Single and dating? Donít forget about the kids!
If you are a single parent, you will be well aware of the logistical and, at times, emotional challenge of finding a prospective partner.
[UKPRwire, Thu Mar 18 2010] Yet relationship experts urge single parents not to file dating away as ďtoo hard.Ē Many prospective partners out there are increasingly open to the possibilities of your previous life, and recent survey findings indicate that there are a number of potential suitors out there willing to understand.
Dating as a single parent can come with the complexity of a minefield at times. Not only are you looking for someone to love and respect you personally Ė but also your children. Itís a juggling act to say the least! However, recent opinion polls among eHarmony.co.uk members indicate that 85% of participants consider themselves as sensitive to a single parentís position. They agreed that when dating someone with children they would always expect to come second.
So is your date sensitive to the fact that you have children? Dr Gian Gonzaga, Senior Relationship Scientist at eHarmony.co.uk says: ďDating when you have children can be difficult, but donít let this stop you! Having clear boundaries and being confident enough to express them will make it easier for you to find a respectful partner.Ē Accordingly, Dr Gonzaga and the eHarmony.co.uk team have compiled five top tips of which every single and dating parent should be aware:
1. Be honest
Your date deserves to know what to expect Ė and the fact is that having children might impact upon your availability and commitments. While itís not always a simple matter to mention that you have children to someone new, a greater level of understanding is fostered if they know that you canít be out past midnight because of the babysitter or that youíll only be available every other weekend due to custody arrangements.
2. Seek understanding
A potential partner who respects the fact that youíre a parent should understand and be sensitive to the responsibilities that you have to your children. Do they realise that even on a date you need to be accessible to your children? Do they understand that you need to arrange childcare? Or that only you can know the right time for initial introductions? If no crops up as the answer to any of these questions, then perhaps he or she is not the right long-term partner for you.
3. Go slow
Thereís no need to rush to introduce your partner to your kids, unless youíre certain that youíre on-track for a serious relationship. Donít confuse things by bringing too many new adult faces in your childrenís lives, but when the time is right introduce those involved slowly, with low-key and brief encounters to take the pressure off all concerned.
4. Allow plenty of time
It takes time for someone who doesnít have kids to form a relationship with yours, and your kids will certainly need as much time as you did to get to know someone new. Donít place too much pressure and expectation on a rapid relationship to form between your partner and your children, equally so if your partner has children of their own.
5. Enjoy yourself!
If youíve been on your own with your children for a while, sometimes itís difficult to be anything other than a parent Ė but dating provides the occasion to remind yourself that youíre not just a mum or a dad, and that being a parent is not solely who you are. Your responsibility isnít to be taken lightly, of course, but itís not supposed to be a burden. Get a babysitter for the evening, and then get set to relax and enjoy yourself in your search for that special someone.
About eHarmony: eHarmony Labs, where Dr. Gian Gonzaga is the senior director of research and development, is a pioneer in case-specific relationship research that extends beyond the United States into the United Kingdom and other international markets, ensuring that London dating, for instance, is and remains a typically London experience for the most effective results.
eHarmony.co.uk was launched in the United Kingdom in 2008, following a period of extensive relationship research. The eHarmony Compatibility Matching System TM was developed in conjunction with the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and a multi-disciplinary research team that gathered and analysed data to identify patterns that best predict couple compatibility in the UK.