Parenting for a single parent can be a demanding task that leaves little room for anything else. Opportunities to go off alone and indulge oneself are often scarce. This makes it difficult to establish meaningful relationships without jeopardizing ones ability to adequately meet the needs of children. In so doing, it begs the question: What are some of the things a single parent should do to help him or her successfully navigate their way through the world of dating?
First and foremost the single parent should make an honest assessment of the type of time they can reasonably commit to establishing a relationship upon re-entering the world of dating. They should keep in mind that a dating partner may desire a hefty portion of their time, much like their children. Therefore, the thought of how to balance time between meeting the needs of the kids and that of a new found love interest should be a foremost consideration.
While searching out that special someone, the single parent should consider looking for a person who has similar values to theirs regarding life, family, and parenting. It is important that their prospective mate have some understanding of the trials and tribulations inherent in their role as a single provider and caregiver of children. This helps ensure that they don’t expect more out to the relationship than there is to give. Most of all, any dating interest should possess some willingness to understand and lend support when reasonably possible. Anything less can be a certain road to disaster for all involved.
With these criteria’s meet, the single parent should take things slowly and really get to know their newfound friend. They should make sure not attempt to burden them with the hardships of their role as single parents; nor should they attempt to rush them to the church It is important that this new interest be made to feel that they are liked and valued for themselves and not for their potential as a surrogate parent for their children. The relationship should start out honestly, void of any impressions of being a sophisticated marriage trap bent toward exploitation.
The single parent should always try to be sensitive to their children’s feelings regarding their dating activity. Where some kids would welcome the idea of their parent dating again, others may find it a disturbing circumstance and act out as a result. It should be kept in mind that some children view the introduction of a perspective mate into family mix as a betrayal of the absent parent and react accordingly. It is not uncommon for them to refuse to talk the new dating partner, attack him verbally, etc. all in an attempt to protest their loyalty for the missing parent and their outrage over what they consider as the present parent’s betrayal of the him.
Now the fun part begins; while the single parent should respect their children’s sentiments about their new dating activity, they should keep in mind that they owe it to themselves to pursue joy in their lives with vigor. To close themselves off to new possibilities serves no ones purpose. Those who argue that life is to be lived are correct. So make the best of things in a responsible and caring manner.
Be careful not to allow your last love to become the focus of your conversations with your new dating partner. While such discussions are informative for a moment, they turn into unnecessary distractions if pursued on a continuous basis. Most of all, they sew seeds of doubt as to whether you are truly interested in pursuing a new relationship or stuck in time with someone else. So be conservative regarding discourse about your past love. In short, leave the past in the past.
Try not to give false impressions about yourself, thereby committing yourself to a pattern of behavior that is truly not you. You should present yourself in a manner that reflects the true you, while making sure not to reveal too much too soon. A little mystery when dating is desirable and most of all, an indicator of common sense and sophistication. Remember that dating is a get to know you ritual, so make certain that there is something there to discover. Open books tend to garner less inquires than closed ones. Allow, your perspective mate to prove his interest in you by taking the time needed to truly get to know you.
Similarly, try not to make yourself the sole topic of discussion. Keep in mind that the dating process is one where people come together to share aspects of themselves with one another. Give your date the time an opportunity share himself with you and don’t overwhelm him with information regarding you alone. Make your dates a fare sharing experience.
Many people ask at what point in the dating process should one indulge in the act of sex. The view on this topic tends to vary from person to person. However, one should keep in mind that while enjoyable, the act of sex is a very serious one packed with dangers (e.g. HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, etc.). Therefore, one should be prudent when embarking down this road. One should keep in mind that the act of sex is viewed differently my many people. For one person it represents the ultimate expression of love and genuine affection, while for another it is merely a pleasurable thing to do, void of emotion. It would be advisable to make sure that you’re truly treasured before you indulge. In short, don’t play yourself cheap. The act of sex is a deep expression of affection for many, that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
No matter how wonderful a dating partner may seem, it would be wise to be careful about what type of access you allow him or her to your children. Like it or not, there are very disturbed people out there who prey on the affections of others to gain access to their children. Similarly, it should kept in mind that when you establish a relationship through the act of dating, you are also establishing one for your kids as well. They too are made stakeholders, though indirectly. So be prudent about the depth to which you allow your dating partner to become involved with your children in case your dating relationship doesn’t work out. They too suffer disappointment when the dating process doesn’t work out. Many kids secretly long to have a surrogate father or mother. Therefore, when the dating process leads nowhere, they suffer disappointment. So be careful not to allow your kids become to involved with your dating interest.
With this said, make certain to make your dating experiences enjoyable and rewarding. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t use these occasions as a way of pampering yourself. You are a beautiful human being who deserves to find happiness. So go for it, but do so using common sense precautions. Good luck