Dating After the Kids Have Gone

When you have kids, you live for them. Everything you do is for their welfare and to prepare them to lead happy and healthy lives. So when they fly the nest, learning to live for you again can be a little bewildering. Making new friends or reconnecting with old ones and finding new interests can prove easy enough, but reentering the dating scene can feel a little bit like uncharted territory, especially if you haven’t dated in a while.

Not sure where to begin with resurrecting your love life now that the kids have grown? Here are a few tips and considerations to help you get started.

Ignore the statistics.

There are a lot of numbers that get tossed around on TV and in the news about the number of people, especially women, who do or don’t get married after a certain age. But guess what? You are not a statistic. Fear and doubt will only keep you from the possibility of a wonderful, full life. And nothing is more attractive than confidence, right?

Keep kids on the sidelines.

Your kids will always be your kids no matter how old they are. But often when parents date, their adult children have a lot to say about who’s appropriate and how their parent should date. While your children should be there to cheer you on, it’s important to find other friends to confide in for dating advice. Keep your kids informed, but spare them the details. They should respect your right to be happy and to find someone who loves you as much as they do.

Go on a test date.

Often people put a lot of weigh on that first date when they’re back in the game, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re uncertain about trying a dating site or other avenues, ask a friend you trust to find someone you might like. Don’t put all your hopes and dreams on the first date, and don’t worry if there aren’t any sparks. See it as an opportunity to dip your toe back in the water and get comfortable with the process.

Love yourself.

This might seem too simple, but you can’t let someone else love you until you love yourself. If you’re jumping into a relationship right away just to have somebody to care for in place of your kids, then you have lost sight of the goal. Loving yourself looks like being healthy, having fun, and above all, not apologizing for who you are and what you want in life. And when you can love yourself, you’ll be ready to see the right person when he or she appears on the scene.

Romance may look different in the 21st century, but all the important things are still the same. So get out there and take a chance on love, and what you find might just surprise you.