Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Solo Mom: What about dating?

Posted July 26, 2011

Stacy Lamb, organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle

People have asked me to write a post about dating as a single parent. I am confident this is because people really just want some answers, not because they think I actually have them. I’m certainly no expert – unless you truly believe that we learn the most from our mistakes! (ha ha…)

With that said, there is one part of dating that I’m happy to address, and that is the question of “how do I introduce my date to my kids?” Of course, every situation is different, and what works for some does not for others. However, from what I have seen, I can certainly offer some (tongue in cheek) tips on how NOT to introduce your new boyfriend/girlfriend to your kids!

  • First of all, we’ve all heard the rule of thumb about not dating for a year after separation – while you may feel ready sooner, your kids don’t want to see you with another man/woman, so consider leaving them out of it for a while.
  • The best way of introducing your date probably does not include having your young child sleep between you and your date during the first weekend she or he spends in your custody.
  • You may want to leave out any suggestion, either direct or implied, of your date being the “new mommy/daddy.”
  • Don’t compare your new significant other to the other parent of your children. This is going to backfire when your child starts comparing as well (and probably not in your favor).

Surely, by the time you are dating, you’ve at least got a network of friends. Bring your date out to group events that include other friends and kids. You want your significant other to be a part of your circle of friends anyway, don’t you? That way your kids can get to know him or her within an environment where they are already comfortable – and without the pressure of HAVING to like Mom’s boyfriend (or Dad’s girlfriend).

The date can just be “one of your friends” until enough time has passed and you know a couple of things: He or she is in your life for the foreseeable future and you know the person gets along with your kids.

After all, if your kids don’t like your significant other, chances are there’s a reason for that (hello, red flag!). And even if there is no seemingly “real” reason, the kids come first!

Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She also is organizer for Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.



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  • jfrankejr Jul 27, 2011

    my last girlfriend....I just took my daughter to the strip club and said that's going to be your new mommy!! Then I ran out of $1's and the relationship fizzled. JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jfrankejr Jul 27, 2011

    I am with you....we all know dogs are so much more loyal and lovable!!! :D Joking!!!

  • dikduh Jul 27, 2011

    @ Objective Scientist...I guess there were no functioning brain cells! @ turkeydance... "obey"??? Are you confused between the difference of dog training classes and a committed relationship? I don't even think "obey" is part of the marriage vows anymore. While I'm on the subject of marriage, I can't stand the fact that some priests/ministers/whatever say "I now pronounce you man and wife." It should be "husband and wife" or "man and woman" or "partner and partner"~! Just sayin'

  • jfrankejr Jul 27, 2011

    Obey, just like in the marriage vows. Hmmm....interesting. How'd that work for you?

  • Objective Scientist Jul 27, 2011

    Good points... same for "Solo Dads". I've lived long enough that not much truly surprises me anymore, but I must say that the 2nd bullet point in the article: "The best way of introducing your date probably does not include having your young child sleep between you and your date during the first weekend she or he spends in your custody." is at least somewhat surprising! I truly can NOT imagine doing that myself, and it is very difficult imagining ANYONE with functioning brain cells doing that! Oh well... each to his/her own...

  • NCishome Jul 27, 2011

    I am a child of a single parent who dated. I recall that there were Adult outings which did not include me and there were outings that did. When Mom went out she made sure that she told me when we would have a "date" and she always kept that promise, so I was not disappointed or felt tossed to the side for her "boy friend". Yes, there were times when those dates were broken but it was by me, who had a wonderful circle of people to help Mom out when she needed it.

    I can even recall Mom not accepting a date due to plans she made with me. That date later became my Dad.

  • Twittyfan Jul 27, 2011

    Turkeydance you are not the bad guy at all you just spoke the truth..

  • turkeydance Jul 26, 2011

    this will make me the 'bad guy', so here goes.
    based on the single moms i've known, these are
    the three things that those moms have done which
    ruin anything beyond dating:
    1. unless specifically asked...talking/hinting/implying/
    inferring/etc. about YOUR ex more than once.
    2. asking about HIS ex, unless HE talks about her first. 3. finally, letting your kids rule. you're their mom. you make your own decisions and your underage children obey. obey, just like in the marriage vow.