Being a single parent has a lot of challenges. Trying to balance a dating life on top of all the other responsibilities you have can seem impossible. It doesn't have to be difficult if you keep communication open with your kids and the person you are dating and maintain realistic expectations.
This should go without saying, but the reality is that many potential mates don't always understand why you may need to cancel a date just because your son has a cold. Saying that your children come first right off the bat can help a person who doesn't have kids to be more understanding. After all, it isn't your child's fault that mom and dad aren't together anymore. Listen to your kids and understand their feelings. It may be too soon for them to be comfortable seeing you with someone else, or they may fear this person will leave, too. Dating can also be problematic if you allow your ex to see you with your new friend, which can lead to interrogations of your children.
Take Your Time
Be careful not to introduce dates to your children too soon. It is not healthy for them to see a revolving door of new people nor is it satisfying for them to get close to someone whom you might decide isn't right for you. Make sure you are dating someone who is comfortable with the needs of a parent who places family time first. Let them know he might not meet your children for quite some time. If the person you are dating isn't comfortable with this, then he probably is not a good match.
Reassure Your Children
Your children may not say it, but most children in divorce hope to see mom and dad get back together. This is natural, but may cause resistance to anyone you introduce to them. Reassure your children that the divorce was in the best interest of everyone in the family and that your love for them is unwavering. Explain that no person you date will ever replace them and that they are always your priority but that this new person also makes you happy.