This year I came home four times from college and he was in town every single time.
It was lovely being out sans Jack, having a cold beer at the bar, surrounded by other adults enjoying drinks, conversation, and music. I videotaped their answers, transcribed what they said, and here’s what I got: “It’s not the ideal situation for me.
The crowd was a mix of college guys and young professionals. And when the topic of my work came up, I told a small group of guys that I was working on an interesting article that required me to tap real-life guys for their opinions on dating single moms. It seems like baggage and I wouldn’t want to be involved in any baby-daddy drama.” “My mom was a single mom most of my childhood, so I have tons of respect for single mothers.
You are welcome to join us if you’d like.” Show respect and allow relationships to develop at their own pace. It also shows them their feelings are important to you, keeps the communication door open, and helps children put labels on their own emotions (which is very important for young children especially). It’s tempting, but doing so taps your child’s fears that they are losing you and gives the false impression to your dating partner that you are totally available to them. As your interest in the person grows, gradually become more intentional about finding time for your significant other and your kids to get together.
Tread lightly at first and continue to monitor and process everyone’s fears or concerns. Since you can’t judge lasting love by physical accoutrements or initial biochemical attractions, you need an objective measure of the qualities, attributes, and character of the person you are looking for.
Wise singles recognize this important dynamic and don’t assume that becoming a couple necessarily means that they can become a family. Parents who begin dating quickly after the end of a relationship (whether by death or divorce) or who reach a quick decision to marry after a brief dating period often find their children more resistant to the marriage. Smart singles take a good long look in the mirror before dating. Smart single parents don’t let their children’s emotions dictate their dating progress, but they do listen and give serious consideration to how the children are feeling (becoming a couple is up to you; whether you become a family is up to them). Teens and adult children need to move toward your dating partner at their own pace.