My personal solution here is to ask my boyfriends to work by the rules of a public swimming pool: if you wouldn’t get away with it there, don’t do it in front of my son. But it also means more special time as a couple when you do manage to escape for those precious nights away (once you’ve found a very trusted babysitter, of course).Perhaps it’s only natural for the person you are dating to think about the future with you, given your life situation as a parent. When you’re a parent, things can feel even tougher.When I first started dating again after my son (who is now three) was born, my confidence and self-belief couldn’t have been lower.
Someone recently broke up with me because they just “couldn’t get their head around being a dad”. He just went all Mystic Meg and couldn’t handle it.Having recently read an article describing What A Single Mom Wants In A Boyfriend I began asking myself exactly what I was looking for in a woman with whom I choose to have a relationship. Recently, after a brutal 14-month custody battle, I was finally granted 50/50 custody of her and no longer limited to being an every-other-weekend dad.You might think that change shouldn’t have a significant effect on the qualities I look for in a woman, but it absolutely does.But it’s taken me a while and a lot of bad dates to get here. When I first returned to dating, I didn’t mention my son on my online dating profiles, or when I met men in real life.Because of the stigma surrounding single parents and myths I was believing at the time, my subconscious told me I would have more luck keeping my profile baby-free. On my first date after being pregnant, dumped and giving birth – when my self-esteem had hit rock bottom – I sat opposite a man who visibly quivered when I revealed I was a mum and compared my child to his ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease.The problem is theirs, don’t waste time feeling like it’s yours.Which leads on to…It’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing you have to explain how you came to be a single parent.If you find yourself in a similar situation, use it to your advantage, and remember: having a child helps you sort people into a ‘worth it’ and ‘not worth it’ pile early on.Finally, a family isn’t incomplete just because it doesn’t fit in with traditional roles.In the early stages of dating, that’s really none of anyone’s business. Know anyone you meet will be lucky to get such a fabulous two, three or however-many-it-might-be-for-one deal.You know your child is the best person ever so why assume another person will feel any different?