For many single persons, the prospects of finding the perfect date are often very difficult. For single parents, dating is a complicated affair mainly because it goes beyond your personal needs and involves your children as well. Picking out and settling on one person to date is hard enough without adding the opinions of other people. However, single parents have to ensure everyone’s needs is considered in their dating ventures. If you are a single parent wondering what to consider before officially introducing someone as your date, you ought to honestly answer the following questions:
1. When is the right time to date?
If you have recently lost your partner or gone through a divorce, the chances are that you are still deeply hurt, and you need to give yourself time to heal before you can start dating once more. Single parents who jump into new relationships often have problems settling down because of emotional baggage carried from the previous relationships. The best time for single parents to start thinking about dating is at least a year or two after their initial relationship is over. This provides ample time for healing and self-evaluation.
2. Why do you want to date?
Many single parents are often unable to honestly answer this question because apart from loneliness there is very little they can explain concerning their reasons for dating. This can range from seeking a father figure for the children and even looking for financial help. Ultimately, you should not date for selfish reasons if you are a single parent because every choice you make has the possibility to affect your children.
3. What are you looking for in a date?
Defining a date will be heavily influenced by your reasons for dating. It is imperative that you find a date who meets your standards concerning emotional and social needs. However, you must also consider whether or not your date will meet the needs of your children.
4. How will your new date blend into your family?
Finding a date for single parents is not a major problem as compared to finding a date who can fit well into your existing family. This is a cause of worry for many single parents because it can break or make a family. You will need to gauge how well your date can blend into your family before introducing them to your children as your date.
5. How will you prepare your children?
Before venturing into dating, single parents must first prepare their children and discuss their intentions of going back into the dating game. Additionally, single parents must also prepare their children well before introducing their new dates. This necessitates them to gauge whether their new found love is actually serious enough to be introduced to the family.
The Don’ts of dating as a single parent
Once you venture into dating as a single parent, you must note that things will be a little different, and you cannot enjoy the freedoms of dating as you did when you were single and without children. Any small dating mistake can have dire consequences on your children and family at large. The following are some of the dating mistakes that single parents should avoid:
i. Moving from one date to the other at a fast pace. Single parents have to play the role of both mom and dad to their children, and although this is a challenging fete, they have to avoid settling in with just anyone. Moving from one date to another should thus be avoided as it tends to create confusion amongst the children.
ii. Pushing the children to like their dates. If you push your children to like your new date and spend some time with them can escalate into a huge problem. This is why single parents are advised to give their children space and time to like and adjust to their new partners without forcing them.
iii. Spending too much time with their dates. Some single parents tend to spend so much time with their new found love that they forget to spend quality time with their children. This can stir up hatred amongst the children for the new date who will be perceived as an intruder.
Inevitably, not all children will entertain the thought of their parents dating someone new. It is, therefore, necessary to prepare your child psychologically to meet your new date. It is also imperative for single parents to learn how to deal with rejection and rebellion especially if their children do not take to the new date. Bringing the date home without first preparing the children is a big no-no.