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Posts Tagged ‘single parent’

As parents we don’t enjoy the same freedoms as single people who don’t have children, We have more to think about than our own feelings when it comes to dating. If you share the excitement of your new date with your children then you will probably end up sharing your misery if things don’t work out. So, when is it safe to introduce the kids to the new person in your life?

It seems that most people can put their best foot forward for a couple of months. Beyond that, their true colors start to bleed through the painted on mask of good qualities. Whether it’s the man who is secretly a control freak but has to get his hooks well into you first or the woman who saves her frustration so she can let it all out at once and blame PMS. Heck, I’ve known women who didn’t just have a period once a month, they had an entire novel.

Am I suggesting that you lie to your children when you start dating a new person? Of course not, you just don’t tell them details. You wouldn’t tell your children the details of your sex life so why tell them the details of dating. When my daughter was younger I would schedule my dates around times when I knew she would be at a friends house or the skating rink. This allowed me to date and yet avoid any questions from my daughter when I got home.

It was a red flag for me when women would be offended that I would hide them from my child. It’s not offensive to try to protect my daughters feelings and I would hope that any new woman in my life would understand that not all dates turn into lasting relationships. It worried me if a woman was being too pushy about taking a place in my family within the first few weeks of dating. After all, what is the rush if we are planning on spending the rest of our lives together.

It can actually be enjoyable to get to know someone before you complicate things by introducing your children into the scene. It can also be less stressful by avoiding some of the pressure and additional expectations that come along with dating parents. Eventually, you will have to tell the kids and integrate them into the new relationship. But that is only if the dating actually leads to having a relationship and you won’t know that for a couple of months.

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My daughter had her first date (with a boy who drives) and it got me to thinking about how her view has changed as far as dating is concerned. When she was younger I would hide my dating from her because, in her mind, it would have been a much bigger deal than it actually was. It wouldn’t have been just a date, it would have automatically been a serious relationship.

Now that she is dating, she can see more clearly that you spend time with someone in a social setting to get to know them and see if you are interested or not. But younger kids know of adult male and female interactions to be more of a mother and father type. At a younger age she would have gotten attached too quickly to any new woman who introduced herself as my date.

This new outlook on dating for her opens up a new level of communication for us to be able to discuss relationships and how they develop. To talk about the enjoyable moments and the disappointments of dating and getting to know someone.

Being a single parent is a job that changes its description as the years go by. As the kids grow some of the old challenges are replaced with entirely new ones. I no longer have to hide my dating from my daughter but I do have to be careful not to set a bad example.

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