Being a single parent is tough. You not only have to take care of yourself without much support, you also have to take care of the kids. To top that, you also miss sharing your life and thoughts with someone on a consistent basis. That’s when you think of dating someone. But as you do so, so many fears crop up.
Will this experience be the same as the previous one? How can you be sure things will work out this time? And will you find someone who will like you at this age when you also have kids?
Common Fears of Single Parent Dating
Fear of the Children’s Reaction
One common fear is how the children will take the fact that you’re dating. Yes, it is your life but then you are their mom! When you tell them you’re going on dates, they may start thinking they have lost you. This can make them panic and they can resist your going for dates very much.
When dating again, it is important that you talk to them and lovingly tell them that you will always be there for them. Remember: your children want to see you happy too, they’re only afraid of you going away. Tell them you will be by their side no matter who you date. Tell them they will still be extremely important for you. Also tell them why you’re going on a date and how a new partner will be good for them too.
If you address their fears and concerns, they will slowly start feeling happy for you and even get excited about your date! In any case, do not make the mistake of rubbishing their concerns or neglecting their fears – instead, make your children your allies in your search for a partner.
Fear of Not Being Liked For Who You Are
Since it’s definitely been a long time you last went on a date you might actually think: will anyone like me anymore?
Well, you will have to trust that there will be someone out there who will like you for being just the way you are. You may not be as ‘sexy’ as you were in the olden days and you may have lost some of that charm, but then you have also learnt now that those things are essentially superficial anyway.
You now know that compatibility, caring for the other person, similar priorities in life – these things matter. There will surely be someone out there in this world who feels that way too and will like you as you are. Be honest and try to be your normal self as you go on dates. It is OK if some guys don’t like you because they may not even be good for you anyway. Trust that there will be someone who will respect you and accept you. And that you will find love again.
Fear of the Last Experience Getting Repeated
If you’ve had a painful breakup or divorce, then you may be afraid that you will repeat the same story again.
It is completely understandable to feel that way but remember that now you are much wiser than before. You now know more about what kind of person you truly are on the inside and what kind of person you want to be with. You also know the common mistakes young couples make in relationships and you won’t make them anymore. Trust that you are now wiser and will therefore make this relationship blossom.
One important thing to do however is to definitely figure out exactly who you are looking for. Before you go on a date, make sure you take a sheet of paper and write down the qualities you are seeking in your partner. For example, you may want him to truly care about the kids and not just “bear with them.” Or you may want him to be honest with you at all times. Whatever is important to you – write that down before your date. Also write down qualities which you would definitely want to avoid. For instance, easily getting irritated or angry might be a turn off for you. If a potential partner talks in a condescending, know-it-all way, he may not be the one for you.
The point is to make sure you know who you are looking for. Remember that compatibility and a match in beliefs and core values is very important when finding a partner. And writing qualities out definitely helps. So well, that’s more or less it. Here are some parting words of advice to conclude: let go of your fears and go ahead! Of course take care to talk to the children and make your ‘quality list’ but don’t hesitate going for that first date in a long time.
Who knows, you may actually have a happy life full of the joys of family life and companionship ahead of you!