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How can a parent date when she has older children?

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Quick Answer

Dating as a parent with grown or older children raises an entirely different host of concerns than dating with younger children does. According to Match.com, a leading online dating website, it's important for dating parents to reach out to their children, assure them that they're being cautious in the dating world, ask for their advice and let their children know that, above all, they are happy.

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Full Answer

Older children may be articulate, but they can still have trouble expressing their feelings about a parent's new partner. It's important for dating parents to initiate the conversation with their kids, asking them how they feel about the new relationship and what their concerns are.

Older children may also be concerned about a parent's well-being; having seen a parent's divorce, they may feel protective as that parent ventures out into the dating world. Parents need to put kids at ease by assuring them that they are being cautious and not rushing into anything.

Similarly, parents can also reassure older children by asking for their advice on the new relationship. Soliciting kids' advice makes them feel more involved in the both the parent's life and in the new relationship.

Finally, parents need to let kids know that, regardless of the past, they are happier now in their new relationship than ever. Even older children can idealize parents' past relationships, so it's important for dating parents to acknowledged kids' concerns while also helping them maintain a realistic outlook.

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