It’s not uncommon for single parents to feel lonely. After all, taking care of the kids and making sure their needs are met doesn’t leave much time for pursuing a fulfilling relationship. Plus, finding a dating partner that your children will like can also be a challenge. But, being a single parent doesn’t preclude you from enjoying dating, romance, and love. Today, I’ll describe how single parents can date and find a partner who adds to their life.
Limit Talk About Children
When you go out with someone for the first time, you’ll obviously talk about the things you both have in common. If you’re on a date with another single parent, the biggest commonality is having kids. The problem is that the conversation can easily be dominated by one topic: the kids. Try to avoid talking about each other’s children throughout the entire date. It’s important for you and your partner to discover new things about each other. Focusing on your children can be an obstacle.
Be Honest With Children
A lot of single parents feel compelled to lie to their children about going on dates. The parents may feel embarrassed or unprepared to answer their kids’ questions. So, they’ll make up an excuse, such as meeting a client or visiting a family member. Be honest with your children. Let them know that you’re going on a date and answer their questions. Chances are, your kids will figure it out and their curiosity will only grow. Plus, if you and your partner begin dating seriously, you’ll need to address your children’s questions eventually. It’s best to be honest upfront, keeping your kids informed along the way.
Keeping The Peace
If you and your dating partner both have children, their interaction with each other may become a problem (especially if they’re the same age). You may need to carefully manage their behavior to keep the peace. The key is to address your kids individually. For example, if you’ve planned an outing and your children begin arguing with your partner’s children, tell your kids that their behavior is unacceptable. Then, explain the consequences if they don’t stop.
Manage Your Expectations
Single parents often develop unrealistic expectations of their dating partners. They may presume that their partner will make them happy or will eventually become an authority figure for their children. Having those expectations can skew your perspective of your partner’s role while dating. When the relationship becomes serious, it’s natural to anticipate your partner playing a larger role in your life and that of your kids. Until then, slow down and enjoy the dating experience.
Enjoying Each Other
Dating for single parents is already challenging due to time constraints and managing the needs of the children. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the time spent together with your partner. Even though having kids may represent common ground between you both, avoid allowing them to dominate your conversation. Instead, spend the time discovering new things about your date. Enjoy each other’s company away from distractions.
In the meantime, be honest with your kids about your dating. Communicate the behavior you expect from them. And manage your expectations about your partner’s role. You can enjoy a fulfilling, romantic, and loving relationship as a single parent.