It's been soooo long! The blessings I have received since I have done my last blog are too many to count! I won't go this long again without blogging, so I hope you enjoy this and many more to come! In the interim, among many other things, I have been working toward my certification as a Relationship Coaching Specialist! I still have some work to do to complete it, but stay tuned...I'll be available for coaching sessions soon.
I want to talk about relationships and dating for single parents. I'm a single parent so this resonates with me as I'm sure it does many of you. First of all, single parenthood isn't easy and it's something which should be commended. I can't say enough how much I appreciate ALL of the single mothers out there "making it happen" for their children. The same goes for the single dads...we're holding it down as well. You should receive the recognition you deserve for handling the situation to the best of your ability. We should all also be well aware, this should not be anyone's first choice. I don't want to glorify single parenthood. It should be the last option.
Dating and relationships aren't easy when someone who is single doesn't have children. Add some little ones to the mix and now single parents are trying to find time to date, trying to decide if they should bring a potential mate around their children (and then when is the appropriate time), if they can afford to date and if they have the time to even date at all. It's a complex situation. There are other people involved to consider as well. There are times when the other parent wants to offer an opinion or get involved where it may or may not be their place to step in. This requires thought and consideration of all parties and the child will be at the top of that list.
What should we do? How should we approach this? Let's first address what I feel is a common problem: Removing a relationship/dating as an option. There is something to be said for sacrificing one's time to provide for their children. I definitely understand this. I think there's a difference between sacrificing time to provide and detaching one's self from society for the "good" of their children. It's clear society is full of dysfunctional relationships. There are several reasons for this, but one of those is being a product of a single parent home. Children don't get to see how a good relationship is supposed to work. How can we expect those children to become adults and create good relationships, when they don't have the tools or the models as examples for them to see while they are growing up? It won't happen. I heard someone say if you tell a child to clean their room, but you haven't shown them how to clean it, they will clean it to the "best of their ability" and do whatever they think "cleaning the room" means, but it won't meet your expectation. It's the same with relationships. If you don't see a functional relationship at home and many of your friends don't have one in their home either, you have no concept of what a successful relationship looks like. You will not have a point of reference to build a relationship, if you haven't seen what a real, solid relationship looks like.
It's also important for our own comfort and peace of mind to be able to be happy and have people with whom we can have adult relationships. Also remember...children leave home! In 18 years or so, there will not be someone who needs you to depend on, then in many cases people are looking for something or someone to find value in them. Don't deprive yourself the opportunity for you to be happy and don't deprive your children the opportunity to see you happy and see how a successful relationship works. It's not easy, it's not magic, but building the cohesiveness and through your collective faith, you will find that dating with a purpose (thx, Renee!) can be a beautiful breath of fresh air for single people and single parents alike!
I would love to hear your take on being a single parent and dating. Feel free to leave a comment. Until next time...very soon...I promise!