. Get set up on dates. And, simply, focus on having fun, authentic days ahead.

2. Remember that your children want to see you happy.

If you have kids (and even if they are young), they can sense when mommy or daddy is happy. They can sense when we are stressed, joyful, angry, or anxious. They pick up on more than we realize. What they want and need more than anything is to have happy parents. Of course, the ideal is to have happy parents who live with one another. But, the next best thing is to have two happy parents who live apart. 

Dating can certainly impact your overall emotions and feelings of joy. Being in a healthy relationship that adds to your happiness is going to then trickle down to your children, as well. The good energy that you bring around your home is palpable. So, when mom or dad is emanating good energy, that benefits everybody. No need to feel guilty about all of the fun you are having, because your good mood is actually contagious at home.

3. More people who love and connect with your children is a good thing.

If you have children, you may fear the idea of introducing them to someone who may not be a permanent fixture in your home. The truth is: When new people connect with your children in a positive way, the potential impact it can have on their lives is boundless. We know, as adults, that we do not need relationships to last in order for them to have affected our paths. Maybe some new man shares his love for horses with your daughter. Maybe some new woman shares her passion for poetry with your son. 

Maybe your children learn about resilience, pain, comfort, and boundaries by watching your relationship end or endure. The lessons are endless. If the people you introduce to your children are good people, then you have nothing to fear. It is okay to love and to lose. That is part of life. But, if you live by example and show them how each interaction is an important part of your journey, then they will embrace that philosophy.

So, look out for yourself. Believe that you have the right to be happy and that your loved ones will benefit from you feeling good. Know that the more good people your children meet can actually add color, adventure, and important lessons to their lives. Abandon guilt, and have fun!

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