I have a teenage daughter who doesn’t want me to date. I have been divorced for some time now and am ready to get back in the dating game. I have hinted at the possibility of me starting to date before and she expressed her strong dislike of the idea. How can I get her on board?

Trish, New Jersey

The truth is Trish, our children can take change harder than us at times. You have taken the first important step by seeing where she stood with the possibility of you dating; now you may want to sit down with her and take the time to hear what concerns she has about it. It is important that you listen to her deepest fears and address them. It may take a third party such as a coach or counselor if you find it challenging to zero in on her concerns. Comfort her by setting reasonable boundaries around her involvement in this new area of your life.

A good start in setting boundaries around dating is:

Be Mindful of First Meetings

Introducing your teenager to your dates in the early stages of a friendship can become a source for conflict. A good rule of thumb is to hold off on introducing her to any dates until the relationship becomes more stable or committed.

Avoid Fueling Fears and Giving False Hope

Being too open about your dating life with your teenager can and will backfire. You want to be honest about where you are in your dating world but not share all the details with your teenager. There will be plenty of time for “When we met” stories when you have found the right one. Then everyone can take delight in reliving that special moment.  And anyway, that’s what brunch with your girlfriends is for right?

Spend Quality Time

Take the time to make sure your daughter’s needs are not taking a back seat to your new dating schedule. This is a crucial time in a young person’s development and you want to stay connected with what’s going on in her world.

The Dating Mechanic


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