Dating a Single Parent

Imagine yourself on a first date. Conversation is going well, you're charmed-then you discover that the person across the table has children. Dating a single parent adds a whole new dynamic to the mix.

While you may not be ready to have kids or be a parent yourself, you shouldn't hold it against the person you are dating. About 50% of single people have children. While you might not think that you are ready to date someone with children, keep an open mind. It is simply important to realize that there are some different rules when dating a single parent.

Try not to feel as if the kids will resent you for dating their mom or dad or feel as if you are taking that parent away from the children. A child might be afraid that you are trying to take the place of other parent or think that you are the reason their parents aren't together. Those feelings in children are normal, as it is a big adjustment to have their parent dating or be with someone other than their mom or dad.

You may encounter a lot of resistance from an older child than you would a younger one. Open yourself up to being a friend to the kids, but still demonstrate that you are and adult and won't be taken advantage of. It's important for you and the person you are dating to set up guidelines and rules when it comes to the kids. For instance, are you permitted to reprimand one of them or is that left to the parent? Is the parent going to automatically side with the kids when there is a disagreement? How are disagreements between you and the kids to be handled? These are only a few of the scenarios you could encounter when dating someone with children.

It is important to wait until you have established a relationship with the parent before meeting the kids. You don't want to rush a child into a situation that may not last or be long term. Slowly start including the child into your plans, making sure that you are still giving the parent and child their own time together as well.

As with any relationship that you enter, you may want to consider everyone in the situation and make sure that this is something that you are open to and won't regret. There are more than only two people involved when it comes to dating single parents.

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