If you are a mother (whether you are still in a relationship with the kids father or not) , your primary concern should be the well-being of your children, their upbringing, their support system, the influences in and out of their lives, etc. If/when you end the relationship with the kid’s father, you have to be very careful with the next man/men you allow in your kids lives because it will affect the way your child feels about you, and it will also affect your child’s behavior in the future. When you’re finally ready to get back on the dating scene, it is important that when you’re getting to know the guy that you give details about your life such as “you being a single parent raising a child”.
You should also be sure to get his views and feedback on how he feels about dating a single parent. While you’re talking and getting to know one another, you should discuss your morals and values and his. And in these discussions, you should make it clear that you are interested in a commitment, and that you respect your children, and will not entertain anything short of a relationship of substance that will lead to marriage. At these early stages, removing sex will allow you to measure his sincerity in making a decision on whether or not he feels you’re worth investing more time/energy/effort/money in.
Sidenote: Do not confuse yourself by thinking just because he too has kids that he’s willing to date a woman who also has kids. Test him!!!
Test the guy you’re dating’s character every chance you get! Ask him what his relationship is like with his mother, his ex wife, and his own children. BTW the way he treats you is in no way shape or form an indication of how he will treat your child. You have to actually allow him to meet and interact with your children to see how far he is willing to go to gain your child’s approval. If he doesn’t go the distance to win your child over, then he should no longer be considered as a candidate for a relationship because your child is your heart… and your heart is what he’s ultimately trying to win. And furthermore, if your child does not accept this man or doesn’t approve of him, then you should respect your child’s decision and choose your child over that man.
Your child’s approval is needed before you can proceed with a new romantic relationship. Now we know “you” are comfortable with this new guy, but “your kids” need to be comfortable with this new man who’s coming into the family and spending time with their beloved mother, and he by no means should be forced onto your kids simply because you’re lonely and need a man. Forcing a new man on a child could cause resentment either towards the man… but more importantly towards “you”!!! Your “kids” are forever!!! A “man” can leave you and forget about you at any given time if he no longer wants to deal with the package that comes along with dating you!!! And you’ll be left with the same kid that you started with. So be sure to make decisions that work best for the “family” and not just for “you”.
If you put yourself first, allow yourself to get close to this man, start sleeping with him, etc before he wins your children’s hearts, you’ll be heading towards the point of no return. Meaning you will want this man in your life so badly because of the way he makes “you” feel, that you totally forget about your heart… your world… which is “your child”. And your child gets stuck with the leftovers. Not to mention, this new guy will be so comfortable and used to being with just you, that once your kid comes into the picture, it will be a “buzz kill” for him. He might love mommy… might care about mommy… but that doesn’t have anything at all to do with this kid you have laying around the house.
You have to make “the new guy having a relationship with your child” a requirement (in the beginning). Don’t be afraid to lose him! If he doesn’t want to have a relationship with your child… he shouldn’t be rewarded with the privilege of being in a relationship with you <<<< Unfortunately, there are too many women out there who are afraid that a man will run as soon as they make “being a step-dad” a requirement to be with them. But this is something that you have to do if you want to become serious with a man and have him be a part of your family.
You are not a single bachelorette anymore!!! You are a “package” now. <<< This is your life!!! Any new guy that comes alone has no choice but to either be ok with this or explore other options. If he’s looking to simply date and have sex, then he needs to find a woman who can afford to do so. A single woman raising a child though needs to find a man who can and will be there for her and her child. In fact, his relationship with your child should be so strong that if you and him didn’t work out, he would still want to be involved in your kid’s life… and your kid would still want to be involved in his life. <<< This is the kind of man you need. But in order to figure out if he’s that type of man, you have to put him through vigorous tests in the beginning!!!
A man who has the heart to take care of another woman’s kids is going to get an infinite amount of sex simply for the gesture, so he doesn’t have to worry about that. What’s important now though is… is he genuine and sincere? Is he offering to do activities that are kid friendly? Is he interacting with your child? Is he taking a personal/genuine interest in them? Is he compassionate? Or his he solely interested in you? These are things you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and feel with your heart. If he fails this test in the beginning, he should no longer be considered for a relationship or marriage because your child comes first.
Now if you didn’t put him through all these tests and you let him slide by sexing him, committing to him, moving in together, marrying him, etc, then you’re setting yourself up to get your heart broken, because now… you’ve grown emotionally attached to him without him first winning your heart (which is your child), and now it’s a gamble whether or not the love he has for you will trickle down to your kids. If at any point you realize that that man is not loving your child the way a husband father should (as if it were his own), then you’ll begin to see just how important your child is to you. And you’re also going to see how little this man means to you in comparison to your child.
And if his heart was not involved with your children from the beginning, you can’t possibly expect for his heart to miraculously be involved later on simply because you’re in a relationship or married <<<< This is a sign that his interest was in “you”!!! And since bonding with your children/loving your children/respecting your children was not a requirement to be with you, he’ll be reluctant to honor these sudden requests throughout the relationship.
It’s extremely important to know how the man you let into your life feels about your child before getting involved with him. Who knows? That man might think your kids are annoying… or spoiled… have no discipline… aren’t too bright… looks too geeky… talks too much… or whatever!!! The sky is the limit! If while dating a man, and after you’ve introduced him to your child, you notice that he’s not “eager” to see your kid again, doesn’t talk about your kid, or doesn’t mention kids period, then you should have a conversation with him about what he thinks about “your” child. <<<< Use this information to make your decision on whether you want to deal with him or not.
You can test the waters by casually introducing your children to the man you’re dating and get a feel of how they interact with one another. The clear cut signs will be there from the very beginning, and it will be indication of what you can look forward to in the end. This is your future we’re talking about and not every man you meet will be worthy of being in your child’s presence. This could mean being single for 5, 10, 15+ years!!! However long it takes! But your kids need to be loved, respected, and they need to be comfortable at all times.
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Life & Relationship Coach