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So how do you know when you are ready for a new romantic relationship?

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“It’s a matter of slowly adding together your new interest and your children,” she said.

Parents should make sure they’re still spending time alone with their children and gradually start inviting the new love interest along on family outings. “You want this person to become known by your kids and to become friends with your kids,” Blackwell said.

For instance, kids shouldn’t even meet first or second dates.

“You don’t really want the kids bonding with someone new unless you know that person’s going to be around for a while,” Blackwell said.

Regardless of how old your children are, take your cues from them and answer their questions openly, with age-appropriate language, Blackwell said.

And err on the side of less, rather than too much, information.

Preschoolers and grade schoolers may not show much interest in your love life.

Tweens and teens are more of a challenge because they’re coping with puberty: “They don't want to think about their parents’ sexuality,” Blackwell said.

“It doesn’t matter how much time has passed — if you don’t help them process that grief, they may never be ready” for a stepparent. For more on parenting and divorce, Blackwell recommends these Web sites: Check out these articles, too: "I Have Started Dating Again, What Can I Do To Help My Child Adjust?

Blackwell also advises giving your ex a heads-up about a new relationship. " "Single Parents Dating" "Dating After Divorce: The Basics" "Single Parents Dating After Divorce: Myths versus Reality" What advice do you have for parents who are dating after divorce or separation?

So here you are, in this place you never would have imagined so many years ago when you were in love and walked down that aisle.

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