In this part of the world, having children is a big deal. Culturally, we believe children are blessings. Even when they don’t come in the traditional setting of a marriage arrangement, we still hold on to the view that they are blessings.
Yet, when it comes to dating, the presence of children appears complicated. This is mostly because there are some factors that should be honestly considered.
The truth is, without children, dating has enough complications. But what happens when the person you are attracted to has children to cater to? And more importantly, what happens if you are a single parent who is trying to get back into the dating game?
We imagine that the presence of children, particularly in a budding relationship will have its own complexities, so in this post; The Lady’s Room has decided to share certain factors to consider if you are a single parent about to get into a relationship.
Questions To Consider
The first question is whether to even start the relationship. Ask yourself: Is it worth it? Can I cope with the potential complications? Then consider whether or not you need to introduce a new partner to your children. It may not be a good idea especially if the other parent has only recently left their lives. There are many more questions to consider like: What if it doesn’t work out? What will the children think of him/her? Should I enjoy it until it ends without telling them? What kind of example am I setting, dating someone in secret
When you decide to introduce the partner to your children, you’ll have to think about the timing. Should it be at the beginning before any deep attachment is formed between you two? Or do you wait till you’re already firmly committed, going steady or even engaged?
Even after you decide the timing, you will have to navigate the appropriate way to share the news. For instance, are you merely informing your children or seeking their permission/approval? If you are informing them, are you subtly or overtly reassuring them of their place in your life, or are you telling them to make room for the new sheriff in town? If you are seeking approval, are you saying ‘I’ll do this anyway but I would love to have you on my side’, or are you saying their acceptance is a deal breaker for the relationship?
Handling The Complications
Once you choose to introduce your potential partner to your children, you’ll be left to navigate how they respond to each other. If they take to one another, that’s one huge sigh of relief coming from you. But if they don’t, how do you then handle a rocky relationship between your kids and your partner?
Also, if there’s co-parenting involved, your children may want you to reconcile with their other parent. What do you say to them? If the co-parent instigates trouble for you with your children, do you give up on your children or give in to them? Or do you find a way to make both relationships work at great cost to yourself?
There is also the likelihood that your children will bond easily with your new partner. What then happens in the event of a break up? How do you manage their feelings? Do you cut off all connection or allow your children maintain a relationship with your now ex-partner?
There are way too many questions, but it is okay to not have all the answers. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a plunge into love and iron the details in the process.
We’re really interested in your opinions on how to navigate dating with children. Send us a mail. Drop a comment. And if you are a single parent who is dating, remember what’s really important. Honour your children, honour your partner, and honour your spirit.