Being the child of divorce is weird enough as it is. You now have two of every holiday, and your time spent at home is now split between time with each parent separately. Divorce is common enough these days that no one really thinks it's weird anymore. But when your divorced parents get back into the dating game, that's when it starts getting weird.
Now, I'm not saying it's weird to see my parents date because I want them to be single forever. Like any other child of divorce, I want them to be happy. And I most certainly am not sitting here, plotting with my secret twin sister to somehow get them back together. It's just that, when your parents start dating, it adds a whole other element to your relationship with each parent.
First and foremost, the image of your parents getting back in the game may feel awkward because of their age. You almost feel like saying, "Oh Dad/Mom, you're pretty old to be dating!" It almost makes you think of those elderly people driving around in fancy, vintage cars, going to expensive wine tastings with their elderly friends.
1. The Tables Have Turned
For the first time ever, the tables have turned. Instead of you bringing home your significant other to meet the parents, they're bringing home people for you to meet. Mom wants your perspective on her new boyfriend; Dad is seeking your approval of his new girlfriend. Trippy, right?
And so you, as the child, have now taken on this parent-like role in thinking, "Is this person good for my parent to date?" Given, you can't ground them for dating someone you don't like, but your opinion will have the greatest weight of all.
2. Bringing Us Closer
For some, it brings kids closer to parents. Mom may call her daughter to help pick out an outfit for her first date with a new guy. Dad may ask his son which tie is the more fashionable of the two, in order to make a good impression on a first date. Now, instead of the daughter coming to mom to cry about a breakup, daughter may be coming to mom to comfort her on a date gone wrong.
It definitely makes you as the child feel more like the parents' equal in these situations, as opposed to being a child who is too young to understand. Often times, if the child is of dating age or older, it's like you develop this deeper friendship with your parents when it comes to talking about dating.
3. Optimistic For Them
Because their dating adds to so much of your relationship with them, you start to be kind of hopeful for them in their dating efforts. It's nice to see them happy again, even if it is with that weird guy who teaches your brother's karate class. When things are going well, your parents are likely in a better mood, and it's probably not because you finally washed the dishes.
At the end of the day, parents deserve to be happy too, and we as the kids get to play a pretty significant role in that. Their new boyfriend or girlfriend will never replace the other parent, but if they make Mom or Dad happy, then that's all we ask.