Are you a mom or dad who is ready to start dating again? Here's how.
As a single parent, you probably have very little free time, so dating must seem like an impossible task. Yet, single parents are dating in unprecedented numbers. So, if you are looking for another head of household, you are very likely to find one.
As a responsible parent, you will want to be very cautious about whom you date, and eventually bring home, for the safety and well-being of your children. You may feel guilty or unsure about whether dating is okay. But, of course it is .. as long as you do it responsibly, and your children are not disrupted by your dating life.
Single parent dating involves finding a quality person you like, who likes you and who is comfortable with your children. These extra dynamics can be frustrating, but should not be ignored or overlooked. Pressuring your children to like your date, and going too fast for them to get comfortable with the situation, will create unnecessary trouble.
Because today's society is very mobile, it is easy for people who are not savory to hide their backgrounds. Getting to know people as friends before dating increases the safety of dating and meeting new people. To maximize safety, choose group activities, daytime activities with the children, and stay in public places until you establish your date's character.
Meeting other single parents at a PTA meeting, church, school or sporting events are all great ways to begin. The public setting provides safety, a chance to get to know the other person and a chance to find out what others think of your date.
Meeting his or her children, or other family members, will quickly reveal their values and attitudes. When your children meet another parent, an adult friend, or a church or temple member rather than a date, it is much less threatening to them.
Children are not the only ones who need rules to follow. If the adults involved do the right thing automatically, they are following their own internal rules. But, if their behavior is not suitable for you and your children, then you need to inform them of your rules.
Setting and keeping rules may sound like a drag, but sensible and reasonable guidelines can help this problem. When everyone knows what is expected of them, they will feel respected and secure.
Here are a few more guidelines to help you, your children and your new date be more comfortable around each other and ensure that things go smoothly:
- Make sure you get to know possible dating prospects very well, before inviting them into your home.
- Become friends first, before considering a romantic relationship.
- Always introduce new adults to your children as friends, nothing more.
- If your children are old enough to have opinions of your new friends, listen to what they have to say.
- Do not pressure your children to like your new friend, or to spend time with them.
- Insist that your children behave appropriately and politely to your adult friends.
- Have regular family discussions with your children.
- If you want to get serious with a date, find out their feelings about children, especially your children, first.
- Gradually introduce a new date to your children by doing family oriented activities together. Give your children, and your date, a chance to develop their own relationships.
- Do not sacrifice your children's alone time with you, to spend time with your dating. Do not miss sport or school events in order to date.
- Do not share inappropriate information with your children. Do not use them as "confidantes" for your relationship confusion or problems.
- Do not share inappropriate sexual information with you children.
This article was originally published at Tina Tessina. Reprinted with permission from the author.