You are a parent; you love your kids, but you seem to hate the idea of dating with kids. If you feel guilty of leaving your kids, so you can go on a date with someone or fear of rejection because of your single-parent status. It's all too common for most single parents out there considering re-entering the dating world. But the question is why should you feel guilty about it?
According to marriage and family therapist Dr. Sheri Meyers, dating does not make you a bad parents. Dating helps you to find your happiness and not to depend too much on your children for it. Besides, dating also takes away the pressure from your kids to please and reminds that your happiness is your responsibility. In no way does dating mean that you’re neglecting your child, it’s all about maintaining balance. Dr. Meyers, who is also the author of the book, “Chatting or Cheating,” also said dating shouldn’t replace the quality time you spend with your children. Instead, it will help define and individualize you as a single person with the kids in the world.
Founder of Dating with Dignity, Marni Battista, thinks it’s just an excuse people with children say because they’re afraid to date. She says after ending a long-term relationship, single parents often believe that they don’t have the courage and know how to date anymore. So, she suggested in starting slow and getting involved in activities where many parents or groups get together will help in meeting new potential partners. Then, there is online dating, which is a great way to get you back in the dating scene.
Another common fear most single parents have is, a child is often considered a “baggage,” when it comes to dating. They think that people aren’t willing to date someone with a child. So, instead of baggage, think yourself of having a package deal instead, according to Dr. Meyers.
Keep in mind that you are thinking to date or start a relationship with kids. The person you choose will also affect your kids. So, choose someone who is ok with you being a parent, likes children and even better who already has children. Don’t risk to date or have a relationship with someone who might not be open or honest to date people with kids.
Meanwhile, Battista says it is important to demonstrate to children that you can’t have a healthy relationship without good communication, respecting each other boundaries and appreciating one’s self-worth. Also, you should also let them know, there is already a new person in their lives, and that neither mom nor dad isn’t going to replace the parent they already have.
However, family counselors and experts advise that if you want to introduce your new partner to your children, wait until you know the relationship is serious. They also agree to be selective about whom to allow your kids to meet and get attached to. And if that doesn’t work as planned, then it's good to end the relationship before it gets to the phase where it becomes emotionally difficult for both of you to do it.
To wrap up, remember that both you and your children will immensely benefit from dating, because when parents are happy, the children are happier too.