The Kids-What to Tell Them About Your Dating Life

Dear Dr. Love;

I was married for 14 years, two years separated, four years now divorced. We have two kids, a son, 18, and a daughter, 16. As they get older, I don’t see them on a regular basis (every other weekend) and I feel like I am losing them. Yet, when I do see them, they ask probing questions (from their mother?) such as “Who am I dating?”…”Is it serious?”…”Does she have money?” These questions make me uneasy. Your thoughts?

Mark, Malverne

Dear Mark from Malverne,

Welcome to Jack’s world! You see, I too have been divorced for four years. The father of four sons (all independent), and only the youngest, who is 17, really needs emotional and financial support from both his mom and dad. I can certainly understand your predicament.

But since there is no Robert’s Rules of Order for men like us, we must learn to wing it on a daily basis. I recall being divorced for about three months and meeting a woman with three teenage sons of her own. She was free on Father’s day, met my four sons and said, “Together we could form a basketball team.” Now that was a mistake—everyone was uncomfortable. Too much, too soon, too fast!

And so, even now, I’m still trying to figure out what not to say to my sons about the women I date. I think it’s healthy to want to know about a parent’s life. You can’t really blame them, can you? They have your best interests at heart. Maybe they watch Two and a Half Men on TV.

My verdict in this scenario: Share intimate details on a need-to-know basis only—the less said the better!

Please email your comments and/or questions to: Until next month, Happy Dating!

Please join Dr. JM Love at his next library lecture scheduled at the East Norwich-Oyster Bay public library on Tuesday, July 21st at 7:30pm. His program is “Everything You Need to Know About Dating…The 2nd Time Around.” For directions, call (516) 922-1212.