Dating Someone with Children... Are you ready?
With statistics being what they are these days, many people are single with children...men and women. Even If you have children of your own, dating someone else with children comes with a certain amount of challenges, pressures and obstacles that require patience, understanding and lots of love. Are you ready to unpack the bags and build a strong viable relationship with parent and child?
Hey, this is Leticia and this topic has been on my mind for some time now. And just as quickly as I made the decision to write about it this month, the law of attraction was working in my favor. Unfortunately, not in the favor of two good friends who happen to be single parents.
Sabrina called and I could hear the frustration and pain in her voice. For 15 minutes I listened to her tell me that she was tired of doing it all alone. Every choice, decision, action and follow through had to come from her with absolutely no help from the child's father. Aside from the inconsistent child support, that even if it did come regularly and on time still wouldn't be enough. Then there's the time issue. How does one person work a full-time job; go to school and raise a child that's active and involved in scouting, sports, dance recitals and play dates; and still find the time let alone the interest to date?
Your perfect partner could be online right now...
What are you looking for?
Robert is recently divorced. He has one child, but his ex-wife has two other children that he's been raising as his own for almost five years now. He's had to move back in with his parents (at 32), so, that he would not fall behind in his support payments so that he can continue to see his son without having any "baby mama drama". Although he has been single long enough to jump back into the dating game, Robert is only looking for one thing, and it ain't a babysitter.
So, what's really different between the two of my single parent friends? Well, first we must understand that men and women that are single parents on average view dating differently. Women, like my friend Sabrina measures a man first based on his ability to provide for his family. Sabrina and the other single moms I know; are looking for someone that can help relieve the day to day burdens of raising a child alone. Even if that is just someone to come home to, someone that can cook dinner every once in a while or take them out to eat.
Men look at women for companionship. They aren't looking for someone to care or provide for their children; just be nice to them. Their priority isn't in finding a "mommy figure" it's finding a mate. I don't think that it's because their first priority isn't with the child, it's just that most men don't have custody, and they know that "they" will take care of their own children; they just want to find someone that will take care of them. Or as Robert recently told a potential suitor, "I only want a woman for one thing right now". At least he was being honest.
It really comes down to the same dating principles that every one else should use, finding someone that is right for you. Date for the sake of dating (going out with someone regularly as a social or romantic partner). There's no point of introducing them to your children if you don't feel like they are someone that will be around for a while or even a good fit into the family. I'm sorry, but there is nothing cute about little kids referring to every man as their "uncle" or a woman as "daddy's girl Friday".
However, when you do meet that person don't sabotage the relationship by being overly guarded. Speaking from personal experience, I was raised by my mom with little exposure to men other than my dad. So, when I became a single parent, I never thought that another man could love my kids as much as their biological father. I had to first step back and stop making the distinction between "yours and mine". Then I realized that not only had I found a man that was the best choice I could have made for me, he was the best daddy my children could ever have.
This is Leticia and the best thing a parent can do for their child is show them that love is possible.
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