Dating Single Parents
Dating Single Parents, I admire and respect single parents. “They overcome many hardships and challenges, which they face with grace, all the while caring for their children and creating a safe, happy family.” (“Blogger – single parents guide”)
But, you know, single parents are human. They have human emotions and human needs. They need love and affection not only from their children but from other adults who are not also relatives. Like most of us, they need a companion for their life journey. (“Blogger – single parents guide”)
Some people tell me it is not right or appropriate for single parents to go on dates. They say that the time for dating in single parent’s life has passed – that the family and children are everything. They tell me that single parents who date are promiscuous or irresponsible.
I strongly disagree. I think single parents have as much right to a social life as anyone. They are single, aren’t they?
Everyone needs love, and most of us want a partner in life. To let society’s whims force us to be lonely is wrong. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”) Single people have a right to be happy and to find someone who will want to help them and support their children.
When you are the only adult in a household, raising a family is hard. Kids really need two parents when they are growing up to get a healthy balance of role models and realistic ideas about gender issues. A single parent cannot give that to their children.
And children always grow up and move away. They have families and lives of their own. If a single parent should not date, you are saying they are doomed to grow old alone. That just does not seem right.
Some people seem to think that single parents must meet different standards than the rest of us. They may think single parents are immoral people just because they have children and are not married. Single moms get criticized for getting pregnant too early or getting pregnant without a husband. Single dads may be accused of being irresponsible or of being more likely to cheat in a relationship. What are people thinking?
The truth is that all single parents are diligent responsible people who care about their families and love their children deeply. They work hard to make a good living for their family and to balance work with school functions with no one to share the burden. It just makes me mad when I hear people judging others for what they assume to be personal mistakes. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”) It just is not so.
But single parents may be the best potential mates a person could find. They are mature and responsible. They are obviously committed to their families and children, or they would not be struggling with the single-parent lifestyle now. It is the best thing in the world when a single parent dates and finds a partner to build a new life and a strong, normal family.
Finding a partner is not easy for single parents. “First, they are carrying some baggage from their previous relationship.” (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”) Whether it ended in death or divorce, there are feelings and habits to break. Second, they have children, which can be a real problem for some singles who do not have children.
When you are dating a single parent, you must accept that they have another set of important priorities in their daily life. You may be tempted to try to compete with them. But that would be a mistake because you would always lose. The best thing to do is to accept them for who they are and what their life is like today.
You need to recognize that they love their children very much, and you need to respect that. After you meet the children and get to know them, you will love them too. When you are in a meaningful relationship with a single parent, you are really in a relationship with a family. The kids come with the package.
You may have to deal with some single-parent-specific issues if you want a serious long-term relationship with them. They may have been hurt badly in the past, and they could have some trust issues. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”) You will have to show them over time that you can be trusted.
My guess is that you will have to demonstrate your maturity, responsibility, and loving nature before a real relationship can get off the ground. And once you gain their trust, you will have to earn the trust of their children. That could be even more difficult, since the kids may thing, you are trying to replace the missing parent in their hearts. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”)
The kids will be protective and possessive of their single parent. You might as well be prepared for that. They may suspect that you have evil intentions. Or if the previous relationship was marked with a lot of fighting or violence, they may fear a repeat of those extremely uncomfortable times. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”)
By being a friend without being pushy, you may be able to begin a relationship with the children. You will have to be tolerant of and patient with their moods and suspicion. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”)
You will have to be loving at the same time you acknowledge they already have (or had) another parent. (“Blogger – FIND SINGLES IN YOUR AREA”) You will have to take it slow with the kids, one step at a time, to build a relationship that will someday be a sturdy foundation for the happy, healthy family you hope to have with their single parent.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “The Effects of Single Parenting”
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