After my divorce, I went on quite a few dates over the years and I'll say "dated" several of the women for 2-4 months (juggling 3 kids, sports and work is difficult). I had a "kissing standard", they had to be "(insert youngest son's name) worthy". If I was not ready to introduce them to him, I was not going to kiss them, despite what they, or I, may want to. In other words, I had to be serious about the woman before we were to head in that direction.
My boys' mom (my ex) had multiple men run through her life after divorcing me so I didn't want to go out while they were with me or get them thinking about someone if it never panned out (see stories below). Ex even married again for three years and was divorcing him the year DW & I got married. So I never kissed any of my dates or the ones I dated until the last two women. Despite a strong attraction, the diagnosed "Bi-polar woman" dumped me a week after kissing her...without notice or cause, just sent a late night text. It was hurtful and her behavior was bizarre. God was apparently watching out for me because 4 months later I met my last date. I kissed my now wife after communicating with and dating her for about two months (we married 12 months to the day of our first date.) Actually, DW kissed me. I went to kiss her on the forehead in a tender moment to show care and I say, she grabbed my face and made sure the lips made their way to hers. She'll argue that point but I know the truth. :D
It's always easier to delay and not start (which makes it easier to break up) if you don't start that train so heavy and quickly. It also helps the communication and emotional development because it's a lot easier to make out than it is to have a conversation about deeper emotions and values.
Youngest son stories:
- I went on one date over TWO years after my divorce was FINALIZED. Son (age 9 at the time) found out about it 6 months later and he wouldn't talk to me for over 3 hours, which included a 75 minute round trip to get his brother!!!
- Same son at approximately the same age was angry (as I said, his mom/my ex had a revolving door of men), he was afraid that I'd do that and have sex with someone like she was doing so he said, "If you ever get lonely dad, GET A DOG! GET A DOG DAD!!!"
(Does my standard make sense now?) :D