Any single parent who has tried to juggle dating, friends, a career and their family understands that at the end of each day there simply doesn’t seem to be enough time for all. This is often why parents hesitate to rejoin the dating world.
For many parents the first sacrifice to make under these conditions is the attention to a romantic life. Many concerns revolve around not the difficulty of finding their true love, but a partner who will truly love their child.
This balancing of the new and exciting, dating atmosphere with the pressures of wanting to find the best person to help raise your child can greatly conflict. For those parents who are still feeling remorse about the way in which they became single parents, this strain may be even greater.
There are many more options for single parents who are looking to date these days than there were even just a few years ago. Society and technology have been forced to keep pace with an entire generation deciding to call it quits after one or two little ones have already been welcomed in. Understanding your options can play an important role about how you feel when trying to juggle the complex components of your life.
The legendary evil step mother from stories of old may have been often exaggerated, but many parents worry that they will blindly invite a person who will secretly treat their child poorly into their lives.
With so many concerns and difficult questions to answer it is easy to understand why so many single parents find the prospect of dating overwhelming. Though beginning a relationship as a single parent may require more patience and understanding than for those without little ones, if you find yourself wishing that you could include a bit of romance in your daily routine there are some steps you can take to help:
1) Leave out the Guilt: Many parents immediately feel guilty for wanting to attend to their own personal lives; making time for both your child and yourself can help to create a happier and healthier environment for you both. Make sure you set aside specific times and days where you can spend time with your child, but don’t forget to include some personal time for yourself.
2) Dismiss the Wayward: When stepping out into the dating world you may come across potential partners with whom you have a wonderful time, but only seem tolerant of the child in your life. Many single parents introduce their children to a new romantic interest with hesitation, as if the child were a bad habit they feel it necessary to confess to having. If you find yourself dating anyone who fits into this category, do yourself and your child a favor, end the relationship.
3) Child Stamp of Approval: Though some children may react badly to the introduction of a new person in your life, regardless of how wonderfully that person treats them, it is important to consider your child’s reaction. Because the social skills that will later become necessary are so often still forming in children you may find that the perspective your child has differs greatly from even the closest of friends. In short, most children are honest to the point of being rude because they aren’t considering your reaction. If your child reacts poorly to your date, be sure to find out why and pay attention to any future encounters.
4) Clean Up Your Kid: Because so many parents are single as the result of a negative event in theirs and the child’s life, many single parents feel guilty about the event and become over indulgent with their children. However you view your parenting skills, make sure that when your child is introduced to your date that you don’t expect your date to endure any forms of torture your child is ready to inflict.
While you may think your little ones’ chocolate milk kisses are sweet, your date will more than likely not view them the same way. Be sure that just as your date should be, that your child is respectful. In short, your child shouldn’t have to be an angel, but a monster will surely leave you hanging by a very, silent phone.
5) Practical Romance: When making the decision to date as a single parent you may often refer to your previous experiences for help. Though certainly there is a wealth of knowledge in the events that make up every individuals life, looking at your love past may not prove as useful today. The child in your life has changed everything and this you well know, dating is very much in the same category.
Make use of some practical dating tools that may help to eliminate the stress of poorly chosen candidates. Such options as online dating can help to connect you with other single parents, or perhaps your community plays host to events that will allow both you and your child to meet others who share your interests.
6) Be Attentive to All Involved: Dating as a single parent certainly can be a tricky business and while you continue to juggle both your child’s needs and the desires of your romantic friend don’t forget that one other person exists who needs your attention: you!
Though your child is more than likely an unconditionally, welcome part of your life, if you begin to feel that dating is too difficult, simply explain your feelings to your partner. Never continue to date a person because you feel obligated to do so, or because they mesh well with your child. Remember, both you and your little one have to care for this person if they are to play a big role in your lives.
7) Confidant and Strong: An important thing to remember when dating as a single parent is that your child will be watching and learning from how you interact with your potential suitors. Keep this in mind, especially if you tend to allow your partner’s to be too demanding. Showing your child that you enjoy getting to be social, but will not tolerate a negative force in your life, will not only inspire your child to feel safer with you, but may help them in their future relationships.
8) Don’t Apologies for Being a Parent: As mentioned before, many single parents become nervous about admitting that they have a child when on the dating scene. It is important that you do not set a negative tone about your child with a new person or they may feel as though they can always demand top priority.
Showing you child that you do not need to date, but simply want to date the right kind of person and that you refuse to allow anyone into your life who would see your child in a negative light, will help smooth over some of those initial feelings of jealousy that single parents often encounter in their children.
9) Little Black Dress and a Diaper Bag: Whether you’re a single mother or father you may feel that it’s difficult to feel sexy on a day to day basis when so much of the time you’re simply mommy, or daddy. Often you will conjure up the image of your parents and the idea of being sexy will go right out the window. Though it can be difficult to maintain a balance between these two very different mind sets, with a little patience, a good sense of humor and the right romantic interest you can achieve success in both areas.
10) Soft Reminders: At times it may seem impossible and at others as though all the stars are aligned; as you attempt to navigate the process of being a good parent and an adored romance remember that at times your child may need a little reminder of how you feel.
Be sure to keep the lines of communication open with your little one and that you don’t allow for any doubts about their place in your life to take root. Sometimes, before you head out for a night on the town, all you child needs to hear are those three little words to know that however much fun you have, they hold a special place in your heart.
In today’s world perhaps more than ever many single parents are finding that though it may require additional planning and work by no means should their romantic lives disappear forever. If you are considering heading back out onto the dating scene keep in mind that balance is the key and that you only need to take the road to happiness, one step at a time.