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Dating and Divorce

First, let me say that I don’t believe there is one rule that fits every divorced person’s circumstance. There are a million and one variables that all need to be taken into consideration. All I can share with you is my own personal take and experience.

I had waited on writing about dating for several reasons. One of the big ones is that I had tended to go against the grain in terms of my take on dating while divorced. So I thought I’d wait until the time was right where I could judge whether or not my thinking worked or not. For me personally, it worked. After five years of divorce I have gotten married for a second time and couldn’t be happier or more optimistic. So what’s my take on dating and how does it differ from conventional thinking?

I’ve heard the rule, “wait six months before you introduce your kids to someone you’re dating.” I’ve heard the reasons as well. But here’s the thing; I disagree with many of them and here’s why.

  • Conventional Rule: “You should know you’re in love and ready to marry someone before you introduce them to your kids.” Sorry, but this is, in my humble opinion, so off base and backwards. Assuming we’re talking about younger children, the person you’re going to marry and their relationship with your kids is as, if not more important than the relationship between the two of you. How you all mesh and interact as a family is going to be crucial to the success of your relationship. If you feel this relationship has some legs, to me a next logical step is to see if your kids like the person as well.You don’t have to profess that this is the person you’re going to marry. For me, finding out that a woman is nurturing and can handle the temperament of young children is a big deal. For them to see me as a parent is equally important. To have fallen in love only to learn that the kids didn’t like her or that she was abrasive with my kids would have been devastating. So how soon is too soon? In my instance I first let the kids know that I’d met someone I liked about four weeks in and introduced them in a very simple manner after about six weeks. They were then the ones who encouraged me to keep going. In short they were very much aware and a part of the process.
  • Conventional Rule: “You need to protect young minds and hearts.” Yes, absolutely, this is very true. And you as the parent will know what your child is capable of handling. But here’s a reality; children will deal with loss their entire lives. Friends will move, loved ones will pass, it’s part of life. I’m not suggesting you introduce them to a new potential spouse every month. I’m saying, I think there are benefits to letting them meet someone earlier on in the relationship once you recognize there may be something there. As mentioned, you don’t have to say, “Hey kids meet your new mommy!” Keep it simple and just introduce them to a new friend. They’re not stupid. Kids are remarkably intuitive and will offer you some insights even you didn’t think of. And if it doesn’t work out, you’ll be there to help them through it and they’ll be there to help you as well.
  • “You need to protect young minds and hearts Part II.” – Personally I think we can overprotect our children sometimes. I tend to be very open and honest with my kids. I don’t hide much. So the very idea of keeping that kind of a secret from them for six months; sorry, just couldn’t fathom it. And believe me, they’re not dumb. They know what’s going on. And I personally believe they’ll feel a bit of resentment knowing you kept it from them and didn’t include them.

Bottom line: dating is a part of life that each of your children will encounter. You will be there giving advice the entire time and they’ll likely ignore most of it. Here’s an opportunity for you to provide them with a lesson in real time. I believe these are amazing teaching opportunities. For your children to be able to watch you navigate dating and eventually / hopefully developing a new relationship and to experience the good and the bad with you is an amazing gift.

It was actually my daughters who set me up on Match after about six months of divorce. So they were interested in seeing me date. They even tried to set me up a few times. Throughout the five years between my divorce and 2nd marriage, my children asked me all kinds of questions about dating and the discussions we had were invaluable.

I never took dating lightly. I was never into one night stands or just dating to be in a relationship. I only dated a couple of women seriously before meeting my current wife. And the kids new about a good number of them. They saw me go through the process and learned from each one through open and honest communication. Through it, they learned that there’s more to a relationship than just attraction and getting along.  And together we found a perfect match for all of us. I personally wouldn’t have handled a single instance differently.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in dating, Exercise, Uncategorized

 

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Mini-Van : Parody

Something fun today. I started my career writing / producing / singing parody songs for Premiere Radio Networks a few decades ago. More recently I’ve been directing musicScreen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.11.27 PM videos. Now the two worlds have started colliding and the result has been a blast!

This time around it’s a music video for the Texting Yoga Pants video for “Never Thought I’d Do It,” a parody of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.” The parody focuses on the apprehensions every parent has about going from the sexiness of a sports car  or SUV to the practicality of a mini-van. Grant it, this video is from the mom perspective, but I’m sure every dad can relate as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btI3v3c7y1w

Enjoy and share!

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Is The Tide Turning?

“Hot damn!” I honestly yelled this out loud when I saw this commercial for Tide featuring a dad dealing with three messy kids. Three messy daughters no less! This guy is my freakin’ hero! So is the ad executive who pushed this concept through.

