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It’s been nearly a decade since Kate Gosselin‘s divorce was finalized — and she’s finally ready to start dating again.
“I don’t know if it was conscious or subconscious. The feeling of going on dates, if you put it in one word, is vulnerable, and I’ve avoided everything that involves feeling vulnerable. And I now realize that one of those things was dating,” Kate, 44, says in PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek of Kate Plus Date, which premieres Monday on TLC.
“Going forward, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve changed, I’ve adapted and I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve become much more self-aware. And almost 10 years later, my kids are all but grown up. So, I’m dating again — finally,” she says.
In December 2009, after 10 years of marriage, Kate and ex-husband Jon Gosselin’s relationship legally came to an end.
Since then, Kate has been focused on raising their eight children:twins Mady and Cara, both 18, and 15-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah and Leah.
But now, she’s dedicating time to focusing on her own happiness.
With the help of professional matchmakers, Kate says, “I’ll be going on dates with 10 guys and ultimately I will choose two to go on second dates with.”
Also supporting her in the process are Mady and Cara, who are excited about the potential of their mother finding a life partner.
“Mr. Right has not, you know, ding dong rung my doorbell. To me it’s like okay, well in natural life I’m not going to meet someone. I’m not doing the internet dating thing — that scares the living daylights out of me,” Kate says in the clip. “It’s been so long since I’ve had a companion. That’s such a foreign concept to me. Before I decide to grow old alone, I should probably give it a pretty decent shot of looking around for someone.”
“My kids are encouraged. They’re excited,” she shares.
And while Mady admits she “never thought she’d be someone that would like go out on dates like on TV,” she only wants what’s best for her mom.
“We want her to be happy, all of us do,” says Mady. “If she’s happy, we’re happy.”
Kate Plus Date airs Mondays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.