Since hitting the bars is out, start by "dating" for friends, Baumgartner suggests.Look for people who like to do the same things as you do. They offer a casual group setting and regularly scheduled meet-ups, and allow you to do something while you're getting to know the other person.No date likes to be surprised by that info later on.Other than that, she says, save the details about your children, your custody arrangements, your divorce, and your ex for when you know the person better.Baumgartner recommends relating it to friendships your child may have had.Talk about how we meet people we like and as we get to know each other better we get to decide if we still want to be friends, she says.If activities seem too hard on your schedule or psyche right now, Zane says to look into the Internet dating scene.
How much should you tell your kids -- or the cutie across the table?"As kids get older, you may choose to share more casual details about your new boyfriend," says Esther Boykin, a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship coach outside of Washington, D. "But for younger kids it's often best to start by introducing the idea that you have a new friend who you like to spend time with." When you're finally ready for the first meeting, start with a casual group activity your kids enjoy, like a picnic at a park with friends who have kids.If you do break up with someone your kids have already gotten to know, try to explain it to younger children in terms they'll understand."I always remind my clients: You've already had your kids and white dress moment, so there should be no rush to the altar again." Don't focus on finding the one; concentrate on meeting new people, developing new friendships, and having fun.It's worth being upfront about the fact you have kids, Zane says."How would you feel if your kids came into your bedroom in the middle of the night with this person sleeping over? If you can comfortably answer your child's questions and tend to their needs with that person lying in bed next to you, then maybe you're on the way to some slumber parties." If not, you can find other creative ways to make time for intimacy. Instead, focus on topics that are easy to discuss and help you learn about each other.Though you may be excited about a new relationship, be extra cautious about sharing this information with your kids.And Baumgartner says that single parents need to consider that this may be true."I tell clients that having some time for 'just themselves' is important," she says.