Five Tips to Dating as a Single Parent
As a single parent, dating can be particularly daunting. You have more than just your own well-being to consider. As a parent, you want what is best for them, but at the same time, you need to take care of your needs as well. And that includes personal and romantic relationships. Having kids does not mean being alone, but it does mean you need to take precautions.
- Be up front with your date. This cannot be stressed enough. You should tell your date that you have kids right off the bat. A lot of people are turned off at the thought of dating someone with children from another relationship so you need to be up front to weed out those people. Even if your potential partner doesn’t have a problem dating someone with kids, it will send up a red flag if you wait to tell them.
- Wait to bring them home. When children are involved, their emotions can become confused. Don’t bring your date home right away. You want to make sure this is a relationship worth continuing first. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your child become attached to someone and then have those ties severed because the two of you just didn’t work out.
- Don’t get too attached before introducing them. This goes along with the waiting to bring them home. You personally shouldn’t wait too long to introduce your children to your perspective partner. Children have an uncanny sense of people and can read them better and more often than adults can. If you fall for someone and they don’t get along with your kids, it will put you in a nasty predicament. Save yourself the trouble and get the introductions done early on.
- Don’t have a revolving door. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to settle down with just one person. Especially if your past relationships haven’t worked out. However, this doesn’t mean bring every person you date home to introduce to the kids. If this is where you are at in your life and have no desire to become committed, keep your personal life and your parenting separate, so you don’t confuse your children.
- Respect yourself and your children. Dating is fun and exciting, but it can become messy quickly when kids are involved. The biggest thing you can do is to show everyone the respect they deserve. Don’t allow yourself to settle for someone just to have a mother or father figure in your kid’s life. You, your children, and the other person all deserve more than that. There is someone out there for everyone, you just have to be proactive and patient.
Most importantly, have fun! Don’t let the kids stand in your way of exploring personal and romantic relationships. This only hurts everyone in the long run. If you’re asked out, or want to do the asking, go for it. Hire a babysitter or enlist the help of family and friends and go enjoy yourself. You never know when that next date will be the one that leads to happily ever after.