I'm hoping to change all that, but the mere thought of entering the dating world in earnest is scary as can be. Waiting too long to start dating GIPHY As a single mom, you want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with your children — but making the introduction is a tricky situation."Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella.
To remedy my fears, I turned to seasoned dating coaches, Julianne Cantarella, MSW, and Elisabeth Lamotte, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert, to figure out the biggest dating mistakes single moms make (and the smart moves that should replace them). "It's not only the woman who can be hurt if the relationship ends, but the children as well." A savvy single mom should wait as long as possible before introducing her kids to the potential boyfriend and never make the intro around the holidays, the experts advise."Women should gain a sense of her boyfriend's interaction based on how he treats her and possibly his own children if he has them," says Cantarella, who suggests erring on the side of caution.
Even though you know that is how it should be, it may still cause feelings of jealousy – whatever you do don’t nag or complain for more – this is likely to make your date feel like they have taken on another child rather than an adult date.
Many parents don’t live together but share responsibility for raising their children which means your date will still be in regular contact with their ex – this may be the best thing for the kids but it can bring up difficult feelings for you – if you really can’t handle it then maybe this isn’t the right relationship for you.
As you read through these suggestions, remember that children come in all ages and some may not even live at home.
The tips below will help you thread your way through some of the intricacies of dating a single parent. Ask yourself: Am I willing to be in a relationship with someone who has children? Am I willing to enter into a relationship with children?
This is important because you cannot separate the parent from the children. Often, the attention, time and resources that a parent devotes to his/her children can make one feel jealous or resentful. Single parents are likely to set basic boundaries with regards to their children. Sometimes when we meet the kids we want to make a good impression.
If you are dating a parent, their children will be part of the picture at some point. Are you self-assured and independent enough to accept that the children of your date will be the priority? These boundaries can range from time devoted to children, to dietary/nutrition concerns, to when late night guests are acceptable. If you are dating a single parent and your relationship has progressed to the point where you spend time together with the kids, notice how your date parents, the kids’ behaviors, and the family culture. Maybe we try too hard: excessively friendly, overly generous, or uncomfortably upbeat. It is natural that children may be somewhat leery of a new person in the mix.
If, when and how you meet the kids has to be the decision of the parent.
It will save everyone a lot of angst if you simply ask your date and openly discuss how you can help make this a positive experience for all concerned. This may sound like a covert operation, but if you find you are uncomfortable with or disapproving of these things, this may not be a situation that is compatible for you. Everyone will feel much more at ease when the new person in mommy or daddy’s life is kind, sincere, and genuinely caring. They may worry that dad or mom doesn’t love them as much as before or that they are lacking in some way. Once you have managed to thread your way through some of these obstacles that are inherent when dating a single parent, relax and enjoy the experience.
Depending on their background, kids may be fearful of a newcomer in their midst. Simply understand these feelings may exist and that it is not about you. Children can add a lot of delight and gratification to a relationship.
Traditionally men view the introduction of children to be a big step.
When you have talked about exclusivity and are both sure you share the same vision for the future of your relationship, then you can introduce the kids.