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When it's time for the kids to meet this great new man, make it a casual meeting somewhere other than home. But the bedroom is not the best place to start a relationship.Passion gets confused with love and it's easy to get swept away in a relationship that might ultimately be wrong for you. A new relationship can feel like a breath of fresh air and it's easy to want the relationship to develop at a fast pace.If your kids are young, just imagine how many years you'll be out of the dating scene before they leave home. Don't expect your kids to be overjoyed when you first start dating. Explain that you love them, but you also like to spend time with your friends (just like they do). And as the adult, you get to make the decisions and not your kids. But they shouldn't be the main topic of conversation during your date.If you feel ready to date, there is no reason to wait for the perfect time or until the nest is empty. After all, they have had you to themselves for quite a while, and now they have to share. Take some time to find out about this new man; his interests, work, and hobbies. Children get uncomfortable when there's a parade of men taking their Mom out.Ask about what she loves about being a mom, ask about what her kids' interests are, admit that you've never seen . Liking her kids isn't the same as raising her kids. Until the mini people are old enough to get their own cereal and turn on the cartoons, there's no such thing as sleeping in. Be supportive if she complains about him, but whatever you do, don't talk badly about him in front of the kids (it's actually included in many custody agreements; don't make a sticky situation stickier). She can't just see how the night goes and stay out as long as she might want. Goldfish crackers and Band-aids are never far away. Hand sanitizer, Chapstick, a small dinosaur, some crayons, or a flashlight? You might have some really great ideas about how you think she could do things, and you might have some strong ideas about how children should behave. If you really want to impress everyone, let her sleep while you get the pancakes going and put the coffee on, or take everyone on a doughnut run. It's very likely he will be a large part of her life for at least the next 18 years, so get used to it. Babysitters are people too, and good ones are a hot commodity. If she told the babysitter she'd be home by 11, make sure she's home by 11!

There is nothing more beautiful than a joyful child.

It's fine to talk about your kids, but keep it to a minimum. It's a good idea to keep your dates private until things start to get serious.

Doing otherwise can end up making your kids angry or jealous. It's natural to feel like a teenager with raging hormones when you start dating again.

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