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Home > Articles > Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle
by Jennifer Lester

The single parents’ guide to dating again.

Going through a divorce is hard. Getting back into the dating scene can seem even harder. You have been out of the scene for a while now and are not sure how to get back in. Let alone, back in with kids in tow.

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When I first found myself back in the dating scene after having my daughter and getting divorced, I was excited and scared all at once. I didnt think that I would be able to find a good man that would be willing to take me on with my daughter in the picture.

Sure, it is harder to date when you have kids. You dont have as much time to go out to meet people. It takes time with you away from your kids and you have to spend your money to pay for a babysitter. Sure seems like it would be much more rewarding to be shelling out the dough to spend time with someone you already find special than to be out looking for that person.

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1. You can meet anyone anywhere

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That is why I turned to online dating and would definitely recommend it to other single parents. With online dating you can get to know people from the comfort of your own home with your children tucked quietly into bed. I spent many a night with my Amarretto Sour on the rocks in hand and my music playing in the background chatting it up with the newest prospects that I was meeting through my personal ad or through one I had responded to. My social life was enriched overnight and I loved it.

Then came the time to go out an meet face-to-face the men that I found worthy of my time and the hard earned money that I would have to pay the neighborhood babysitter. I followed my 6 Simple Rules for Internet Dating for my safety, but what about the safety of my child?

As parents, we are always protective of our kids. Their emotional and physical health means the world to us. It is even more important that you protect your personal information such as your address and home phone number when you first meet someone. After all, it doesn’t just give them access to you that you may not want them to have, it also gives them access to your children. Dont give it out until you have met them face-to-face and are certain that you feel comfortable with them. There is no fail safe way of knowing for sure that someone is a good person. Listen to your intuition! It is a powerful tool. You can also have someone checked out at Check My Mate.com if you want to check all their possible criminal or marriage records.

You dont want to leave your children completely out of it either. If someone is special enough for you to continue spending time with, they should be special enough to spend time with your kids. You shouldnt be wasting your time with someone who cant love your children too. After all, when it comes to marriage or any long-term relationship you are a package deal with your children.

Emotionally you have to consider how every one of your actions will affect your child. Are they old enough to understand dating? When I felt that a relationship was ready to move to the next level, I would allow that person to meet my daughter. I would always introduce them as just a friend and affection would be off limits in front of her. When she got older, I was luckily able to explain about dating to her and the fact that every man I dated was not necessarily going to be her Daddy (her birth father is a “dead-beat dad” with no contact). You have to be up front with them at whatever maturity level you think they can handle. You also have to listen to them. Believe it or not, your kids may have a better sense of whom is right for you then you have yourself. After all, they are not blinded by the lust or love that you are in the middle of at that moment.

Listen to and respect your childrens’ opinions. That doesnt mean that you have to instantly dump someone your kids dont like. After all, your kids may still be hurting from your break-up with their Father and like most children, they are still hoping the two of you will get back together. However, you should keep in mind the feelings of your kids. Do you want to possibly marry a person your child doesnt like or trust? I dated a man once that my daughter told me she didnt like. She could never put her finger on exactly why, it was just a feeling. It turned out that feeling was justifiable and he really did turn out to be a jerk. The first time she met my current husband, I tucked her into bed and she whispered in my ear this is a good one, Mom. You need to try to keep him. She was 10 years old at the time. Now she is about to turn 13 and that man is about to adopt her. Gotta sayshe was right!

So, like I keep saying in other articles before this onelisten to your heart. You will know when it is time for someone to meet your kids. You will also know when your kids are ready to meet them. Just remember: your childs wellbeing is more important than your busy social life. Keep in mind, though, that when you are happy, they will be happy too.


Jennifer Lester is an online dating expert who offers her advice and guidance through the world of online dating at her website: http://www.lovepersonally.com The tour guide to your online dating experience.

 

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