By Liz Lampkin
Dating can be a difficult task for the single and fabulous. With all the rules said and unsaid, regulations and violations dating on any level is a full time job.
For those of us who are single parents the mere thought of dating can be exhausting, and being involved with someone who isn’t a parent can be a difficult challenge for all involved. Being a single mom of one, I decided to take a brief hiatus from the dating scene to get adjusted to being a single career mom, and as I slowly make my way back into 'dating' there are a few rules I have established that can be helpful to single parents who struggle with balancing parenting and dating.
Rule 1. Know that the child comes before you. This rule is for the parent and the person of interest. The parent must understand that while they deserve time for themselves, taking care of their child is the priority. For the person of interest, it’s vital to understand that while you may want to see mom or dad at a certain time, it may not be possible because the parent’s priority is their child.
Rule 2. Be patient with a single parent. A child's needs and wants can be spontaneous and they must be met; so more often than not, plans made may be plans broken or rescheduled, so having patience is a must.
Rule 3. Plan fun-filled dates. A parent’s time is valuable and should not be spent in boredom because every minute mom or dad spends with you could be time spent with their child, taking care of business for their kid or doing something for themselves. Make the time spent with you worthwhile.
Rule 4. Be respectful of the time the parent designates for his/her child. If you know that your date has dinner with his/her child at a certain time, please don't call, text or drop by (unless invited). Please respect family time and know that your time is coming.
Rule 5. Have mom or dad home at a reasonable hour and plan dates at a respectable time. Parents are a child’s everyday example of how to live, and if a child/ren sees their parents coming home from a date at a decent hour it sets a positive example.
Rule 6. When the time is right, plan dates and activities that includes the child, especially if you plan to be around for the long haul.
Rule 7. Don't call a parent between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.! Why? Because parents are trying get their kids to school and get themselves off to work. Call or text later.
Rule 8. Always think ahead and be considerate. Remember that when you are dating a parent you are also dating their child and if you want to keep the relationship going you have to think ahead with planning dates and be considerate and conscious of the responsibilities of a parent.
Dating is a wonderful--yet challenging--event when dating a parent however, keeping these simple rules in mind will provide balance and make things a little easier for all.