Relationship tips for single parents
"Many of us convince ourselves we are better off not even trying, while others minimise their fears, which leads to making reckless plunges."
The dissolution of a romantic relationship is always painful, always traumatic, even if it didn’t involve a little human. Regardless of how you became a single parent, there is always the fear that getting involved with someone new could not only hurt you, but hurt your child as well.
That’s why it’s pretty daunting to even consider dating. For many single parents, casual dating is frustrating and pretty much a waste of time. But dating for keeps, however, can be downright frightening. Many of us convince ourselves we are better off not even trying, while others minimise their fears, which leads to making reckless plunges.
As for the logistics of it, dating even in the best of times is not easy. As a single parent it is downright difficult. It is a constant juggling act and the balls up in the air are precious: your time, your needs, your dates’ needs, and most importantly your children’s needs.
But like most things in life, you’ll need to try it out to find out what works and what does not. And it IS worth it if you do manage to find your happily ever after, this time around.
Be honest with yourself on why the last relationship didn’t work out. Was it because deep down, you were incompatible? Was it because you got married because you were lonely, or it was “time”?
You need to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else and that means sorting out your issues, on your own. How do you know when you’re ready to date? When you don’t need to.
It can get too comfortable being a single parent, we get stuck in our ways and routines and it becomes even more intimidating to put ourselves out there again and open up to someone new. Start slow but start as soon as you feel ready.
Although you shouldn’t wait too long, it’s not the best idea to start dating immediately following a separation either. No one wants to be the “rebound” and it’s not fair to the other party to have to pick up the pieces after a recent trauma. If you have older kids include them by asking how they would feel if you began to date.
Basically, slowly is the best way to approach dating as a single parent. That includes introducing sexual intimacy in a relationship. Infatuation is easy to confuse with love so don’t get into bed with any of your suitors until you're ready because the act of sex bonds people emotionally. A good match will wait for you.
It may be tempting to introduce your children as soon as possible if you are excited about the person you are seeing. But this is actually an important step and again, it may be best to take things slow.
The children don’t need to become anxious over a potential new parent and the heartbreak will be twice as tough to handle should things not work out.
The best time to introduce the children would be after you have talked about exclusivity, and are both sure you share the same vision for the future.
Let us know if any of these tips help, in the comments below!