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Single mothers dating advice

(11 Posts)
MaiSha2000 Tue 16-Oct-12 18:54:34

I am a single mother and i constantly struglle with issues around dating. I do not want my children to be affected by my dating and i feel guilty with each turn.

Can a single mum truelly date or should i give up looking for a mate until my children are older?

Any advice.

janelikesjam Tue 16-Oct-12 19:12:41

My opinion: I don't think it is easy, but it is not impossible.

I also think it depends how much free childcare support you get as it makes it alot easier. Some single parents get lots (either from their ex partner or family/friends). Some get none.

If you have childcare and can do some dating, I think the next issue is keeping it separate until you are sure the man you like is really a longer term prospect. I made the mistake of introducing my son to a man after only a couple of months (the man's idea). It was difficult for my son to accept (he was 8), and then the man disappeared! So, unless its serious, I think its best to keep it separate as possible or stay at the man's house.

I think it can be done (dependant on your circumstances) but it does require sensitivity. Some people suggest waiting a year before introducing children to a new boyfriend which seems a little excessive, but I can see where they are coming from. p.s. I think a man staying over for sex is a really big thing and I would try and avoid that myself unless he is really going to be in your family's life in a serious way.

But sympathise, it can be hard sad.

MaiSha2000 Fri 19-Oct-12 22:09:05

Thanks for that. It is hard to build a relationship and there are no guarantees. I meet someone, and waited a long while before introducing the kids and managed to build a strong relationship for a while but it fell apart, and he disappeared. I was even thinking next time should i wait until we are talking marriage before i get the kids involved.lol. Or should i just not date at all until kids are older.

For me with no child care it is difficult to have a meaningful relationship, minus the kids, i don't get the chance to go out that much.

Where do you even meet guys? I don't want to go on the net, i would refer to meet someone quite local

Opentooffers Fri 19-Oct-12 22:44:25

I find it just as tricky. Working full-time, shifts with a child and rarely a full weekend off makes it unlikely I'll meet anyone the usual route. Have tried online - need to be v.careful as have ended up dating some odd people from there. I know the heartbreak and feelings of failing the DC when things go wrong. You live and learn from it though as you go along and I can find positives in most experiences I've had. For me it would be far down the line before I introduced my DS - I would have to really feel 'this is it'.

Fishwife1949 Fri 19-Oct-12 23:11:14

Was a sigle mum for 6 years then met oh on line now married for 5 happy years

My top tips are

Do not allow then to meet your child unless you are getting serious ( and by that i mean thinking of moving in or marriage)
A pareade of different men will do damage to the respect your children have of you

Do not date any one with out employment you have a child to think off and cannot CARRY any one i would think

When dating somone with children i would be finding out exctaly how much they see there children and if they support them money wise before going down that road the last thing you want to end up with some deadbeat dad who spinning you some hard luck story about their ex when really they are just shit

Avoid dope smokers never a good sighn if your in your late 20 early 30s and still a dope feend

Also avoid men who have lots of children with lots of diffrent Women oh and also somone who has a very young child (once went on a date with a guy who had a child) when i asked how old he told me two days old his focus should of been on baby not going on dates not a good look

You can meet somone local on line oh only lived 20 minutes away as it turns out

*i had the same issue as you know chikdcare so i used to have dinners at mine once ds was in bed

makingmischief Sat 20-Oct-12 00:02:00

I agree with Fishwife, I have seen the trauma caused when children get attached to a series male figures who turn out to only be fleeting parts of their lives. It happened to friends of mine in childhood and I'd say the effects have lasted throughout the way they deal with adult relationships today.

I was a single mum for 13 years before I got married to DH, and waited a year before I introduced him to the dc. I would say that you have to be very careful about their commitment before moving in, especially if your financial situation means you'd lose benefits or tax credits. A partner is expected to support you and any child in the household regardless of biological relationship, and not all men will be able to do that financially or be willing to. I think it's a very demeaning policy for women, as they can often be left completely dependent on a man, but that's the way it is.

You have to be very careful when it comes to moving in, if you're moving into a man's owned house, because that gives you and your children no rights at all if there is a relationship breakdown. I made it clear to DH that I would not move in with him until we married, because married women have rights to stay in the house in the event of a relationship breakdown, whereas a co-habitee would not.

I met DH through a sport, I think hobbies and activities are really good for meeting people, as you tend to get introduced in a group, which means you can see a man interact in all sorts of situations. I tried internet dating too but although I had lots of fun with it, I found it less useful for meeting suitable long-term partners. It's absolutely fine though, to meet men for sex/fun and not see all of them as potential father figures for your children! But if you're going to do that, definitely don't introduce them at any point.

MaiSha2000 Sat 20-Oct-12 13:01:12

A lot of useful advice, i wish i had joined this network before my last disaster. He was "inbetween jobs" but never did get a job the whole time we were together, and he was a dope feend, although he never admitted it. He was fantastic with the kids though and that is what kept me in the relationship. Just had the kind of character most kids would respond to fun, funny and paid complete attention to the kids, but committment was not his thing and he would not support me with anything like childcare are even cooking. I had to pay for childcare whilst he sat at home. Complete free loader. Not making that mistake again.

I have tened to attract older men for some reason and i don't know if this is an issue. Am in my mid thirties and i have dated ten between 10 and 20 years older than me. Should i find some one my own age. And is it a RED flag if someone has gotten to their 40s and older with no kids? And what do you do when you meet someone who is tooo keen, declaring love within weeks and seemingly willing to move heaven and earth for you. Is this a no go area or should i set my own pace and carry on?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Oct-12 13:11:41

We go out of our way to make sure DCs have friends. I think single parents are allowed to have a social life, allowed to make friends of all genders and, if one of them turns out to be particularly special and you can see a future in it, that's when you start worrying about how & when to involve the children. Then, like anything else, it's a judgement.

Opentooffers Sat 20-Oct-12 13:53:09

I must admit to wondering why there seem to be so many men out there in their 40's who definitely want kids and yet have not had any yet? I guess it's not necessarily a red flag in itself but may have more significance when stacked against other attitutes to life they may display.
Declaring love within a few weeks could come across as a bit desperate and needy, and sometimes being over-enthusiastic at the start can lead to fizzling out just as quick. Think I would deal with that as anyone really, by still having your own life, meeting when free but not letting it take over and become the be-all in your life. Time should sort that one out, if the early declarations come with expectations of something from you in return that you feel uncomfortable giving at that stage, but feel pressured to oblige then smell a rat.

colditz Sat 20-Oct-12 13:57:16

My advice would be to wait before introducing the man to children, as if he's not right for you but nice to your kids, it can be hard to ditch him.

Secondly, don't ever redate a prick just because yre lonely

Lueji Sat 20-Oct-12 14:16:57

I'd introduce the children early, but simply as a friend.
That way, they have time to evaluate each other, but there's less pressure to keep dating.

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