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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

5 Things to consider BEFORE getting into a relationship with a single mother / someone with a child

Is it okay to date someone with a child? Should I consider dating a single mother? What is dating a single mom like? Should I date someone with a child? How do I know if i'm ready to date someone with a child?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with dating someone with a child from a previous relationship. People become single parents for many different reasons:
  • Some are forced to leave relationships due to physical or emotional harm by their partners
  • Some are widowed 
  • Some are forced to leave due to infidelity or any other irreconcilable differences
  • Others just prefer to leave toxic relationships that may negatively impact their child
It is not important how or why someone is a single parent but more what they do about it or how they handle the situation.

One of the main reasons why you may want to think about whether or not you are ready for such a relationship is due to the fact that a single parent may have somewhat of a different mindset and priority set then someone without a child.
When it comes to dating a single parent, if they are the right person for you and you are the right person for them, then the fact that they have a child from a previous relationship should not matter at all - the child alone should not be a determining factor.
Important to Note

There are single parents who are irresponsible, don't take responsibility for their child or provide adequately for him or her etc but you cannot class a whole group of people based on a few individuals. Have a look at the person you are interested in as a whole and if you still have interest in them as a person, then there should be nothing standing in the way of having a relationship with them whether or not they have a child.

5 Questions to ask yourself before getting into a relationship with someone with a child.

1. Do you want the same things from the relationship?

If you are looking for a fling, your partners thinking may not be in line with that.
Quite often, single parents, due to the fact that want stability for their child and to be a good example for them, are not interested in flings or casual relationships. They want something worthwhile... something with a potential to last long-term.
Of course all people do not think the same so please do discuss this with your partner and hear where there thinking is surrounding this.

If you want the same things then definitely go ahead and give the relationship a try.

2. Are you okay with coming off "second best" more often then not?

A good parent (which I'm assuming you may be interested in... as opposed to a bad parent), will always put their child first and do whatever is in their child's best interest.
As a single parent, things become harder especially if the other parent is not actively involved in the child's life. You don't have someone to take shifts with you when it comes to doing things for your child, but rather you are their main support structure. You make things happen for your child.
As a working single parent things are extra hard. You are away from your child most of the day and only have weekends, evenings and public holidays and weekends to spend with them. You don't want to sacrifice all of this time and risk your child growing up with resentment towards you or hear them one day utter the words "you were never there for me. You spent all your time at work or with other people".

You know yourself better than anyone else.
Think about the kind of person that you are and the kind of partner you are in a relationship:
  • Do you require your partners full attention 24/7? Do you need this time to be without the child?
  • Does the thought of your partner not answering a call or taking an hour to reply a text (because they are seeing to or occupied by their child) frustrate you?
  • Would it upset you or would you lack understanding if your partner had to cancel plans or change them at the last minute because their child required their attention?
  • Would you be jealous of or resent their child as opposed to loving or caring about him / her?
If you answered yes to these questions then you need to reassess whether or not this relationship would be right for you. It doesn't make you a bad person it just means that you are not right for this person and that they are not right or correctly suited for you.
It is best that you do not get into such a relationship especially when you are not ready for it as it could not only negatively impact or hurt your partner and you but the child involved as well.

3. Do you like children? Are you all for child friendly environments?

Some people are just not "child" people. This has always been the weirdest thing to me considering that we were all children at one point in our lives...
Some people would just prefer to be around adults all the time.
If you're one of these people then please reconsider your dating choices.

There are some people who would describe themselves as never having been child people until they met a certain child or had children of their own but this is definitely not the case for everyone.

In addition to this, if you only ever want to hang out in bars, casinos or other places inappropriate for children then you may have a problem too. Depending on how your relationship progresses, there is a high possibility that you will end up spending time with your partner and her child. When this happens it is likely to be at a child friendly venue - zoo, theme park, arcade, water park, etc.

4. How are your maturity levels?

This question has two ends and basically requires a balance.

You need to have a certain level of IMMATURITY in that you are able to joke around with, entertain and play with a child (depending on he age / ages of your partners child or children). You cannot be completely boring and uptight.
The more fun you are to be around - the more likely you will be to get on well with your partners child or children.

At the same time, however, you will need to have a certain level of MATURITY where it counts:

- Can you be a mature adult and good role model for a child?
- Can you be mature enough to know that everything is not all about you?
- Are you mature enough to be done with excessive late nights out and constant partying at all hours?
-Are you mature enough to know that depending on your partners circumstances or situation, there may or may not be another man / woman (the other parent of your partners child) in the picture?

In a nutshell, you need to be mature in all the right areas and fun and "young at heart" in others.

5. Are you a good role-model?
Look at yourself as a person. Are you the type of individual you would want your son / daughter to date or marry?
This should be the question you ask yourself before entering any relationship regardless of whether or not your partner has a child from a previous relationship BUT it comes into play even more so here.

Think about the following:
  1. Getting into a relationship with this person, depending on how serious your relationship eventually gets, you will be spending time around or with the child.
    If you are prone to swearing or cussing, this may not be healthy around the child. Are you able to change this or limit this in his / her presence?
  2. What are you like in a relationship?
    If you are very loud, aggressive or insulting when you are in a argument or disagreement (as disagreements and arguments are bound to happen in any relationship) this is definitely not appropriate around a child.
Please take a good look at yourself, your potential partner and the entire situation before making any decisions. Be sure to make the best decision for everyone concerned especially that of the child.
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