Are you a single parent who considers entering the world of dating once again? This can prove to be an exciting time for you, but expect to meet a few challenges along the way.
Playing the dating game when you already have kids presents a whole new dynamic. Your family should be at the core of every decision, so you can’t decide in a snap, unlike when you were younger. To make the transition as smooth as possible, read these best practices for dating as a single a mom.
Focus On Building A Family
Since you already have children, you must take them into consideration when finding a new partner. Remember that your partner shouldn’t only love you but also accept your little ones.
Also, how your children feel about your date should play a massive role in every decision you make. Often, things get complicated when children suddenly learn you’re dating again. This can make them feel like you’re giving them less attention.
Address their insecurity by reassuring them that you will not love them any less, even if you already have a new partner. You can also go for online dating and will get more time to give focus to your family.
Take Things Slow
As mentioned, you don’t want to surprise your kids. Healthy dating begins with proper communication. As a single parent, it is often better to take things slow. When you begin dating or decide to marry again after just a brief dating period, you may find your kids more resistant to your new partner. This prevents your relationship from starting off on the right foot. What’s worse is that you may damage your relationship with your children.
Initiate “What If” Conversations
Before you start dating, you may want to engage in “what if” conversations with your children. Ask them questions like, “What if I start dating again? How would you feel about it?” Such questions will help you see how your kids feel about your plan or decision to see somebody new.
While your children’s emotions shouldn’t dictate your entire dating progress, you should take the time to listen and consider what they say and how they feel. Be sure to start these kinds of conversations as you progress through your developing relationship.
Expect Mixed Reactions
Note that many children dislike the idea of their single mom or dad dating again. Some even feel very loyal, prompting them to think that when their single parent starts dating, that loyalty is immediately broken.
It’s important that you acknowledge the fears of your kids. Explain to them that even if it feels scary to let in a new person into their lives, you still want the best for them and that your new date will accept them as his or her own.
Arrange The First Meeting With Care
Of course, you will want to let your kids meet their new parent, but remember to take a gradual approach. You may want to pay careful attention to how you address your date. You may refer to the person as a friend.
Once you start noticing your kids welcoming the person, then you may start referring to him or her as your “date.” Be sure that when you introduce the person as your date, your relationship will be for the long term.