As you get older and continue to date, it is inevitable that you may consider dating a single parent. There are over 11 million single parents in the US, anyone over the age of 18 has a story and history. Many times this history includes previous relationships, previous breakups, the conception of children and parenthood.
So if you are considering dating a single parent, forget the myths and the truths associated with it. Look into your situation first to see where you are in life and where you want to go. Get to know people of all walks of life, be honest about what you want, and provide support and friendship when its warranted. I’m not saying that you should take on a family if you are not ready. What I am saying is evaluate the situation with an open mind and create conclusions about where you want your relationship to go based upon your experience with that person.
So here are five myths AND truths associated with dating a single parent:
1. That single mother is only looking for someone to provide for her children
It’s the excuse that all single mothers (and maybe single dads) are all looking for handouts. You get this rhetoric from some on the extreme political right wing (think Ann Coulter and Mike Huckabee) and while the availability of income share is smaller for a single parent than a married parent, we should be conscious of the facts.
Seventy six percent of single mothers are working mothers and for dads, that percentage is in the nineties. So the myth above is exactly that, a myth. Now I can say that the share of income for a single parent to spend on outside activities is less than a person with no children. However let’s rebuke the fact that all single parents are living in poverty and that all single moms are gold diggers.
2. Single parents are an easy fling
This myth is only a myth if the other person wants something more than a fling. Just because they had a child or children doesn’t mean they are easy. Sometimes these individuals were in a serious relationship or marriage and the child is a result of that relationship. If anything this shows that they are capable of a commitment and willing to try to date again to find that connection. Whatever the case, you need to be up front and have the talk early with a single parent. That way nobody will be wasting anyone’s time. If the single parent is on the same page as you, then go for it. The key is be genuine and sincere.
3. The kids come first, so I’ll never be a priority
Single parent juggle a multitude of priorities at different times in their lives. A parent that places a high priority for their children are just demonstrating characteristics associated with love and integrity. It should not be questioned at all that children are their top priority. However, don’t be discouraged and convince yourself that YOU are NOT a priority because to a single parent you are. Yet single parents are juggling so many priorities. If you are willing, be patient about it. Yes, they may not be texting you every minute or responding as quick to your phone calls, but that doesn’t mean they are not thinking about you – they are. Open yourself up to a stronger connection by paying attention to the details. Single parents appreciate that more because they will appreciate that you understand the many things they have to juggle at one time.
The single parent is going to expect me to replace the absent parent
Single parents are not about getting a replacement parent for their child if the other parent is absent. Single parents that have little to no support from their ex are so used to of being in the role as both parents, they would never dream of anybody being a replacement parent. In these situations, flexibility and understanding is important. The single parent in this situation juggles a lot and carries a large burden all on their own. In most cases, they have less trust of people and so its necessary to be supportive, available and understanding. Once you get these single parents to open up, you will see a very hard working and caring individual sometimes that will definitely appreciate any gestures to romance them or provide understanding about their situation.
All single moms hate men; OR All single dads hate women
A single parent that is ready to date does not HATE on all men and vice versa. If they are confident and ready to date there should not be an issue with getting close to single parents. Of course you may encounter single parents that seem to bad mouth a particular gender or even bad mouth their ex. That’s where you need to evaluate for yourself where this opinion is coming from. Did they have a bad experience with their ex earlier and they are just venting. It may be a harmless and seldom occurrence that can be disregarded. If the single parent constantly makes disparaging remarks about a gender or their ex, it may be time to have the talk and let them know that you are not going to tolerate such remarks.
Take these five myths and evaluate for yourself if you are ready to date a single parent. You can meet a very wonderful individual and in the long run meet even many more wonderful individuals. Relationships can should nurture you, support you and help you grow and succeed with love. If a single parent is the one that can create that for you, then you have something very special. So take these myths and understand that you could be missing out on a potential dating partner that could be a great relationship for life.
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