Dating in your golden years can be revitalizing, beautiful, and thrilling. Whether you are thinking about joining a senior dating site or having dinner with a neighbor who keeps asking you out, there is absolutely no reason why you should miss out on the opportunity to find love and happiness again after you have reached a certain age.
However, even if your children are already adults and maybe have partners of their own, you should know that they may find it hard at first to accept the fact that you are dating. This may be because they are worried you may get hurt or because they are simply used to having all of your love to themselves.
While a negative initial reaction is completely normal, if you take the right approach, your children should get used to the idea of you dating rather soon. Here are some tips on how to deliver the news and make sure your kids are fine with your choice.
Be Honest But Gentle
What matters most is that you help your children understand the reasons behind your decision to start dating again. You can only achieve this if you are completely honest about how you feel and what your needs are. Still, it is also important that you deliver the news gently and avoid saying something that may make them feel upset, hurt or even angry.
First, choose the right moment, when your children are in a good mood. Then slowly introduce the topic. Perhaps mention that one of your friends has met someone wonderful on a popular senior dating site and that he or she is really happy. Then say how you feel about dating at your age, what you see as the potential benefits, and why you have decided to give it a try. Whether you are dating because you are lonely or just feel ready to experience romantic love again, be honest about it and make your feelings and motivations known.
Be sure to avoid stating reasons that can make it sound like your decision is rash or negatively motivated. For example, if you are divorced, you should not say anything bad about your children’s father and list it as a reason to date and find someone better. You should further avoid saying that you are only dating now because you have spent most of your life taking care of your children.
Such statements can cause negative emotions because they can seem to imply that you see your children as a burden and that you think poorly of their father, which can make them feel betrayed and upset. Consequently, such statements can make your children object to your decision for reasons that have nothing to do with seeing you happy with a new partner.
In short, the key to a good conversation on this topic is keeping it positive and honest. If you make it clear that you have made your choice because you still need romance in your life and not because you are trying to make up for the time lost taking care of them and living with their father, they are sure to respond more positively to the idea.
Do Not Blindside Them
Your children are almost inevitably going to need time to get used to the idea of you dating. Therefore, you should not wait until you meet someone special to mention anything about seeing new people. If they first hear about you dating once you suggest a family dinner with your new partner, they are sure to respond more negatively than if they already knew you were dating.
Simply take it one step at a time. Let them know about your decision before you meet anyone, then tell them you have joined a good senior dating website, and only once you are sure you have found someone truly special should you explore the possibility of your children meeting this person. Avoid talking about concrete partners until you are certain you have met the right guy or gal since it can be overwhelming and make your children worry about you having too many partners and wrong ones at that.
Ask For Their Opinion
Since your children are adults now with a romantic history of their own, they are sure to have opinions and advice they want to share and they are more than likely to feel the need to be involved and help you choose what is good for you. If you ask for their opinion, you are showing them that you respect them and that you care about what they think and how they feel about the matter.
Listen to what they have to say. It is sure to make them feel better about the whole situation and they may make some valid points that you should take into consideration. After all, they love you very much and they want only what is best for you, so they should be included and you should not disregard their opinions. You may even find yourself growing closer during the process since you are not making decisions without taking their thoughts and feelings into account.
It is also a good idea to share information about your new partner with your kids as soon as you tell them about him or her. You can show photos, talk about his or her qualities, and simply let them know more about the person you are spending a lot of your time with. That way, you are giving them a chance to say what they think about your new partner, get to know and like him or her, and worry less about this person not being right for you.
Do Not Make It A Secret For Them To Keep
There is one common mistake that you definitely want to avoid. Quite often, golden-agers do not want everyone to know right away that they are dating again. They may not want to share the news with certain relatives, family friends or former significant others. However, this does not mean that asking the children to keep the matter a secret is a good idea.
If you ask your kids not to tell anyone you are dating, it may be a great burden to them and make your decision sound like something you are ashamed of. It can make them feel uneasy about the situation and make them associate negative emotions with the idea of you dating.
This is why you should never ask them to keep it a secret. You want them to feel like your choice to date is completely normal, not something others would disapprove of or something that no one should hear about.
If you follow all these tips, you are more than likely to help your children understand where you are coming from and what made you take that important step toward a more fulfilling life. Furthermore, you are sure to help them feel better about your decision. If they still have trouble accepting it after a while, just remain understanding and patient. Once they see that your choice to start dating again has made you feel better and happier, they are sure to be happy for you as well.