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Is there a tactful way to let the Ex know you're dating? :|

So... this has been bugging me a little lately...

I've had several talks over the last year, since the divorce, with my daughter, and she's pretty well reconciled with the idea that, Yeah, Dad is going on dates again. Dad is seeking female companionship, of the ladylike variety, with women, is the general idea that came across. (Didn't come right out and say "Dad's hoping to have sex again soon", but she watches TV, she knows in a general way what goes on, she's 14...)

But here's the thing... is there a way to tell my ex, with whom I'm still cordial and friendly for our daughter's sake, that I'm dating? Inevitably it's going to come up. Inevitably there will be hurt feelings. How do I minimize them? Do I even try?

The issue being that we have a sort of set schedule for when our daughter visits me, and if that changes, it may beg the question of what's happened. That's the reason. She's not stupid, she can probably figure it out, but will she feel worse if I don't tell her, or if I do?

Paul4747 8 July 24

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45 comments

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6

You don't need to tell your ex. She's your ex. Maintain those boundaries.

5

First, it's great that you're cordial and concerned towards your ex. Well done.
Second, she probably already suspects or knows, so just be forthcoming. It's your job to provide the facts and her job to handle said facts in a mature manner.

4

Why hurt feelings? You are, like, Divorced and I assume you didn't sign a "no sex ever again" codicil.....

4

I wouldn't necessarily worry about telling her about every casual date. If somebody becomes regular and is likely to meet your daughter, that is the time to let the ex know what's going on.

3

Your sex and dating life us no longer any of her business and her sex and dating life is no longer any of yours. You're divorced. End of story. You not required to tell your ex anything. Those requirements went out the window once the papers were signed.

3

If you have cordial relationship I don’t see a reason not to be honest I mean it’s common sense you and her will eventually be dating,,, I like things on the table

Yanya Level 7 July 24, 2018
3

Release a sex tape !

Simon1 Level 7 July 24, 2018

Just make sure your girlfriend does it better.
Lol.

2

I'm wondering how you would feel to hear that your ex is dating ? It doesn't seem that you need to explain yourself - as dating is a very natural progression once someone is single again.
There's just no need to rub it in her face, if you do find a compatible woman - right ?
Good luck !

I'd be happy to hear it, because I think she's actually rather lonely. It's just her and our daughter. She has her family and her church friends, but she doesn't have anyone to be intimate with.

Then again, she hadn't been intimate with me for years, so maybe she doesn't miss it the way I do. I have my doubts as to whether she's even trying to date.

@Paul4747 to the last: Is that a bad thing?

@LionMousePudding Not at all, as long as she's content. That's all she seemed to be seeking when we were married, contentedness. I need actual happiness, which I guess is a subtle distinction. The difference between needing to get out and do things with someone, or stay in and do things, versus just sitting at home in your separate areas night after night. So if she's content, then I'm glad for her.

2

Speaking as an "ex" who got left, I'd be astonished if my ex WASN'T dating someone by this point (over 2 years separated and over a year and a half divorced). So, to be told about a new gf or whatever would come as no surprise.

I do think if there are shared or custodial minors in the house that the bona fides of the person you are dating could become an issue if there is anything there that would raise a concern for the safety or well-being or moral atmosphere for the minor children. But a 14 year old isn't going to be prey to your lady friend. I'd just tell your ex that you are looking for a good person in your life, and going on some dates, and so if she hears talk about that from the daughter, don't be surprised. It's not right to expect a child to keep secrets from one parent.

Thank you for this perspective. I appreciate it. It makes a lot of sense. I've tried looking at this from her point of view, and as you say, I think she'd be surprised if I wasn't looking for someone by now.

2

Is nobody business what you do....not even your daughter's.

2

I am of the mind that when it becomes serious then he should know. If it’s still casual then let it ride for a while. I am not even telling my son about it until I am sure it’s going somewhere. No need to get the emotions involved until then.

2

Not having this life experience, I can only speak in general terms. @Belrieve makes a good point, is the person your ex is dating a known convicted felon? Or what about the person you choose to date? Should you check their background as well before you get more intimately involved? The bottom line: concern for the well being of your children regardless of their age. I have either read or been told horror stories about people invited in to a family and the danger they pose to teenage daughters.As far as hurting your ex's feeling, is she an adult?

2

Divorce his divorce, and I don't think it's necessary to let your ex know every little detail of your life. If a relationship becomes very serious to where the woman is around you frequently, then I would tell her.

