How do your children feel when you show affection to the person you are involved with?
"It's very disturbing to children. That should be something that's shown to them more if the relationship is turning into a marriage than in the dating situation," says Gary Richmond. "Children think this is inappropriate behavior. They don't feel comfortable seeing their parent be affectionate with a stranger or someone outside of the family. It isn't natural to them.
"In many cases in dating relationships, the couples are more demonstrative as dating couples than they were as married people, so the children have never witnessed this before, which is frightening to them."
Jan Northington says, "It's important to allow your kids the freedom to express their feelings in a safe way and in a safe place. That is so hard. When you are in the midst of your own emotions, you want to jump in and make your point. That's the time you have to step back and allow your children their own feelings and help them put their feelings into words and be honest."
Ask your children how they feel about you dating. Ask them if anything makes them feel uncomfortable or worried regarding your new relationship. Ask them how they feel about the affection they see between you and the person you are dating. Answer your children's questions with age-appropriate answers. Consider coming up with a compromise so that both the children and the adults can feel comfortable with the amount of affection shown.
"Children take pride in their parents" (Proverbs 17:6 Msg).