You have recently gone on a couple of successful dates with a person that makes your heart flutter. The only catch is they have kids. You want this relationship to proceed, but you are nervous about not overly complicate matters for this lovely parent or their kids. We have complied nine keys ways to help you discover how to successfully navigate having a relationship with a single parent.
- Understand that time is more of a commodity. Kids will take up a large percentage of your love’s time and attention. However, they better understand how to balance their personal needs with that of their loved ones.
- Kids will always come first! Whereas in other dynamics the level of attention placed on you shows one’s feelings for you, a single parent has to get more creative with ways to show their interest and affection.
- You are not the parent! When dating someone with kids, and they misbehave it’s the responsibility of the parent, not you to discipline them unless otherwise agreed upon. If you have an issue with behavior or expectations always discuss it privately with your partner.
- Avoid Baby Momma Drama! Any tensions with the ex is your love’s responsibility. They have been dealing with this person for years and know how to appropriate navigate various situations. Instead, focus on being a supportive ear and provide encouragement when needed. Never speak ill of the ex or engrain yourself in drama, it will only hurt you in the end.
- Go Slow! Allow the relationship to gradual develop. Let them set the pace on when and where to meet the children. Focus on building trust all around before trading labels or taking the relationship to next levels.
- Be Emotionally Supportive! Single parents face tremendous pressure. Listen more than offer advice. Your partner is strong and capable by showing them you don’t feel the need to rescue them or solve all their problems, you will build a culture of mutual trust and respect.
- Be Trustworthy! You partner has been hurt before and may have walls up. By showing them, you are reliable and supportive, they can feel safe to be vulnerable around you and let you into their heart. Show that you be responsible to them without being responsible for.
- Let the Kids Get Comfortable with the Relationship. Don’t rush the kids into meeting you. They will know when they are mental ready to interact with you. Allow your partner to navigate talking to their children about their mixed feelings about this new relationship. When discussing things with your partner, be open and honest, but ready to listen. It is important you meet the children only when you both are truly serious about your relationship and ready to take things to next levels.
- Listen! Communication is important for single parents and their children. You must be open and honest with your feelings, but always ready to listen and be responsive to their perspectives. Remember when you are dating a single parent, you really are entering into a relationship with a whole, and often previous hurt, family.
Only you can know if dating a single parent is appropriate for your life at this particular time. Trust your own inner voice and instincts. Soliciting advice from too many sources may confuse you and complicate the situation. Instead, focus on having meaningful dialogue with this special person and together create a strategy for lasting love that best serves both of your unique needs.