Hey Dad, your girlfriend's gross
Tips for single fathers who date: prepare to see your children act as if they are
"If it's only been a couple of months since your wife died and you're lying in bed
fantasizing about being with an attractive co-worker or neighbour, what's the matter with
that?" asks the author of a new self-help book for widowers and divorced dads. "These
feelings may both shame and excite you but rest assured they are completely normal." In
Dating for Dads: The Single Father's Guide to Dating Well Without Parenting Poorly,
author Ellie Slott Fisher along with family psychologist Paul Halpern offer advice on when
to start dating again, when to introduce kids to girlfriends, and if it's okay for her to sleep
over when the kids are home.
"Unlike women who immediately surround themselves with friends and family when they
become single," says Fisher, a man's lack of support system and his fear of being alone
often propel him prematurely into the wrong relationship. If sex has been lacking or
mediocre in the marriage, many men are emotionally overwhelmed and unprepared for its
intensity. It's extraordinary to fall in love again, writes Fisher, but "your kids are probably
witnessing your stupor and fearing you've lost your mind." Children need at least six
months to a year to process loss, she says.
The good news is that "kids actually expect Dad to date, more so than Mom," says Fisher.
When you do start dating, be honest with your kids, she says. Don't hide from them that
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you're dating. Don't tell them you're going out with "a friend from work." Not only are
they entitled to know, they'll find out anyway. "They'll see your glazed-over look, your...