2

It's none of her business whether you're dating or not. Just like it's none of your business if she is, or not.
You don't "owe" her an explanation or a heads-up.
Live your life.

2

To be blunt (I always am), it is none of her buisness. I can see that if you left her, and not the the other way around, she might be a tad sensative about the issue.

2

That you're feeling self conscious about it tells me there is a salt in the wound factor.
So don't rub it in her face, just say you've got plans or something. She'll figure it out and even tho you two are done will appreciate the kindness, or I would. Then again never been in that situation.

Qualia Level 8 July 24, 2018
2

The issue here isn't telling your ex. It's none of her business, the marriage is over. And I'm pretty cordial with friends and I don't announce to them when I'm dating someone. The issue is your second shift job & the time you have with your daughter. It's going to be hard enough dating with a second-shift job. And I know this from experience because the person I've been seeing for the past 5 years works second shift. I get to see him every other weekend and even then I'm dealing with him catching up on sleep. Add a14 year old into the mix and that's going to even be less time that you have to see someone.

Being a single parent and working a full-time plus job, sometimes you have to get creative with your schedule to be able to fit in all the people you want to see while you're awake. Skip telling the ex and review your schedule to see what you can realistically do as far as dating and having time with your daughter. (Edited typos & lesson learned about talk to text while on a treadmill.)

2

It's not the ex that is an issue. You life is none of her business It is your daughter.

And 14 is a critical time.

She's going to be into the world and on her own so soon it will give you whiplash of the heart.. You owe her every fully focused moment you have remaining. Don't miss those.

Wait no business pf the wife unless it is someone she knows.

Don't do that. Not on this or any planet in the known Universe.

I respectfully disagree with most of your post. Since they have a child together, it is some of the exes business. If the mother decided to have a boyfriend move in, the dad sure as hell has the right to know who will be living with his daughter and to make sure he isn’t abusive or some pervert.

As far as owing his daughter every focused moment.....do you know what teenage girls are like?? They certainly don’t want to spend every waking moment with their parents! The fact that @Paul4747 posted this question screams to me that he is a kind, caring, and considerate person. Also, as a parent, it’s not healthy for either you or your child to have your entire focus be about them!

I completely understand his question and I am going through something similar. It sounds like he is compassionate and does not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I can understand and respect that.

@Marcie1974 Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts.

My daughter definitely prefers her phone to my conversation about 40% of the time. But we enjoy being in the same room.

I got divorced in part because my ex had lost interest in me and expressed no affection. She knows why I went to counseling and why I left. I think she knows that I'm looking for that now. I just don't want to rub it in that I'm finding what she didn't give.

@Paul4747 I have 2 teenage daughters and while I do take absolute advantage when they are willing to spend time with me, I also know this is the age where they are starting to branch out on their own and pull away. And that's ok!

@Marcie1974 Cohabitation would be an issue to discuss wih the parent.
Dating would not.
And time with the daughter should have priority over dating.

1

I can't give advice, based on one side of a story. I know when I started dating it was easy. My ex and I had decided to be friends and open. She knew she could trust my judgement with who I brought around the kids. It never became a negative situation. I guess I'm saying my avenue of open honesty worked out well.

1

Here's my take:

It's your life. Being the ex/divorced, it's none of his/her business. You have a life as does the ex. What once was one is now two.

TexLC Level 4 July 24, 2018
1

None of her business. & she should respect your privacy in this regard.

Carin Level 8 July 24, 2018
1

I would just be upfront with your ex. Just come out and say, “Hey, I’m dating again. I hope this won’t effect our schedules.” Just be an adult about it and hopefully your ex will be rational about the news. There’s a reason the relationship didn’t work out between the two of you. But if she honestly expected you to stay single for the rest of your life, then she’s a little disillusioned.

Tap dancing around the issue is just prolonging it and making it more uncomfortable for all parties involved.

But then again, I’m very forward with everyone in my life. That’s one of the reasons I don’t have a ton of friends. But the ones that I do have are of the ride or die variety. I think the idea of the social contract is silly and is what’s hurting society as a whole. Just be upfront with your ex. At least you’ll get to the bottom of the issue quicker than just letting the issue fester.

Leo716 Level 6 July 24, 2018
1

I don't think she needs to know....that's why she is X

1

If your kid knows, she's probably talked about it with her mother.

1

if you want her to know that you're in the dating mode again you just kind of bow up and tell her.

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