Plus, five tips on bridging the gap between a potential partner and the children.
4. Communicate and Listen
As soon as things start to get serious with your date, it's time for you to start having some in-depth discussions with him and your children.
Have regular conversations with your kids to continue to gage their feelings on possibly incorporating this new person into the family structure. Ask your date questions about he feels about your kids. Also, start talking to your kids about how they feel about your date. Make sure you are listening to what they are all telling you and determine if it would be wise for you to move forward as a couple or stick to the "friend zone." Do your best not to pressure anyone into accepting anything they are not ready for as it will just make things harder in the long run.
5. Set Boundaries
This is very important because it relates directly to loving, trusting and respecting all parties involved. You are a package deal. 8 Do's & Don'ts Of Sexting
Make sure you communicate the limits of comfort with your date and make sure that you both are on the same page regarding the nature of your relationship. These boundaries should not be crossed. Guidelines like, showing up unannounced, off-limit subjects with the kids and sleeping over need to be discussed, understood and agreed to.
Make sure that your children behave with respect toward your date and make sure that your date does the same. Any problems that come up between your date and your kids needs to be addressed, as you are the person working to bring them together.
Most importantly, do not share inappropriate information regarding your relationship with your children, especially sex. This tends to be a biggie with single parents in general. The bond between single parents and their children is strong and sometimes the line between "friend" and child can become blurred. Be careful about what information is shared between you, your date and your children.
Besides being a YourTango Dating Expert, J. Cameron Gantt is the Head Dating Coach at Insti(Gay)tor, a Chicago-based GLBT matchmaking agency. Download his FREE E-Guide “3 Secrets To Attract More Dates” or contact him directly for a FREE 60 minute consultation.