Divorce, dating and being judged by your teenaged kids

One of the big issues I think parents of teen-aged kids struggle with, post divorce, is the issue of dating. Especially within the first year of the divorce. And for some reason, mothers seem  to have a tougher time with this issue with their sons than fathers have with either their sons or their daughters. What is up with that?

Teens don't always take well to their parents' post-divorce dating life

There is something intrinsically wired into the DNA of a teen-aged boy, I think, to make him feel overly protective of his mom. In a post-divorce situation, teen-aged boys tend to start to think of themselves as the “man” in the house, and so any new man on the scene who is dating mom can be met with aggression, resentment and outright anger. (For teen-aged girls, they may feel resentful because the new man is seen as a replacement for dad.) There is something oedipal about the whole thing, really, when you get right down to it. But it is what it is.
What are divorcing parents to do? Well, for one thing, it is probably wise to keep the dating outside of the home and not to expose the children to your dates right away, if ever, unless you are absolutely sure that this person is going to play a significant role in your post-divorce existence (aka marriage); it is probably best not to bring third parties home and expose your kids to your dates. A big reason for this is that if the relationship breaks up, and you then bring yet another person into the situation, it gets unsettling and unstable pretty quickly for the children. They just get overwhelmed and confused. For teens, this could lead to bad behavior like drug use, depression and violence.
But equally important is setting boundaries for the kids. You can’t have your children dictate if and when you start to date again and move on with your life. This is your life. This was your divorce. This is not the children’s call. Just like you should keep the children out of the divorce and all its adult ramifications, so too should you keep them out of your post-divorce dating. It really isn’t any of their business.
Now. Some teens are very accepting of their parents post-divorce dating life. That’s great if you are in that school. But you still should proceed with caution as far as how quickly you introduce a new person to your children. And whatever you do, make sure you vet these new folks. Background checks are not completely over-the-top.