Despite the fact that I have been a single parent for a while, and have done my share of dating and attempting to keep positive in terms of someday partnering again, I have definitely learned a few lessons. One of the things I find again and again with single parents who take up dating again is that they end up dating someone who isn’t too crazy about kids, or is still so immature themselves as to need a parent. Why are we doing this and how about we stop?!
Speaking for myself, I know that I have found myself dating the “perpetual teenager” because I’m already in mom mode—my nurturing and caretaking sensors are working overtime and taking care of one more person just seems to evolve naturally. I know, ick! Plus, it can seem such a relief to be around someone who is playful and childlike since I am so weighted down by responsibilities. Inevitably, what happens is this person puts themselves in direct competition with my actual children and I end up feeling like I am mom to the universe.
And how is it that single parents and people who are ambivalent about kids seem to find each other? I think that it is partly because those childless people are still available and partly because those people want to “try it out” to see if they really do like kids. As the parent—we think that the individual just hasn’t met OUR kids, and when they do, they will fall madly in love with them of course. Well, that is seldom the way it goes. People who aren’t that into kids, are not going to be great additions to the hectic and chaotic life of a single parent family.
So, we have to bolster our own confidence and be able to discern who is worth dating and who isn’t. If they aren’t “kid people” or are looking for a nurturing sort to parent them, we single parents need to beware. Sure, our options might be diminished since we are more complicated, but isn’t it worth waiting for a comparable and reasonable choice?