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Dating and the Single Parent

The world today is vastly different than it was in the 1950s. During that era, rarely did people get divorced because it just wasn’t the thing to do or was there a high percentage of single parenting. Couples stayed together whether they were happy or not. In the typical family, the husband went to work every day while the wife stayed at home and ran the house and looked after the children. That isn’t the typical family today. No longer do some men understand the importance of providing nor do women have the same want to nurture and raise children.

A family today can consist of a father, mother and children, two mothers and children, two fathers and children, a mother and children or a father and children. It’s the single parents that have the most interesting issues when it comes to dating. There are so many things they need to consider because there ARE children involved. So, they have to balance their needs while consistently meeting the needs of their child(ren) as well as a dating potentials.

To begin with, if you have young children, you’ll need to be selective about whom you start going out with. Until you’re certain that this relationship may be going somewhere, it’s probably best not to have your children as a part of it. If you’re dating a very nice person with domestic instincts, chances are your children will become attached to that person. If things don’t work out, you and your ex won’t be the only ones that will be hurt by a break up. Therefore, it’s usually best to keep your dating away from the kids at first. I know Steve Harvey said, “Let them meet the date”? As, great of an advice giver as Steve is, I have to disagree with this statement. Allowing "potentials" to meet your children is not only emotionally draining on you but it is also taxing on a child’s psyche to meet someone your dating. It’s best to give it some time and patience first.

In addition, as a single parent, you’ll need to make sure that the person you’re dating is safe. The last thing you want to do is bring home a child molester or other criminal and have that person around your children. Of course, hopefully you wouldn’t knowingly be dating someone like that. But, even lessor of extremes how is this person’s temper, patience, if they have children how is that relationship, do they get along with their kid’s other parent? These are questions that will allow you a sneak preview into a person’s character, how they handle stress, coping mechanisms and last but not least their maturity level.

However, when you do meet someone that you really connect with and the relationship seems to be moving in a really good direction, there will come a time when you’ll probably want to have sex with that person. But, you could both wait till marriage and make it special for the both of you. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you can’t set a new expectation to do something different. It’s not odd, weird, or unheard of…it’s just that different. See, sexuality isn’t quite as guarded as it was in years past. We get so swept up in the physical and forget that the most important parts are the mental and emotional aspects of a healthy relationship. Sex, is actually rather open these days but that doesn’t mean you want your young and impressionable child walking in on you having sex with someone or having them see someone come in and out of your bedroom. Your home should not be a revolving doors nor should we bring back, “Uncle or Auntie” so and so. Yes, it might sound old fashion but remember, you’re a role model rather you want to be one or not so model the best behaviors. So you’ll need to be a bit careful with that.

Depending on the age of your child or children, you may be able to have sex at your home. A baby or toddler probably isn’t going to even realize what’s going on if you have someone spend the night. An older child, on the other hand, will certainly realize that SOMETHING is going on whether they know exactly WHAT it is or not. If you have teenage kids, then it is going to be impossible to hide your behavior from them no matter where you’re having sex.

The best idea with older kids is to engage in sex at the home of your partner that doesn’t have children living there. If that’s not either of you, then another option is to head to a hotel. When you’re gone overnight, your teenagers will most likely know what you’ve been up to, but at least it’s not flaunted right in their home. Remember, I suggest waiting till your married but if you can't model the best behavior because your teen is definitely watching you!

If you become very close to someone, I say after 6-8 months or more that’s the time to introduce them to your children. In that case, it’s not as likely that this person will be leaving their lives. In fact, they may even become a permanent part. Dating doesn’t have to be hard. Having proper childcare, allotting time to date, making careful decisions and choices for you and your child will make dating as a single parent an amazing journey. You deserve it! Don't let Valentine's Day keep you down! Put up that online profile or shop looking cute. What are you waiting for go out and enjoy the dating world!

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