Dating is tricky for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging for single parents. Not only do you have to juggle a new relationship, but you have to worry about how your children will react along the way. At our adult counseling center in Sterling Heights, MI, we help people just like you find balance in their work and personal lives. Check out these dating tips for single parents so you can conquer the dating world with confidence.
Take Care of Yourself before Seeking Someone Else
Before you start dating, make sure you are content with who you are, what you want, and what you do not want for the future. Many adults jump into dating hoping to find their other half. In all reality, you should find someone who complements the whole person you already are. If you are dealing with low self-esteem or resentment from a previous relationship, work through those issues before you start dating. Our adult counseling services in Sterling Heights can help you do just that.
Avoid Dating Immediately after a Breakup
If you have just split from your former partner, wait a little while before you start dating again. This will give your children time to get used to you on your own, and it will be easier for them to see you dating in the future. If you bring a new person in the household right away, your child is naturally going to resent him or her. This sets a bad tone for the relationship from the start.
Be Transparent about Having Children
When you begin dating, be transparent about having children. The ideal partner will accept you and your children as a package deal. If you wait to tell that person about your children, you may find out that he or she has no desire to be a parent in the future. You’re not just looking for a partner. You’re looking for someone who could potentially help you raise your children down the road. You need to make sure whoever you’re dating is prepared for that responsibility.
Create Time for Dating, without Sacrificing Family Time
You deserve to have some time for yourself. There is nothing wrong with having a scheduled date night or finding spare time to spend with your significant other. The key is to balance dating time with work and family time. If your children visit their other parents every weekend, spend time with your boyfriend or girlfriend then. If you have a long lunch for work, you could set up lunch dates with your partner. When it comes to family time, give your children your undivided attention – no texting, no social media, and no phone calls. Otherwise, they may feel like your new partner is taking away from their quality time.
Plan Introductions Carefully
Eventually, there will come a time when you introduce your significant other to your children. Approach this with caution. You may spend a few weeks getting your children excited about meeting your new friend. You should also talk to your children about fears they may have about you dating. Explain to them that this person is not going to take you away or replace their other parent.
This is a topic you may want to discuss in family counseling. The counselor can help you explain matters in a way that your child will understand, hopefully creating a pleasant environment for the actual introduction.
If you’re a single parent in Sterling Heights, MI looking for someone to talk to, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers. We have many adult counselors who specialize in dating, parenting, self-esteem building, stress reduction, and much more. Get matched with the best counselor for your unique needs.