Dating tips for Single Women with children
1. Get a reliable babysitter who you can call whenever you need them. You can't date and bring your kids. Not if you want to have a good time and keep the focus on you.
2. Date on your terms and the way you want. Many friends and relatives may offer well meaning advice when in reality you just need to make sure to do it however you are comfortable.
3. Never lie to your kids. You do not have to tell them everything, but lying about your date or what you are doing is a bad idea as well. You want a family of trust and this includes you telling the truth.
4. Don't rush your new man to get involved with your kids. He will let you know when he is ready. So will your kids let you know when they want him to be a part of their lives as well as yours.
5. Can you balance being a single mom with dating? It should always be kids first and dating second if you have to choose where to spend your time.
6. You do not have to talk about the kids all of the time. As a matter of fact it is ok to think about yourself and your date and keep the conversation about each other.
7. After your relationship has developed you may be faced with going away for a weekend with your boyfriend or going to your son's baseball game. Obviously your children should come first but consider the weekend away once in a while. As long as Your son is ok with it, it will do you good having a break from being a mom.
8. Understand that no matter what you do, if you are dating a great guy your kids may not like him. They may resent the time he takes you away from them.
That is ok. Never force your kids to feel a certain way about your dates. Let them know that you have friends just like they do and you will be spending some time with them.
Dating Tips for Divorced and Widowed Moms
Dating is tough for just about everybody, but it's even tougher for people who are divorced and widowed. Along with the fears of being "out of practice," there are often children's feelings to consider.
How can a single mother enjoy a new romance without lying awake at night worrying about doing emotional damage to her children? Personal Strengths and Life Coach Sue Tosto of Garfield, New Jersey provides the answers.
1. How soon after divorce or the death of a husband is it appropriate to start dating?
It depends on the individual, but anyone going through a divorce should wait at least six months to one year before even considering dating someone new. Emotions are running high, and a person needs time to heal before putting herself back on the market. Some newly divorced or widowed people jump into relationships too early because they're afraid of being alone. That's almost always a mistake.
The first year after a divorce is the time to re-group and focus on making new friendships. A woman can reflect on all the things she wanted to do when she was married but didn't. This is a rough time emotionally, but it helps to view it as a fresh start. It's the perfect time to re-develop a sense of self and decide what one really wants in life. A woman can consider what she hopes for in a new relationship and let go of the past in the process.
Dating after the death of a husband or partner is also not recommended for at least one full year. Two years is even better. The grieving process should never be rushed, and the length of time it takes for the bereaved to move on varies according to the individual.
Other matters to consider before dating include waiting until estate matters have been handled, i.e., insurance matters, review of the will, and the assignment of an executor or executrix if necessary. The stress a new relationship can cause during this emotional time is not recommended.
As with divorce, this is a time to spend with friends. It also helps to join a support group of others who have lost a loved one.
2. How long should the mother wait before introducing a new boyfriend to her children?
She should know him at least six months to a year. Otherwise, if she decides after dating him for 4 months that the relationship is going nowhere, the children will inevitably feel another loss. No child should be put through that after going through divorce or death of a parent. Children need time to heal as well. If the new man doesn't respect that, he's probably not great boyfriend material.
The first three months of a relationship is the honeymoon period. Everything is fresh and exciting. After around six months, the couple tends to relax and good behavior wears off. A woman gets to see what she's really dealing with. Before she introduces her new beau to her children, she needs to find out what his goals are, to see if his values and beliefs are consistent with hers, and really develop a friendship with him. 3. What is the best way to introduce a new boyfriend?
Once a woman decides to start dating, she should explain it to each of her children in an age-appropriate manner. After she and a new partner have spent six months to a year together, she can start telling the children things about him, particularly what she likes about him or little stories about places they've gone together. This way the children understand that Mom is still Mom, which is critical, but they'll also see that she's happier. They will slowly make the adjustment that they may soon share her with somebody else. Inevitably, the children will become curious about him. They may ask to meet him. I think it is wise to slowly incorporate the new partner into the family.
4. How should she handle it if the child resents the new relationship? Should she stop seeing the boyfriend?
Children will often resent a new relationship for the simple reason that they now have to share their mother with someone else. A woman can reassure her children that even though she is going out, she is coming back home to them. She should continue do the things with them she always did. Before she even starts dating, it might help to hire a babysitter and use the afternoon to go shopping, just to get the children accustomed to seeing her go out every once in a while.
Observing the children's reactions while the new man is around should provide some clues to other causes of resentment. A woman should also gently ask her children why they don't like her new partner. She should remember, though, that some children may not know exactly how to express why they dislike someone. It's important to tread carefully. A new relationship is stressful for the whole family.
If the children are really having a hard time with it, family counseling can get to the root of the problem, especially if all other avenues have been exhausted. The most important thing a single parent can do is to treat her children the same way she did before she met the new partner.