Topics: Dating a somewhat single dad?
Sometimes kids say it best. When asked what she wishes her mom would do differently while dating, Rachel, a smart young graduate student, replied, “I wish she would recognize her own impulsivity and emotional rollercoaster. She does and says things without recognizing that to some extent our whole family is dating this guy. This year I came home four times from college and he was in town every single time. After I went back to campus each time Mom said, ‘I never get to see you!’ Yes, well, that’s because you were with your boy.”
Dating for two is difficult; dating in a crowd is downright complicated. The kids are engaged, at least on some level, even when you don’t think they are. And everyone has strong emotions and opinions about who is involved and what the outcome might be. In other words, the whole family is dating. Table for 20!
1. Realize that you’re not just forming a relationship; you’re creating a family. When kids predate dating, the couple’s relationship inherently creates competing attachments. The choice to be with the dating partner or children generally means the other is left waiting … and wondering how their relationship with you is being influenced by your relationship with the other.