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Dating Tips and Possible advice for Single Parents

Whether you're a single dad or a single mom, dating and parenting

both make demands on your time. That means dating with children requires a balance. At times that’s easier said than done. Trying to juggle life when are you able to find time to connect with others who have similar relationships objectives and lifestyles. Read on to find a few ideas with communicating and your feelings.

A. Be Open and Honest About Being a Parent
Most single parents are afraid of opening up about being a single parent to their date due to the stigma surrounding single parenting. The problem with lying or not being completely honest about being a parent is that it will cause issues later. Your date will discover you have a child. You may even be surprised that opening about being a parent might not have any negative effect on how your date feels about you or your situation.

B. Be Positive about Dating
It is important for you to have positive feelings and thoughts about grownup relationships. Don’t feel guilty about dating. There is nothing wrong about wanting to date when you are a parent. Most parents, especially single mothers feel guilty about leaving their child with a caregiver to go out, never mind on a date. You need alone time, or time with likeminded adults. Other than being a mother or father, you are also a man or a woman who needs me time. Keeping time for your currently family should not keep you from exploring a relationship with a potential partner.

C. Avoid Rushing Introductions between your New Partner and your Child
While understandable that the first few weeks or months of dating are very exciting. Don’t rush to introduce your partner to your child. Rushing introductions to your new partner may not only affect your relationship with your partner but it may also affect your child in the event that the relationship does not work out. Wait until the relationship has grown and you are certain about the future of the relationship, then make those introductions.

D. Don’t Try to Defend Why you are a Single Parent
Many single parents fall into the trap of thinking that they need to explain how they became a single parent. When you are in the early stages of dating, you do not need to explain yourself to your date. Be open and honest about being a parent and stop there. Leaving the door open to discuss at a later time down the relationship road. If the person is put off by the fact that you are a single parent, then they may not be a good fit to begin with. Part company and continue your quest.

E. Focus on the Present
It is natural for your partner to think about the future after you date for a while. Many single parents may be afraid when that time comes, that past relationship experiences may happen in the new relationship. Stop focusing on what happened in the past and start focusing on the present. Focus on what you want and not what may or may not have happened in the past.
Inspiration: parentingeveryday.com

There is a number of additional topic below to concider:

Realize that you’re not just forming a relationship; you’re creating a family. When children predate dating, the couple’s relationship inherently creates opposing attachments. The choice to be with the dating partner or children may mean the other is left waiting. Wondering how their relationship with you is being influenced. A child may think they would be left behind, or to a lessor position. Reassure them and keep them involved in the process, not in the thick of things, but letting them know where you are going and why and when you will be home. KEEP YOUR WORD! That builds trust.

Avoid a quick turn-around. Parents that begin dating quickly after the end of a relationship (whether by death or divorce) or who reach a quick decision to marry after a brief courtship period often find their children more resistant to the marriage. This could sabotage a budding relationship or the ability of a stepparent and stepchild to get a good footing with one another thus puts the family at risk.

Healthy dating begins with self-examination. Intelligent singles take a good hard look in the mirror before dating. Examine your motivations for dating, fears (e.g., their children not having a mother or father, financial, loneliness, etc.). Unresolved hurt (e.g., after divorce or death). How do I know when I’m ready to entertain the next relationship?

Engage in “What if?” conversations. Even before dating, single parents begin a series of conversations with their children asking permission of sorts; “What if I began dating? How would you feel?”, “What if Susan’s children came over every Friday through the summer for a play date?”, “What if she and I were to get engaged?”

Each possible dialogue is both assessment and an intervention as it prepares them for what might happen. Smart intelligent single parents don’t let their children’s emotions dictate their dating progress. However they do listen and give serious consideration to how the children are feeling. Engage in these conversations throughout your dating experience, especially in anticipation of each stage of a developing relationship in important.

Invitations to older children. Teens and adult children need to move toward your dating partner at their own pace. After all they may be going through the dating process themselves, not to mention they are still developing as people, compounding the additional effects your dating may have on them. If you make it your agenda to get them to accept your partner and relationship, you may be shooting yourself in the proverbial foot.

A more subtle approach may more appropriate. Possibly make opportunities for them to get to know each other, on their terms. Soft invitations such as, “Sally will be having dinner with me on Saturday. You are welcome to join us if you’d like.” Show respect and allow relationships to develop at their own pace.

Acknowledge and label child fears. Children of all ages, young to grown, benefit when a parent says things like, “I am able to see the idea of my dating scares you, and that you may be missing Mom/Dad/our family/etc. and you most likely don’t want any more changes to our family. Thank you, I appreciate your being honest with me.”

Use phrases like “this scares you,” “you’re afraid that our family won’t be the same,” or “you don’t want to have to change schools or leave your friends.” This type of response validates the child’s fears. It also shows them their feelings are valid and that they are important to you. Keeping the communication door open helps children put labels on their own emotions. This is very important for young children especially, but even grown children appreciate this type of candor.

Pace and balance dating. If you fall in love don’t abandon your children. Spending all of your free time with your newfound love will leave them fell abandoned. It may be tempting, but doing so taps your child’s fears. They will feel they are losing you and it gives dating partner the false impression that you are totally available to them. Remember you are not! Balance is the key to life, especially here.

Arrange the “meeting the kids” time with care. At first reference your date as “a friend” or if your kids are prepared, call them your “date.” Casual introductions are fine when you start dating someone, but don’t proactively put your kids and the person together until you are pretty sure there are real possibilities for a long term relationship. This is especially true for children under the age of five, who can bond to someone you are dating more quickly than you can. This can break their hearts and not be able to trust the next relationship, should there be a next!

As your interest in the person grows, gradually become more intentional about finding time for your significant other and your kids to get together. Tread very lightly at first and continue to monitor and process everyone’s fears or concerns. If the other person has children as well, it might be wise to orchestrate early get-togethers with just one set of children at a time.

Learn all you can about stepfamily living. Getting smarter means learning all you can about how step-families function, operate best, and why they have the unique complexities that they do. You may know how to drive a car, but driving in snow and icy conditions requires a different knowledge and skill set. Nearly all blended families have inclement weather to manage, it is wise you adopt the attitude of a learner in this area.
Inspiration: www.familylife.com

  • Signs Dating a Single Parent may not be Right for You
  • - You're Jealous of the Kids
  • - You're Looking for Spontaneity
  • - You Resent Biting Your Tongue About Parenting Issues
  • - You Want to Control Timing
  • - You Don't Like children, or at least these children specifically

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