It may seem trivial to some. But seeing dads represented as the ones doing the house work and taking care of the kids is something we need more of. Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 5.05.46 PMWe aren’t all helpless beer chugging, ESPN addicts who can’t figure out how to start a washing machine. We know how to cook, we know how to clean toilets and fold laundry. We create household budgets, make school lunches, compare prices, iron, make beds, know our way around a vacuum (and empty it when it’s full). We know what a dryer sheet is for and yes, we have opinions about laundry detergent. OK, we lose socks. But hey, we’re not perfect … yet.

None-the-less. Anything that presents fathers managing the day to day of raising our kids is a huge plus and helps counter all of the negative stereotypes. Yes, dead beat dads exist. But look around any aisle at the grocery store and you’ll see more and more dads with two kids in the cart and a third in tow comparing prices of pancake mix and choosing the best tomatoes.

So my hats off to Tide. Keep em’ comin’! Next let’s see a divorced dad cooking a chicken dinner and ensuring he and his kids sit down at the dinner table together! (A boy can dream.)

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Divorced Christmas Morning

I told my kids tonight, “I don’t necessarily remember the gifts I got as a kid at Christmas, but I do remember the people, the places, the moments and the awesomeness of being with friends and family.”

They responded with several comments, but one in particular struck me. They told me how much it meant to them that despite the divorce, we still celebrate Christmas morning as a family. They said that most of their2014-12-09 07.34.35 other friends whose parents are divorced, spend one Christmas with their mom and another with their dad and that it means a lot to them that they get to spend Christmas eve and day with their mom and dad together.

It’s not easy by any stretch. In fact, I’m kind of blown away that we’re still able to do it. My ex and I are still water and vinegar and the holidays have a way of putting a whole new level of strain on new stress points. But somehow we manage to put it all aside for the sake of the kids. To hear my kids make a point of how much that means to them, well … I didn’t see that coming to be honest with you.

Kids first. That’s all I can say. If you put your kids’ needs first, somehow nothing else really matters. It’s more than giving them a great Christmas memory, it’s about giving them a foundation they can count on. A security knowing we’ve got their back no matter what.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times more. Kids aren’t stupid. They get it. They see it all and are privy to more than you can imagine. Don’t try to snow them. Be forthcoming and honest with them. And let them know they are your number one priority no matter what. They won’t ever forget that you for that.

Peace to you this holiday season. I hope whatever time you have with your kids is awesome. Take it all in and let them know you love them. That’s all.

 

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Do You Know Where You’re Going To?

Don’t laugh, but I woke up this morning with the “Theme to Mahogany” playing in my head. If you’re unfamiliar with the Diana Ross hit, the first lines of the song go something like this:Mahogany-cover

“Do you know where you’re going to
Do you like the things that life is showing you
Where are you going to
Do you know”

I was always driven by goals and aspirations. I knew when I was in 8th grade that I would move to Los Angeles after college and work in the entertainment industry. It pushed me and gave me purpose and focus. It also kept me out of trouble for the most part. There were things I simply didn’t get involved in because they weren’t part of the dream. I knew exactly where I was going to and loved the things that life was showing me.

So when the sun rose this morning I reflected on the past week and the question resonated loudly, “where the hell am I going?” Because frankly it has felt like I’ve been going around in circles lately. And between you and me, I’m usually exhausted by the end of each cycle.

It’s easy to push for goals and dreams when you’re 23, single and completely focused. When you’re bringing a previous life along, youspinning-plate-1 can feel like one of those performers on Ed Sullivan who spun plates, constantly running back to make sure the first plates are still spinning as you add new ones.

My dreams and aspirations continue to be many. Some are personal and others are focused on my kids/family. And I’m very much aware of the fact that some simply aren’t getting the time or attention they need or maybe not as much as I’d like to be giving them. I’m hoping this means they’ll simply take a little longer to bring to fruition and am determined to keep them moving forward. But the reality is, I’ve got a lot of freakin’ plates spinning and often find myself running around trying to keep them all going. It’s especially disappointing when you see one fall and recognize that the only reason it stopped spinning was because you were trying to keep too many spinning at once.

As Diana sings;

“Now looking back at all we’ve planned
We let so many dreams
Just slip through our hands”

Well, I’m determined to not let that happen.Need to spend a little time figuring out exactly where I’m “going to.” My kids need to see me achieve my goals as much as they see me supporting theirs. It may take a little longer, but one way or another, I’m going to get there. How about you?

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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