Dating guidelines for Single Moms By AVCupid.COM
"I am a single mom of a three-year-old boy. I have just begun to
date. I am afraid my son won't want to "share" me with anyone. What is
the best way to introduce a date to my son and when is it appropriate
for me to do so?"
When you are comfortable, introduce your date to your son as a "new
friend." Friendship is not only the foundation of a viable marriage, but
something your child understands! All new friendships do not continue,
but good ones evolve. You cannot know the future, so just stay with the
First, there is no magic time frame for an introduction. After all,
it is important that your son realizes that you need friends -- males
and females that are your own age. Just as your son has his preschool
friends, he will understand that you need adult friendships, too. It is
not a matter of competition, so jealousy is lessened from the start.
Second, maintain appropriate boundaries during the dating process in
order to protect your child from primary attachment to someone who may
just be passing through. It is not the specific amount of time, but the
nature of the commitment that evolves between you and a boyfriend that
should determine the relationship between your child and a significant
Keep your dating life relatively separate from your family life
until you know someone well enough to feel they would be a good friend
to your son. Start off slowly with limited activities like going to the
zoo or having a picnic. Do not assign parental responsibilities to a
boyfriend. Wait until there is a clear commitment to the relationship
and potential for marriage before considering deepening the involvement
with your son.
Finally, answer your child's questions as honestly as possible. For
example, one single mother had been dating a man for six months. The
relationship had become a committed boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.
The boyfriend became acquainted with her three-year-old son and they
liked each other. They had been to the zoo and enjoyed contact around
reading books and having breakfast together. One day, when her son
wanted to play his educational computer game between bites, his mother
was talking to him about the importance of sitting down to dinner
together. She told him that family members are special to one another
and having dinner together was a special time to be together in
families. He took this opportunity to ask her if her boyfriend was a
part of their family. She said "no," he was a good family friend.
This mom's answer clarifies boundaries. She refrained from setting
up false expectations by blurring the line between friendship and
family, even though her son and boyfriend were clearly developing
affection for one another. When, and if, her boyfriend and she do commit
to marriage, he would then be invited into the family with
responsibilities and expectations for full membership!
Of course friendships are important, but it is important that you
protect your child from getting overly involved with men who may appear
as caring parental figures to a child only to disappear later. When in
doubt, err on the side of caution.
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