The day after Christmas, I was dumped by my boyfriend of 4 years leaving me to face the new year as a single mom back on the dating scene.
Dating has it’s own set of rules (that have changed considerably in 4 years thanks to Facebook, Twitter and the Internet), which YWGB covers here. But being a single parent changes those rules to a degree.
What are the rules for dating parents?
I asked my teen daughters this question the other night. “What rules do you have in regards to my dating again?” Of course, this opportunity to weigh in was a powertrip for them and it clearly went straight to their heads. Here’s what they had to say:
1.” Don’t bring dates home.” At home, with them, I’m Mom. When I’m out on a date, I’m Becky. The two don’t need to meet, at least for a while. The kids don’t want different people in and out of their life. Keep the two parts of your life separate until the relationship with the guy gets serious. If it never does? The kids are none the wiser.
2. “Put us first.” “We’re always going to be your kids. The guy you’re meeting tonight? He may not cross your radar ever again.” I make it a point to eat dinner with my girls, help with homework and hang out with them every night before I jump on the phone or answer text messages. If the guy is worth his salt? He’ll understand. If he doesn’t? Why are you dating him?
3. “Don’t take us on dates with you.” “We don’t mean physically, well, yeah, we do, that’s obvious.” I’ll take it a step further and say mentally and verbally as well. Again, it’s about keeping the two aspects of your life separate. Just like your kids don’t want to know about mom dating, your date probably doesn’t want to spend the evening listening to stories about your kids.
4. “Let us form our own relationship with him.” Admittedly, this is a long way down the relationship road from the first date. But if things have been going well, it’s getting serious and you decide it’s time for the two parts of your life to meet, know that because you think he’s a great guy, doesn’t mean your kids will. Be mindful of that, and pay attention to their reactions.
5. Have fun. Okay, this is MY rule. Being a single dating mom means I’m the only responsible adult in my house. Everything falls on my shoulders. Income, bills, groceries? I got that. So, if I have date? It’s about me having fun, letting go and playing after all the hard work I do. And you should as well!
I’m new on the dating scene again, so I may have left a few out. What are your rules for dating?
Becky is known around the interwebs as Ms Batman. She’s back on the dating scene, at 40+ years of age and in her prime. She blogs over at Welcome to my Life, where you can read about her adventures of being a single mom to two drama tweens determined to become Divas Extraordinaire.