By Sue Calhoun
Dating as a single parent can be tough. Do you find that your kids having a hard time accepting your dating partner, or warming up to someone you want to spend more time with? Your children may even tell you outright that they dislike the person that you are seeing. There are many well recognized reasons for why children react the way they do to someone new in your life. These can range from feeling jealous of the time you are taking away from them to be with someone new, anger toward a person they see as a poor replacement for their biological mother or father, or even a wish to try to protect you from being hurt again. The best way to handle resistance from your children is to sit down with them and take time to discuss and explore their underlying feelings.
Sometimes, one way to make an opening between your new partner and your children is for your date to spend some time alone with the child that dislikes him or her. This creates a situation where you are out of the picture and cannot be manipulated, so they actually may get along much better in your absence. By leaving out the “key” person, you are not present as the audience for the negative behavior. There may be an opening for the child to learn more about the new partner than was possible before.
It is also possible that there are some qualities about your new partner that may be difficult for your kids to accept or handle. For example, there might be a certain tone of voice that the person uses which your child is reacting to, or another habit that is offensive but which your partner doesn’t realize he or she engages in. In that case, and especially if it’s the kind of characteristic that might benefit your partner to change, it is worth making the attempt to discuss it with him or her to see if he or she is open to working on making that change. Often, people don’t realize that they can be too critical or that they tend to interrupt someone who is speaking. It takes an artful touch to point these habits out in a constructive way, and of course the person may or not be motivated to make those personality changes.
In a situation where your kids have disliked everyone you’ve ever dated, at least this demonstrates that the issue isn’t personal to your date, but rather has more to do with something related to their other parent being replaced which is bothering them. See if you can discuss this to get them to open up about their reactions. This isn’t always easy, especially for teenagers. You might start by telling them a little about your own reaction to how your parents related to each other, and let your children see how you were when you were their age, not just in your parenting role. Kids open up more when they are not spoken to in a “teacher-like” way. Talk about your own childhood a bit with them and see if this can generate a genuine conversation.
Overall, for the single parent dating again, the key is communication, either one on one between you and your child, or perhaps with the help of a therapist if you decide to spend more time with your new dating partner.
Sue Calhoun writes on dating topics all over the Web. Find some great places to meet others in the single parent dating scene at http://www.online-dating-connection.com/single-parent-dating.html.
Dating For the Single Parent
By David Kamau
Dating can be a complex and stressful issue for the single parent. For starters you don’t have much time. Many a single parent has had to learn to be a juggler between children, work, school, custody schedules and financial issues.
Then there are the kids, who may feel left out, having to compete for mom’s or dad’s attention. Kids of opposite sex to the parent who are close to her/him may tend be overprotective, a potentially volatile situation especially in case of mom and son.
Emotional drain that comes through child rearing can also take its toll. The energy to go out to meet people might not even be there.
We adults can sometimes act irrationally too. Admitting that one is jealous of the attention the other is giving to her/his children is not easy. That person could hold it in till it becomes too much and explodes.
Though to parent children are most important, they (parents) should also recognize that they do have emotional and physical needs. Your happiness or lack of, will rub on your children.
Many single parents prefer to date people who also have children. People who have children of their own know the challenges and restrictions of single parenting and therefore more likely to be tolerant and understanding.
How does one meet other single parents?
Grocery stores, Laundromats, playgrounds, churches and amusement parks are good places if you have no problem striking conversations with strangers.
There are groups for single parents to meet and socialize. Most of these groups are not meant for dating, though people do date. If you are short of time this may not be the best option though.
Single parent specialty dating sites may be the best way to go. Internet dating offers the single the convenience of searching anonymously at your convenience and in your own time. You have a wide variety of people who have children, and who are also actively seeking partners.
There is one drawback when it comes to dating another single parent. You are both jugglers. And you have to find a way to keep each ones children out of the relationship until you get comfortable with each other and feel the relationship is for keeps. Why?
Because you don’t want to send your children the message that partners, or people for that matter, are interchangeable. And also for the safety and well-being of the children, who should be your first responsibility. If you ask me, this is a small price to pay for hopefully a lot of happiness down the road.
If you are a single parent looking for a partner who also has children, online dating is something you should at least give a fair try.
single parent dating