It can be a challenge trying to balance raising your children and your love life; however, that doesn’t mean it is impossible or not worth the time and energy! If you’re a single parent who’s on the fence about dating again, we’ve asked a few experts who have experienced the same balancing act and they offered their tips on what worked for them.
Q: When is it the right time to introduce your kids to the person you’ve been seeing?
A: The time is right to introduce them to one another is probably the moment you realize that the relationship has become something serious. Keep in mind that the age of the children plays a role into it too. You can introduce them when the kids are younger because they aren’t entirely aware that you are dating or even what dating is. However, if your kids are older, you want to keep it casual and low-key.
Q: How do you not scare dates away by saying that you want to get married?
A: There’s nothing adherently wrong with saying that you want to get married, just do it in a way that doesn’t make your date feel like you’re trying to marry them NOW. Instead, just make your intentions clear by saying something along the lines that you’d like to get married within the next few years. You don’t want to wait too long to tell them your marriage goals because that, too, could scare them off for different reasons. They might feel like you lied by omission and added a huge amount of pressure on them out of the blue.
Q: I don’t have much free time to date because I have kids. What advice can you give me?
A: Having children and working around their schedule can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Instead of thinking that a date has to take place at night, opt for a day date or meet up for lunch somewhere. Besides, you still have numerous modes of communication that can help build that connection between you and your date when you can’t see each other.
Q: When you get into a serious relationship, how can you get your kid’s other parent adjust to this?
A: Be upfront and honest with your ex. Tell them that you are dating someone new and you’re sorry if it hurts their feelings. Of course your ex is going to be concerned about the person that you are bringing around their children, so you may want to arrange a meet up between them so the other parent can get a feel for the person who may be part of their child’s life.
Q: How can I handle my children’s reaction when they discover I am dating and they aren’t happy about it?
A: A lot of times kids hold onto this idea that their parent’s will get back together and they’ll all be a happy family. Sadly, the moment they realize that this isn’t going to happen, they will get angry, hurt, upset, and maybe even harbor resent you for it. You have to make sure your child knows that your new partner is not going to replace their parent in any way and that you love them no matter what. Also, you should always listen to what your kids say about your new partner because there could be something serious going on.