Dating is probably one of the hardest challenges of being a single parent. As if dating isn’t hard enough already, we single parents are faced with additional hurdles. Who to bring around your child? How soon should he/she be introduced to your new friend? Is spending the night even an option? When will public displays of affection in front of the child ever seem appropriate? To these questions, there is no simple one size fits all answer. So, how do we face these challenges and move on with our lives comfortably? Here are a few tips that I have found helpful over the years.
Communication is always a glorious thing. Talking to your child and understanding their mentality is always helpful. Knowing how your child feels about life and friendships can really help you develop an understanding how much they know about the world around them. If there is no connection between yourself and your child and you are unable to communicate, perhaps dating should not be your priority. A close relationship with your child may be more fulfilling than you thought.
It is never a good idea to introduce a child to many random lovers. Children are impressionable and very fragile. If they see that mom constantly has men around, it can be extremely confusing and damaging to their emotional growth. These actions may eventually manifest themselves in their future relationships. Also, when you expose children to this type of activity, you run the risk of a having a child that will lose respect for you. A child’s home is their world. To have a parent who allow strangers to enter their sacred space could easily lead to a child who has no trust in and/or respect for that parent.
Take it slow
If the priorities are straight in your life, time for a relationship does not come around easily or often. So often is it seen that the child is pushed to the wayside to make room for the lover. That just isn’t right. Unless the child is actually a 20 year old young adult who is clinging on too tightly, the child should be the number one priority. Anyone who wants to be with you must understand that and embrace it. If they really want to be with you (and you with them), time will come when you can comfortably be together without interrupting the family unit.
Like any good parent, we want what is best for our children. Unfortunately, sometimes that seems to be in direct conflict with what we want for ourselves. But as responsible adults, we must understand that there is a time and place for everything. These tips that have been passed down to me by some of the wisest women I’ve ever known. And now I pass them down to those who struggle in managing a balance between being a great parent and fulfilling the need for adult interaction. After all, the dating scene is scary enough. Anything to simplify an already complicated process is greatly appreciated.