Single parents…to date or not to date?
So you meet that perfect stranger one night. Smart, funny, gorgeous, quirky, who secretly enjoys watching teen titans (insert cartoon) as much as you do. From the moment you guys hit it off the
conversation is flowing and you find yourself thinking where have you been ALL my life? As you settle into the thought of absolute bliss you eventually learn that your potential life partner already has a special someone in their lives…. a child.
Now if you are a parent this may be an absolute victory for you as your mind replays the Brady Bunch theme. Yet if you are like so many other singles who put career and personal success before starting a family you may find yourself in a scary position. The question hits you like a ton of bricks.. can I date someone with children?
Let me start off by saying children are a joy. For most parents out there the most important thing in their lives are their children. With that being said if you are contemplating dating someone who has children here are a few simple tips on how to make your relationship a success.
1.)Planning your outings and date nights with your partner is not only appreciated it may actually be necessary. While spontaneity is nice, the last thing you want to do is make the other person feel bad when they can’t get a sitter for your random taco Tuesday invite.
2.) Channel your inner 10 year old. Kids come with energy and a carefree spirit. Use that energy and your childhood experiences to relate to the child. Don’t be afraid to color a few pages in their coloring book or play a few rounds of rock paper scissors.
3.) Don’t get in the way when it comes to discipline. While you may have some valid opinions when it comes to how your parents did things, there is no real right or wrong when it comes to parenting. Unless expressly asked for your input, stay out of it.
4.) Plan a monthly kid outing. Nothing shows a single parent that you’re serious about a relationship then making plans with their kid. A simple kid friendly movie, or day at the zoo is just enough to show you are in it for the long haul. You’re relationship with the child is as important as that with the parent.
5.) Communication is key. Never be afraid to voice any uncomfortable conversation or situation you may have with the child. The situation only works if there is an open dialogue and everyone is at ease.
The most important thing is not to rush the relationship. As your love for your partner grows, as too will the love you have for their child. Be patient. Be kind. Be approachable.