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Soft invitations such as, “Roger will be having dinner with me on Saturday.

You are welcome to join us if you’d like.” show respect and allow relationships to develop at their own pace.

You might, for example, engage in an activity with your partner and their children one weekend and then have your partner join you and your kids the next.

Navigating multiple new relationships can be overwhelming.

Wise singles recognize this important dynamic and don’t assume that becoming a couple necessarily means that they can become a family.

They examine their motivations for dating, fears (e.g., their children not having a father), loneliness, and unresolved hurt (e.g., after divorce). ” “What if John’s kids came over every Friday through the summer? ” Each dialogue is both assessment (how are my kids feeling about these possibilities and realities) and intervention as it prepares them for what might happen.

A smart single parent doesn’t let their children’s emotions dictate their dating progress, but they do listen and give serious consideration to how the children are feeling (becoming a couple is up to you; whether you become a family is up to them).

Tread lightly at first and continue to monitor and process everyone’s fear or concerns.

If the other person has children as well, it might be wise to orchestrate early get-togethers with just one set of children.

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