Being a single parent is hard enough as it is, without the hassles of trying to reenter the dating world. Whether you are trying to find love or looking to have a little fun without much commitment planned is very important to communicate from the beginning. No one wants to be led on by someone looking for the exact opposite of what they are looking for.
Sometimes when someone who has no kids learns that their date has kids, they think that means that their date is looking for a partner for life, but this is not always so. Some single parents want to have a romantic life that does not include their children, or a serious future.
So, the first step when reentering the dating scene is to know if you want long term commitment, or a little bit of extra fun. The second step is to make sure to discuss what you are looking for with potential dating partners.
Not that you want to purpose marriage on the first date, but if you are looking to form a commitment, and you start to date someone who has no plans to settle down it would just be a waste of emotion and time to keep seeing one another
The kid factor is very important when you are a single parent. You have to set boundaries and rules when it comes to potential partners meeting your kids. Everyone they meet will leave a mark on their life, regardless how long they are in it. You need to be sure the person you are dating is compatible with your kids, but it is a good idea to know a bit about them before making that introduction. You do not want to introduce someone to your kids you are not exclusive with, mainly because kids do get attached easily to friendly people their parents seem to like.
I remember when I was young my mother had a new boyfriend, and had just became exclusive the man she had dated for years before her new boyfriend was very dear to us. When meeting new boyfriend for the first time I loudly exclaimed to him that, he was boyfriend number five. I was young and didn’t understand why a women would be embarrassed by her four year old telling her new boyfriend she was also dating five other men.
As a single parent, there is sometimes another issue that interferes with new relationships: the “Ex-factor”. The children’s other parent is commonly a part of a single parent’s life. There are many reasons to have to speak often and spend time with your ex if you are co-parenting: holidays, scheduling parenting time, behavioral issues, health concerns are a few of the many reasons ex lovers become close friends.
I do not always like my ex, but he and I remain close enough to communicate regularly. We also spend holidays together with his extended family. Even though we are not together we still consider ourselves family, just a bit disorganized.
A single parents relationship with their kid’s other parent can sometimes causes a new significant other to feel insecure, or jealous. What people who date single parents need to understand is that you and your ex are not together for a reason, and there is no reason to be insecure. It is healthy for the children to see their parents can get along even if they are not together.
Trying to be the new significant other to a single parent can be intimidating. You are not just dating that person, but you are dating their entire life (their kids, their ex, even their ex-in-laws), so be sure that the person is someone that you can learn and grow with, because dating a single parent, or dating as a single parent takes a lot of patients, endurance and communication.