Dating Guidelines for Single Parents
As a single parent, you probably have so little free
time that dating seems an impossible task. Yet, single
parents are dating in unprecedented numbers, so if youre
looking for another head of household to
date, youll find one.
As a responsible parent, youll want to be very
cautious about whom you date and eventually bring home
for the safety and well-being of your child(ren). You
may feel guilty or unsure about whether dating is OK.
Of course it is, as long as you do it responsibly, and
your children are not disrupted by your dating.
Single parent dating involves finding a quality person
you like, who likes you, and who is comfortable with
your children. These extra dynamics can be frustrating,
but should not be ignored or overlooked. Pressuring
your children to like your date and going too fast for
them to get comfortable with the situation, will create
unnecessary trouble. This article presents some guidelines
to help you, your children and your new date be more
comfortable, and assure that things go smoothly.
If your children are small, they have a right to be
primary in your life. They should not have to compete
with your new relationship for your time, attention
and affection. This takes planning, because your schedule
is already full.
Safety/ Sensibility Issues
Because today's society is very mobile, its easy
for people who are not savory to hide their backgrounds.
Getting to know people as friends before dating increases
the safety of dating and meeting new people. To maximize
safety, choose group activities, daytime activities
with the children along, and stay in public places until
you establish your dates character.
Meeting other single parents at PTA, church, and school
or sports events is a great, non-threatening way to
begin. The public setting provides safety, a chance
to get to know the other person, and to find out what
others think of him or her. Meeting his or her children
or other family members will quickly reveal their values
and attitudes. When your children meet another parent,
an adult friend, or a church or temple member rather
than a date, its much less threatening to them.
There is less pressure on everyone.
Rules for Everyone
Children arent the only ones who need rules to
follow. If the adults involved (you, your date, your
ex, grandparents, friends) do the right thing automatically,
they are following their own internal rules, but if
their behavior is not suitable for you and your children,
you need to inform them of yours.
Setting and keeping rules may sound like a drag, but
sensible and reasonable guidelines can help a lot. When
everyone knows what is expected of them, they will feel
respected and secure.
Parental Dating Guidelines
Make sure you know a lot about any new person
before inviting him/her into your home.
Make friends before considering a romantic relationship.
Always introduce new adults to your children
as friends, nothing more.
If your children are old enough to have opinions
of your new friends, listen to what they have to say.
Do not pressure your children to like your new
friend, or to spend time with him or her.
Insist that your children behave appropriately
and politely to your adult friends.
Have regular family discussions with your children.
If you want to get serious with a date, find
out his or her feelings about children, especially your
Gradually introduce a new date to your children
by doing family oriented activities together. Give your
children and your date a chance to develop their own
Dont sacrifice your children's alone time
with you to your dating. Dont miss sport or school
events in order to date.
Dont share inappropriately with your children.
Do not use them as confidantes for your
relationship confusion or problems. Don't allow them
to find out about your sexual relationship.