Don’t Date

Here we go, my favorite subject. I know I am going to take some heat from this blog, but I don’t care. If you get divorced or separated and you have children, don’t date. If you are a single parent with one or more young children, don’t date. The biggest mistake divorced, or single parents make is that they start dating immediately. They have to feed their egos or their insecurities. Psychologists will most likely advise that you need to mourn or allow your emotions to heal or adjust. You may have something traumatic to deal with as I suggested in previous post. However, those are not the reasons I am going to give in this blog. I am telling you not to date because of your children. Your priority needs to be on your children, not dating. Don’t let them see you with someone else. Don’t let them suspect that you are dating. Remove that possibility from your mind and theirs.

Mother and three boys playing

A Real Life Story:

I was in McDonalds with my kids prior to my divorce. I watched and listened to this girl, she was approximately 13 years old, she was talking with her father on her cell phone with several of her friends nearby. She hung up the phone and said “That was my F**cking father. He can’t come over tonight because it’s his girlfriend’s F**cking birthday”. Her father most likely justified the situation to himself, thinking that it’s his girlfriend’s birthday and he can make it up to his daughter. After I observed this poor girl get dissed by her father, I said to myself, I never, ever want one of my kids to say anything like that about me. I also fantasized about meeting her father and asking him if he thinks his daughter gives a shit that it’s his girlfriend’s birthday. As a side not, if you find yourself frequently telling your children that you will make something up to them. Your priorities are not in order. I would suggest not dating for the first year, but that’s an absolute minimum. If your children are young and you do not have dating at the bottom of your priority list, then you haven’t done a very good job thinking through your priorities.  There are many benefits of not dating, reclaiming your independence, and focusing on being a good parent.  Here are a few of them.

  • Increased Resiliency: True independence is a journey. During that journey, you will develop problem solving skills, adaptability and resourcefulness, enabling you to learn how to overcome obstacles and bounce back from failure.
  • Personal Empowerment: Developing independence and self-sufficiency empowers you to control your own life. It boosts your self-esteem, confidence and sense of autonomy.
  • Freedom and Flexibility: Independence gives you the freedom and flexibility in your decision making. You can pursue your own goals, interests and passions without the approval or disapproval of others. This is especially important when making decisions about your children.
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence. People who learn to be independent and self-sufficient believe they can conquer the world. Most single parents who survived the struggles of having to raise a child or children have developed the confidence to do almost anything. Improved self-esteem and confidence also lead to improved mental health and mental clarity.
  • Financial Stability: Learning how to prioritize your bills and spending habits teaches you, usually out of desperation, how to budget effectively and manage your finances. This will most likely lead to long-term financial security.
  • Self-Discovery: Self-Discovery: Learning to be independent and self-sufficient often involves stepping outside if your comfort zone. It encourages personal growth, self-reflection and self discovery. As you navigate challenges on your own, you gain a deeper understanding of your own strength, weaknesses and values, which can help shape your identity and personal development.

Marriage & Divorce:

I am a big believer in the institution of marriage and this is not to say that I encourage people to pursue being single parents and going it alone. There are many obvious benefits to children that live in homes with healthy marraiges. What happens when the marriage is not just unhealthy but destructive or toxic. My website and blogs were created to assist people who are divorced with kids or single parents with children due to unpredictable circumstances or situations out of their control. So, advising people not to date because they have a child or children while focusing on the benefits of being independent serves to provide advice and direction based on their current situation.


If you are looking for an exact amount of time to wait until you date, I am afraid that I can’t provide a number. There are so many variables; the age of your kids, how many people like family and friends are involved in their lives, your age will be a dependency as will the individual personaility or your child or children. You will have to use your own judgement, but be sure your priorities are in order and you consider all of the potential risk factors. Here is one piece of advice. I have experienced situations when the kids actually told the parents it’s ok if they date. Many of them do, espcecially as they grow up and start to see that dating is a normal part of life. My kids were 8 & 10 when my wife and I divorced. I didn’t date for 12 years. The first year after the divorce, my son moved in with me. By the 2nd year, my daughter moved in, both by choice. There was more than one reason, but I am confident one of the reasons was because my ex started dating immediately after the divorce. In fact, it was the first week, but I’m taking the high road. See the next blog.