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Dating Techniques for Single Parents

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Dating Techniques for Single Parents

One of the first challenges that face single parents when they start to date is what to say to their children. Do you tell them or keep it secret until it gets serious? And if you do tell them, how much do you share?

Once you do start to date, be honest but don't share too much. “I'm going out with a new friend” is sufficient. Whatever hopes or expectations you have about a new dating relationship isn't something to share with your kids. Dating relationships often don't work out. Your child doesn't need to ride that roller-coaster with you.

Resist the temptation with kids and teens to treat them like your confidante. That's NOT their role (this isn't just true about dating, by the way). Pre-teens and teens in particular will often sense what's going on, even with limited information. They see you get dressed up for a date “with a friend” and they figure it out. Nonetheless, it's critical that you be able to lovingly but firmly set a boundary with them. “Sweetheart, I understand you're curious, but talking about this is really my business. If and when there's something important I need to share, I'll share that with you. But till then, this is really my private business, OK?”

Often what kids are really looking for is simple reassurance that you aren't going to disappear, to run off with this new person. If you're a single parent, they've probably already experienced some loss and may have feelings (rational or irrational though they may be) of abandonment about their other parent. Reassure them that no matter what, you are always there for them and always will be.



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