Take up folk dancing or country-western dancing it's good exercise and you don't need a partner. For their first time together, select an activity that your children enjoy. Reassure your children that your love for them will never change, no matter who you date. Her infomercials have consistently been at the top of the Jordan Whitney Program Rankings since If your teen is going out, where will he or she be and when will he or she be home? Take a class where you'll meet members of the opposite sex or look for a special interest group for singles such as a hiking, biking, or theater group. As mentioned above, compromising how attention is given is the best a single parent can do. Your list could include such things as: In your journal, list as many of these places as you can think of. While there are many ways to meet a potential mate, the personal ads and the Internet are tailor-made for you. You are a vibrant, energetically alive adult who deserves to have a social life. Children make you more approachable. When it's time to introduce them, tell your children that this is someone you like very much and introduce the person as a good friend, rather than as your boyfriend or girlfriend. You'll have given them control. But when you hide the fact that you're dating, you're still giving your children control.
You Can Do It Making the mental transition from parent to person is one thing, but there are also practical matters to be considered. I know how important it is to take care of your children; to meet their physical and emotional needs. You may know within the first four or five dates that this person is special and is in your life to stay. The time-frame will be different for everyone, depending on the individual and the circumstances. Overcoming Obstacles It doesn't matter if your children are toddlers, teenagers, or adults, having a social life forces you to consider issues you'd never think about if you were dating without children. If the adolescent is now motivated to dress to be deliberately attractive, it can be threatening to see a parent dressing with the same intent. By dating secretly, you're telling your children that you're ashamed of what you're doing. When you feel ready and secure about your decision, your children will come to accept and eventually respect it. But when you hide the fact that you're dating, you're still giving your children control. Before you go out on a date, you and your teenager need to discuss his or her plans for the time you'll be gone. If you're still wearing a wedding ring, take it off now. Now an important distinction must be made. Until someone comes into your life who you feel is special and has become important to you, be very selective about whom you introduce your children to. Guilty As Charged As a parent, there are many times in life when you are faced with a conflict that may cause you to feel guilty. Will your teenager be going out on a date of his or her own? I suggest you sit down with a friend who's a single parent and brainstorm all the places you can think of where parents take children. Take an inventory of the people in your life who can provide this valuable service. You have to take care of your own emotional, mental, and physical needs before you can help your children. Meet right after work for an early dinner or movie. If you have children, you want to meet someone who's comfortable dating someone with children, so don't hesitate to advertise that you are a single parent. Believe me, your guilty feelings are much easier on your children than your feelings of anger and resentment. When you take care of yourself emotionally by enjoying your life and the people who populate it, you're teaching your children how to become healthy, happy adults as well. Keep the lines of communication with your children open, so they can ask questions or talk about their fears. No Permission Needed I'm only going to say this once, so I want you to pay careful attention. While other single parents are probably the most likely to be interested in dating someone with children, there are lots of people who have no children of their own who would be delighted with a ready-made family. While there are many ways to meet a potential mate, the personal ads and the Internet are tailor-made for you.
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