Dating As a Single Father
If you’re thinking about getting back into the dating scene, and you’re a single father, recently separated or not, there’s a few things to take into account concerning your kids and how they feel or how you think they’ll cope with introducing a new person into their lives. Obviously nobody expects you to be alone forever once you separate from your ex. Relationships are part of being human, we’re social creatures by nature, we need it in our lives. This could be a learning experience for both you and your kids. As your child’s role model, they watch everything you and listen to everything you say. Finding a good person to be with and maintaining a solid relationship with your new partner and integrating that into the relationship you have with your kids, will set the stage for how they view relationships, and maintain their own, for the rest of their lives. Here’s what you might want to consider:
- First Impressions. Letting your kids meet the person you’re dating, depending on how serious the relationship is, may or may not be a good idea. This is something you’ll have to gauge for yourself. If you feel that your child would react badly to a change like this, move slowly. How do you find out where they are emotionally in all this? Communication.
- What Kind Of Person Are They? It’s not uncommon for a newly single father to seek a woman that’s the total opposite from his ex, or vice versa. This might be great for you, as the parent, but your kids aren’t dating them, you are. You’re looking at your screen and saying, “obviously” but think about it. If your kids had it their way, they’d have both of you together as a family again. They want their mother or father. Having a person come into their lives that’s completely different from what they’re used to can easily make them feel like a fish out of water.
- Respecting Their Feelings. Everyone is going to be a little nervous in the beginning. This being the case, letting your kids set the pace for this whole song and dance will help them, and you, feel their way through. Let them ask questions. Kids can surprise you sometimes in how grown up their questions to others can be. Let them adjust in this way, at their own speed.
The main thing to remember here is that the decisions you make effect other people now. I’m not talking about the butterfly effect. I’m talking about how small decisions you make in your romantic life effect your child’s state of mind. These changes are out of their control, they’re strapped in for the ride. As their parent, you’ve got a responsibility to make sure they can handle the world around them. Even a small pebble thrown into a large pond makes a wave on the surface.