For senior parents with adult children, bringing up dating again will just give you questioning looks. When you tell them that you have found someone and is dating, chances are they will act all shocked and even choke in disbelief. What do you think that is? Jealousy? Concern? Fear for you?
Having children is a blessing and raising them might be tough but it’s worth it all. Parent and child relationships may not all be rainbows and sunshine but you and your children have survived all the years. Your children have matured and so have your relationship. Sometimes, there are certain issues that arise now that you are now both parents. They might think that you dating again is problem.
You have to try and understand your children when this “problem” arises, here are tips to help you out.
1. Understanding where your child’s concern root from. If your child seems to be way too much disapproving then try to understand where the concern is coming from. What’s their reason?
First, you are already single for quite a while. Whether you have been divorced or if your partner has passed over; just thinking of you in a relationship hurts your children. The same with younger or even adult children; seeing their parents in a relationship can be depressing and hurtful for them. Children often idealise the relationship of their parents when they were together. Most adult children will just keep quiet about it and mostly they speak out when plans of marriage are revealed. Dating is one thing but marriage is like a slap on the face to them. It’s like you are permanently replacing their real parent.
2. You have to put them at ease and the first thing you need to do is talk. You may not have had that heart to heart talk for a while but you have to do it. You have to make them understand that you have needs too. Sometimes adult children would view their parents as someone who won’t need another person or romance and intimate relationships.
This conversation can be hard but it’s vital- it’s a start. Sit down with your child or children and try to be open minded; you have to prepare yourself and get lots of patience. Tell them that you truly love them- having them around is great but sometimes you have needs that only a partner can fulfill: like love, romance, companionship.
3. They want to protect you from heartache. For someone who is still in their mid-adult life, 30’s to 40’s and have lost their partner to divorce or death; it may seem like a catastrophe. But for a 70 year old, a relationship that has ended may mean differently. It may seem sad but sweet at the same time, affirming life blessings and that it was all worth it. You do your best to hold your ground but your children may have seen you devastated during the death. Enduring the death of your partner and seeing you overcome it day by day might bring heartbreak to them as well. They might have that fear of the unknown about what your next relationship might bring and even end up that way. They don’t want you to go through that again.
It’s up to you on how you should approach your children. Explain to them the different perspective that aging can bring. You have to tell them even if they are adults. You’ll need to make them understand and making them see a broader perspective that you are ready to move on and that you can accept the pain and the joy in a romantic relationship with a new partner.
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