Whether you happen to be someone (frustrated) who is already dating a single parent or you just got your match on Ello.ie and discovered that your match is indeed a single parent.

Maybe you’re neither other than someone just interested in knowing the whats it’s like just for your own general knowledge. Whatever the case may be, dating a single parent isn’t for everyone, neither its something that you can just walk in and out of whenever you feel like it.

Regardless of the chemistry between you two and how much value you put on your relationship there will always be moments of interruption that will trump over your relationship and require the devoted attention of the single parent.

You may plan a special dinner date for just the two of you but it would be naive if you’d expect smooth sailing, now it may go smooth and turn out to be a great evening together but you may also get hit by “change of plans” at the very last minute because someone gets sick, and that’s okay, it’s not their fault.

Let’s say you had a long day and just want to relax and unwind but the kids are super wound up and hyper so your plan of relaxing and unwinding is very unlikely to turn into a reality that day.

Surely dating a single parent has its perks but the challenges can be a real deal-breaker for a single parent if you arent that considerate, it pays off knowing the challenges that lay ahead especially if you’ve never dated a single parent before. You must be ready and willing to drive down on that road knowing that it will be a bumpy ride.

A Checklist For Dating A Single Parent

Having said that, it’s still difficult to know exactly whether dating a single parent is right for you, however; you should stress test your relationship sooner rather than later by keeping yourself mentally present at all times while you’re together and you will notice a lot of things by focusing and paying attention, this will save a lot of time and heartbreak if you are honest with yourself and potential single parent partners from the very get-go.

I am going to point out several indicators that dating a single parent might not be a good fit for you after all.

#LEAVE THE JEALOUSY BEHIND

The truth is that we all want our mate to ourselves most of the time, jealousy is human nature but if you’re in a relationship with a single parent that jealousy of yours towards their kids will lead you nowhere if anywhere it would be towards their front door and out!

Being in a relationship with single parent relationships is complex there are a lot of nuts and bolts involved meaning there are tons of moving parts that you need to get right to make it work. If you’re somewhat competitive with the kids, your relationship is doomed because being jealous of the kids puts their parent in the middle that isn’t healthy so the aftereffect comes as more friction and tension than most relationships can handle.

CAN YOU FIX THIS?

You certainly can, if you are willing to put in the work that’s required. In case where you experience jealousy, stop and acknowledge your emotions, stop and think, after some time if you still believe the issue is worth acknowledging, find the right time when the two of you can talk about it alone.

Sit down at a place where you can have your partner’s attention and once you do, come clean about your feeling and talk about what you both value in your relationship, ask for their opinion don’t give them options to pick and choose from unless your partner is expressively asking for your opinion it’s better to explore together how you might be able to let go of the jealousy. By keeping your relationship vision at the core of your conversation, I recommend you pointing out how much you value your relationship in the hectic mix of your everyday life. 

#STOP BEING SPONTANEOUS

There is a reason why experience matters when it comes to “dating a single parent” if you have never dated a single parent, then chances are that you’re used to spontaneity from your previously relationships especially in the honeymoon phase of the relationship, no doubt that your ex was able to ignore everything and everyone including her family and friends in a bid to spend time with you and you alone, besides that nothing I mean nothing mattered and this is something that’s almost impossible to accomplish with a single parent.

Going to that last-minute dinner date (together) or jetting off to your Spanish holiday destination on a week or two notice would be a luxury that you simply won’t have, especially if they are parenting their children on their own and that’s also a contributing factor towards the complexity of that relationship.

When children are part of the package that spontaneity that you are were used to before is very different than what it is going to be in this relationship. Children will always be a priority, not you.

CAN YOU FIX THIS?

Like I said before if you are willing to put in the work required by learning what spontaneity is when it comes to dating with a single parent and it’s 100% luck-based, you can never be sure because a lot of things can and will go wrong at the last minute which will require you to reschedule or rearrange the whole thing and try again in a hope that it will play out next time without any mishaps.

What if you can’t ? What if being spontaneous is an absolute must-have quality that trumps over other things in a relationship, then you will not do well dating a single parent.

#JUST MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Dating a single parent, especially in the early days of your relationship will anticipate you keeping quiet and minding your own business when parent is dealing with their children and their issues, there are a variety of ways to parent children and different parent deal with their children in a variety of ways due to the unique challenges they face on daily basis.

It’s easy to stand up and start pointing fingers from the outside while judging their parenting choices and abilities to parent their own children. Nevertheless, you should always remember that those kids come before you, therefore your opinion will not be welcomed especially if it isn’t communicated from a place of helpfulness, compassion, curiosity and some humour all combined into one.

Remember your partner has their children since birth which means they are experienced at parenting their children, they might not be at all interested in you stepping in critique their parenting style along with discipline tactics or worst hijacking the role of their father, particularly early on in a relationship.

