Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Whether you are a new divorcée or have been parenting alone for years, dating when you have children is not as easy as it used to be. You now have not just one person to worry about, but your child, too. The dating scene has changed, and it may be somewhat scary for those who don’t know what to expect. The best thing to do before you start dating is to prepare yourself. Here are a few ways you can do that:
• Who to date: Keep in mind that you are dating for two now: you and your child. The purpose of dating is to meet a mate (whether you plan to marry or not), and eventually you want this mate to be part of your and your child’s life. Online dating has become very popular these days, and every commercial you see boasts about success rates. Online dating is a great way to date outside of your normal environment. Dating your sister’s coworker is fine and all, but it can get messy if it doesn’t work out. Stick to paid dating sites and be wary of free dating sites, which tend to attract the less serious men.
• Date ideas: Skip the “dinner and a movie” routine. Movies are great with your friends and family, but not when you are trying to get to know someone. For the first couple of dates, try something simple that doesn’t require a whole evening out. Enjoy a fun dinner at the new trendy hole-in-the-wall down the road or a jazz bar, and grab a table in the back so you can talk and sip adult beverages. Once you feel comfortable with your date, try something out of your comfort zone like cooking classes, fruit picking on the weekend or miniature golf. Keep it easy and fun!
• Set rules: Before you start dating, figure out what you want from dating and what you want for yourself. Now this doesn’t mean to make a list of 30 things the man should or shouldn’t do. This means setting down your morals and expectations. Answer questions for yourself like: “Do I want to marry again?” “When do I sleep with my date?” and, most importantly, “When do I allow my new man to meet my child?”
• How and when to involve your child: However you may have become single, tread lightly with your child and your dating life. Introducing several men at different times can be very overwhelming for your child. You should only introduce your date if you both have decided to be in an exclusive and committed relationship. Ultimately, you are the parent, and you have decisions to make for the both of you. Children can become attached very quickly, so be cautious. When you have decided to introduce them, do it in a friendly environment like a park or pizza date and for a short time. Slowly introduce them, and take your time.
• Open mind and open heart: You may be a skeptic, but don’t let your past dictate your future. You will find someone. He may not come as soon as you want him to, but he will come. Keep an open heart and an open mind, and have fun with it. Do not give up when it gets tough. Just remember that you will always win some and lose some.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She also helps in providing information on nanny jobs through her writing. Contact her at saradawkins61ATgmail.com