Challenges When Dating A Single Parent (North America
Dating a single parent can be a challenge. Especially if one has never dated a person who has any children. I wrote one article about the challenges of dating as a single parent. The article covered the point of view of the single parent. I'd like to present the other side of the challenges of dating as a single parent, the one who's dating the single parent. Dating a single parent is just as demanding as the single parent that's dating.
Especially, if the parents were just divorced. The chances are high that the child(ren) of whomever you're dating or just started to date will take an immediate liking to you. Big reason is that the child is going to feel that you're going to replace "mom" or "dad." But don't be scared. There are ways to get through this.
As I mentioned in my previous article, do not cave into the children's demands and start buying them stuff. You're only going to hurt yourself in the future by trying to "appease" the children with material items. Not to mention you're wasting money on your girlfriend/boyfriend's children. Besides, you're dating the parent, not the children. But keep in mind that the children will often pose as the biggest ostacle in your way of a relationship.
When I say that, I have to stress that you cannot under any circumstances cave in and start buying kids things for their "affection." Once you get to the point where you want to stop buying them stuff, you've dug yourself a pretty deep hole. You have to think about the high possibility that he/she might not be the one and would have to end the relationship. And there, all your money's gone down the drain because you were busy trying to bribe the children. However, if you must buy some material object, make it cheap and small. Small is basically better in this situation.
Don't go buying the children stuff like a Nintendo DS, Playstation 3, Apple iPod, or any other type of expensive hardware. It may seem as an easy way. But the easy way isn't usually the right way. Dating single parents is not one of those exceptions. The focus of the relationship is the person you're dating, not the person's children. The person's children are secondary. But they shouldn't be neglected nor alienated. But it will probably fall upon deaf ears if the person is desperate for a relationship that he/she will cave into the partner's children.
Instead of buying gifts which will only fuel children's spoilness and greed, there are much less expensive and better alternatives. You don't need money and material items to buy affection. You don't need to nor should you buy affection.
When you get yourself into a relationship with a single parent, don't try to act like the child's parent. That'll only cause the child(ren) to be alienated and to despise you. Though most people won't act like a parent unless he/she has kids of their own. You have to balance out personal time and with the kids. Because you don't want it to look like that you're taking mom or dad away from them. That'll definitely cause them to despise you.
Instead of buying stuff, it's best that you do activities together. For example, asides from the personal and more intimate dinner dates, you could also plan some get togethers.
Like go to a friendly family oriented restaurant, that way it's a more casual, friendly, and informal setting. It'll allow you to get comfortable about your date's children and vice-versa. Over a meal is the best environment for interaction and getting to know each other. You won't get that out of buying them material items especially the real expensive ones. Talking over a meal is usually a good start. Plus you're not buying a material item. You always want to take things slow. Dating someone who doesn't have kids and dating someone with kids are two foreign territories.
Other ideas is a get together. Offer to go to a daytime matinee with your date and his/her children. Going to a movie is also another great way to get to know the children of whom you're dating. Plus it doesn't cost much for a matinee. Only expensive items at the theater are the drinks and snacks.
The better you know the children, the better things get. If you both like sports, play a sport together. Go out together to a game(basketball, football, hockey, etc). If you both like theater, attend a play or musical together. Bonding activities are inexpensive and more effective than buying items. Of course, there's the work x free time factor.
To sum it all up, it's the more inexpensive things that are more effective. That generates affection. Affection cannot be bought. Also, if you have kids of your own, introduce your kids and your date's kids. Let them get to know each other to. That way, the kids won't despise each other. When you do family oriented dates, don't hesitate. Just straight up introduce the kids to each other. If the relationship works out or doesn't work out, the kids won't hate each other, you, your date, etc. On a plus side, your child(ren) has made new friends.
Also "appeasement" is not going to work especially if you have kids of your own. You'll end up alienating your own children in the process. In the end, everything blows up in your face. Instead, do those bonding activities. The results are more rewarding.
Tags: Dating , Single Parents , Parenting
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