My advice would be to stay attentive at all times and observe things while keeping a healthy distance, that’s the only way you can see your compatibility earlier on in your relationship with your partner, their parenting skills and approach.

If you disagree or disapprove of their behavior with the way they treat and behave around their children (considering it’s not mentally or physically abusive)  I can assure you that partnership won’t be the best fit for either of you, especially if you would like to have kids of your own near future, you can see how conflicts would arise and tension on both side will get higher to a breaking point.

CAN YOU FIX THIS?

Let’s analyse whats sort of solution is required to make this work. Although I agree with one thing you shouldn’t give your opinion unless you’re specifically asked for it, you see, opinions are somewhat like an orgasm yours matter to you the most but others couldn’t care less if you have one. Of course, I am not talking about the kind of opinion in which you’re telling your partner that they’re doing a great job

If you are someone who is capable of biting their own tongue (and you’re natural at it) when your inner-self is telling you otherwise then it’s somewhat fixable for you, all you have to do is do that what you’re good at by “keeping quiet” and let the moment pass. 

#YOU DO NOT CALL THE SHOTS

This point is just as important as others that I mentioned above. After dating a single parent for a while you may wish to meet their children as you may feel entitled to meeting them but you should respect their choice of timing when it comes to introducing you to their children because that will also mean taking the relationship to the next level of merging it into a family.

If you are introduced to their children within weeks of dating that’s a major red flag. 

On the other hand, you might be eagerly waiting to meet the kids but your partner has a lot more at stake while inviting you into their family. There is an emotional side of the wellbeing and mental health of the children while at the same time facilitating a connection between you and their children and that’s easier said than done, there are many factors that the parent needs to weigh and go through with.

A lot of parenting couples argue over displaying physical affection in front of their children, It could be as innocent as holding hands together or as affectionate as kissing your partner in front of the children, this is usually the case when kids are in their teens, but it can be a huge issue if you are an intimate person.

Another thing to consider is when kids are in your company how much physical is too physical, does kissing the child make the parent uncomfortable? It all depends on your circumstances and situation.

CAN YOU FIX THIS?

Yes and No. I would strongly advise you to play safe and refrain from any intimate physical touch with the children until you are well integrated and children are extremely comfortable and have accepted you as part of their family.

However; if you are unable to respect their wishes and your partner’s timing then forcing your partner will make them feel as if they are caught in the middle of you on one side and their children on the other, that’s a position that will always work against you because kids will always come before you.

#DON’T LIKE IT? TOUGH SH*T!

It’s a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people (men and women) get along with it by thinking, in time, they’ll get over it.

Simply put, raising someone else’s children is not everyone’s cup of tea. Although you will hear some single mums saying “it takes a real man to raise someone else’s child” and “anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad” so on and so…

Sadly, it’s mostly (if not always) women who are making up such statements in a bid to stroke men’s ego who would take their emotional bait. 

If you the one who is taking the leap of faith by jumping right in, you don’t want to discover it later that you never wanted to live with or help raise someone else’s children.

Another point to make is what if one day you want to have children of your own but your partner has expressed that they are done having babies, therefore, they do not want any more children.

Issues like this don’t always come upfront when you’re dating a single parent. You must be honest and fully sync with your feelings and make decisions based on those feelings and your best judgment. Otherwise, you will end up investing years of your life into your relationship before they start to surface and that’s the reason you need to decide early on in your relationship whether the relationship is worth fighting for or its time to pack your bags and run for the hills, 

CAN YOU FIX THIS?

The best approach you can adapt here is honesty and your ability to own up to it by delivering it to the other party that in future you want kids of your own, are they open to it? Let them hear it that’s the only way you will know if you want to invest your time, energy and emotions in a relationship that is bound to fail.

No doubt, there is hope and that hope is your best friend here, maybe your love will conquer it all, maybe either of you will change your mind, there are a lot of “maybe’s” how many maybe’s are you comfortable with in your relationship?

CONCLUSION

I have had my fair share of dating single parents, as one could expect there are benefits of dating single parents, its a sneak-peek in the world of parenting if you stick around long enough you get to experience it by becoming a parent yourself, a step-parent.

But it can also be an emotional rollercoaster for you especially if you are bonded with everyone and then your relationship breaks down, this alone can take a heavy toll on you.

So there are benefits and bonuses that come along with dating a single parent and eventually joining a family but the challenges are way too many to overcome especially if you have never dated a single parent before or in case you’re not ready to embrace the children.

Besides above all, please respect your partner and their children involved. I believe we can all be honest whether its the honeymoon phase of our relationship or we are already in one for the past hundred years (so it may seem) honesty is the best policy at all stages of life as well as our relationships, it saves a lot of headache and heartache down the line.

I strongly recommend you to think and think again, if it’s time to say goodbye, then do so lovingly rather than dragging it out and being nasty, its never a good time to break up and walk away, but if you have what it takes to stick around and do the deeds then I wish you the very best of luck!

 

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