Dear Dr. Romance:

 I am an elementary school counselor. If you wouldn't mind, I would like to ask you a question that involves a child of a single parent. This 12 year old boy's father died less than a year ago. His mom has started dating again (I believe this to be too soon). I told the boyfriend that they should be low-key in their dating but the boyfriend disagreed with me as he and the mother felt that they would be deceiving the child. Do you have any general dating guidelines that I could give to this mother and her new boyfriend so they don't upset this child too much? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Dear Reader:

I agree with you that it's very soon, and  the son shouldn't be aware his Mom is dating. She should introduce her new man as a "friend" and act accordingly in front of the son.  "Dating Guidelines for Single Parents" may be helpful to her. Also, my book, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences" will provide her and her boyfriend with healthy relationship and communication skills. If this Mom is not careful, she'll set up competition between her son and her boyfriend.

Lovestyles new kindle.jpg


For low-cost counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.