Your kids do not want you to go out during separation or after divorce. They dont understand that you have similar feelings as they do and have the need to mix with people of your own age and situation.
They fear abandonment which is a big feature in their minds throughout and after the divorce process. Still adjusting to one parent having already left the family home and seeing them only occasionally; they cannot handle the thought that their resident parent will want to go out on a date or two and still want to return home. Their thinking is down the lines that as one parent is already gone, its just a matter of time before the other one deserts them.
Because of this, children will act up and cause a scene in the hope of preventing such a thing. When this happens do not ignore or reprimand them and hope it will go away. There are several ways of dealing with their reaction and communication is imperative.
First try explaining it to them by asking them how they would feel if they were cooped up at home every day for a week and didnt see another child during that time. Ask them how they would feel if they only saw old people week in and week out would they like that? Of course they will answer with horror and disgust and then you can explain that its the same for you just seeing kids and no-one else all the time. Tell them that you need to be with other grownups sometimes. They should understand that one and agree that you should go out sometimes even if reluctantly. Its a good idea to use the word grownups instead of adults.
Reassure the kids that no matter what happens, you will never leave them. Its important to tell them that even if you ever love another adult, it doesn't mean you will stop loving your kids, or love them less. Explain to them that the love between a man and a woman is different to the love between children and parents.
Self Sacrifice is Wrong
Most newly divorced people have a dilemma about dating again and their kids. The two main pitfalls here are that on the one hand you could turn the kids into your whole world; your reason for living. Conversely you could end up blaming the kids for your inability to get out and meet other people. To heap guilt upon children (who already feel guilt from the divorce) and make them believe they are preventing you from living a normal life, is inexcusable. No child wants to be continuously reminded of the sacrifices a parent has made on their behalf. So to tell a child that the reason you arent getting out is on account of them is just not right.
If you are a parent who has made the ultimate sacrifice of not looking after yourself and not dating, and putting the children before all else, then no one has benefitted from your sacrifice least of all, the children.
Back On Track
Remember, you existed and managed your life perfectly well before having the children. Now you should be concerned with getting back on your feet and managing your life again taking back the control. Once you let your children rule your life, everyone loses: your kids are just naturally scared and reacting because of their fears. Your role is to re-assure them; give them lots of love and support; and then get on with the business of re-inventing yourself and enjoying a normal life.