Dating and Your Child

Single mothers who date sometimes struggle with various social stigmas. The stigmas may vary from when to reveal that you are a mom, to planning dates in consideration of a child's existence and schedule, to introducing a child to a man. All of these issues can be easily addressed and handled with a bit of thoughtfulness and attentiveness.

The timing of telling a date about your status as a mother should be based on your flow and personal interaction with your companion. Honesty is indeed the best policy but avoid forcing the subject, which could prove to be awkward. Share the joy of your child, yet be clear that you are not solely a mother. It's probably the most important, but not the only aspect or singular interest of yours. Ladies be prepared for varying responses. As to be expected some guys will be immediately accepting; others will be doubtful; and naturally others will be completely hesitant, and will no longer want to continue.

After you've narrowed down your dating pool, and have also broken the ice, let your guy know you'll have to plan to spend time together because last minute outings may not always be feasible. This isn't to say that your dates can't be spontaneous. Your man must simply be considerate of bedtimes or babysitters when they are relevant. Like anything else, being honest about you and your child's time commitments, including that of the other parent's interaction with the child is key.

As you begin to enjoy your dating life as a single parent you may consider a meet and greet between your child and date. My rule of thumb and strict advice to all single moms is to never introduce a child to any guy that you're dating unless he's significant. Adults have the privilege of revolving door relationships, but children should be kept sacred; especially after a break-up or divorce. Introducing multiple men or one seemingly special guy too quickly, may cause confusion or could result in a child's attachment to a transient man.

Just remember, no one is perfect, and almost everyone has something "in their closet". So feel free to share, but not too much or too quickly. Dribs and drabs ladies. Dating is like fishing. You have to bait, hook and slowly reel in, yet be firm about your position. No one should ever make you feel badly about a break-up or a child, or even whom you're dating.

By Fran Cess for


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