I have some pretty eye opening conversations with people, sometimes those conversations can a topic that most would be offended by, but I enjoy having those type of topics discussed; I have always told people that I would rather them take a chance in upsetting me than not speak their honest feelings, thoughts and opinions. Case in point: The topic of Single Parents Dating – Putting Kids Second.
Being new to the dating world, making that decision a little while back to put myself out there in the online world, was a difficult decision for me, I knew that my world had revolved around my children for so long. I knew that my last committed relationship didn’t go so well, but I also knew that I had a lot to offer someone and figured putting myself out there on a dating site, while sticking firm to certain traits I need, made sense. Of course, people will know without me saying that my trio is up there in ranks of importance to me, but one thing I do agree on is this: when you are out there dating, getting to know someone and testing the waters with a new person, it can’t be all about your kids.
Think about it, that person you are dating has zero to do with your parenting life, that world is oblivious to them, they more than likely cannot relate and cannot get in the conversation in an interactive way; this leads for dead silence on the phone or in person. The person you are dating may not wish to offend you, but here is where one has to pay attention to for a signal; if you find yourself out there dating some and really wanting to get to know them but you keep rambling on about your children, stop. Just stop. It is going to take some practice, because if you are a single parent, Lord knows your world has revolved around them for some time, making it difficult for you to comprehend that you are also an individual adult.
If you had talked to me years ago about putting kids second in a relationship, I would have totally not agreed! As time has gone on, I matured a bit and knew that even without dating, I wanted more to me; I wanted to ensure I had my own life beyond children. It is important that your partner and your children see that you are more than “just a parent”. When you are dating someone, the time spent talking and visiting with each other should be focused on you and them. Think about it? Putting yourself out there in the dating world means you are seeking to ultimately find that long-term person, that one person who makes sense for you, to have and to hold for better or for worse.
What are some important factors for a long-lasting, long term relationship? Well my list may differ from yours, ultimately this is a basic list to go by, as you can see it doesn’t really 100% involve children when you think about the long-term, after all your kids will grow up and you want to know the person you end up with is going to be fun long after the kids leave the nest:
- Common Interests: you both should have some similar interests that you share, because this keeps things moving forward, and allows you two to connect deeper.
- Interests about Their Passions: this seems to be more of a personality trait, is the person you are dating showing interest in what you love in life? Do they love hearing you talk about your passions and engage in the conversation?
- Dedication to a Long-Term Commitment: making sure that both of you are on the same path, meaning that if you are seeking someone for the long haul, ensure the person you are spending time getting to know, wants the same result.
- Ability to be Open Minded: during my kid-free dating times, I am a woman with needs, desires and my own fantasies. This may be at-home work topics, this may be “after dark” scenarios or other areas; having someone with an open mind and interest in trying new things to keep the relationship interesting is very important to me.
- Honesty, Respect and Trust: dating someone who has these traits is extremely important, I want to know when I have upset that person, I want to know if I am rambling too much about a topic that isn’t of interest. I want to know that they are going to be faithful during our times of getting to know each other and I want to know that I can trust them 100%, this comes with honesty, the more brutally honest a person is – the more I know I can trust them.
There are other things to the dating world that matter, of course, but these are the top five items that come immediately to my mind. What I can advise to you parents that find yourself out there in the dating world is this: practice changing the topic when you find yourself getting on the discussion of what color poop your kids had today, what mess your kids made and what grades your kids got on their report card. After all, when the kids are grown you want to know that you went from dating to serious based on something on a higher level than just children. Two adults need to have a solid foundation based on their relationship that is developed beyond children.
The last bit of information I have to share is this: you may not be able to stop talking about your children right away, but if you care deeply enough about the person you are dating and you want to see if you two have what it takes to make it long-term, I say that you need to practice stopping yourself mid sentence when you find yourself going off on a tangent about your children. Mentioning them occasionally, is perfectly acceptable, but focus on you and your dating partner – they want your 100% undivided attention during your adult moments together.
P.S. This goes with marriage too, honestly … hopefully my thoughts can help you have success in dating & marriage, I know that this topic really helped set me straight on what matters in my adult-only dating world.
If you want to read a couple articles that I found relevant to this topic, you may do so by clicking on over to WealthySingleMommy.com. Mind you, this is my own opinion write up and not sponsored in any way.