Friday, August 20, 2010

Dating a Single Mom

Dating a single mom requires patience and understanding, among other things. With more than 11 million single parents in America today, there is a good chance that you may date one at some time. Do you wonder how you should act around your date's children or what you should expect while dating a single mother? Here are a few guidelines to remember when your girlfriend is a single mom.

1. Patience. Be patient if she doesn't want you to meet her children right away. Don't take it personally and think that she doesn't like you enough to introduce you to her kids. First, she should get to know you and give you the opportunity to know her as a woman, before knowing her as a mother. And secondly, children can easily become attached to you. Your date may want to see how the relationship progresses before she lets the children get attached to you and be hurt if the relationship doesn't work out.

2. Understanding. Spontaneity and motherhood don't always mix. As a mother, your date's first priority is her children. She may not be able to make spontaneous plans. Spur-of- the-moment dinner plans may seem romantic, but are unrealistic for most single mothers. Remember that she will need time to find a babysitter. If you want to surprise her with a romantic dinner or theater tickets, take the liberty of calling the babysitter and making all of the arrangements.

3. Know your limitations. Don't ever attempt to discipline her children. Let the mother do all of the disciplining. If you have an issue with a behavior or action, discuss it with the mother when the kids are not around. Don't try to be a father or a father figure to the kids. They probably already have a father and will only resent you if you try to take his place.

4. Offer to pay the babysitter. Many single mothers struggle to pay the bills and support their families. Your date may want to see you more often but can only afford to pay a babysitter once a week. Babysitting fees may put a strain on her budget. It would be a kind gesture to offer to pay the sitter for her.

5. Include the kids. After you have been dating for a while and you feel there will be a long term relationship, you should plan to include the kids in some of your outings. Make plans at least once a month to do group activities that include the children. Make sure the plans include activities that the kids will enjoy.

Dating with children can be a sensitive and delicate matter. The more you try to force a friendship on the children, the more difficult it may be. Relax, be yourself and let a friendship develop.


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