Today’s society is full of dating options but it can still be difficult to meet the right person. This is especially true if you have children. Finding someone who is worthy of becoming a part of your child’s life can be a challenge.

Only you can determine what is suitable for you and your family. Following these four rules will help you avoid making critical mistakes that may get you stuck in the wrong relationship.

Rule #1 – Make sure you are both over your previous break up.

Give yourself some time to get over your last relationship before you start to date again. Allow your child to get used to the idea that your previous relationship has ended especially if it was with your child’s parent.

Both of you will have to adjust when a new person comes into our life this can be especially difficult for a child. The rebound is not good for you and certainly not good for them. Taking some time will be helpful in having a healthy fresh start.

Rule #2 – Put your child’s safety first. 

It is wise to get to know who you are dating before you introduce them to your child. Introducing your child to multiple people can lead to safety issues, confusion and attachment to someone who may not be a permanent part of your life.

In addition it may cause you to feel trapped in a relationship you would have other wise let go of because now your child is attached. Keep in mind it takes time to see someone’s true colors. Don’t rush it – be smart.

Rule #3 – Set Boundaries.

As the parent it will be up to you to decide what is appropriate for your child to witness and what example you want to set. Immediate displays of affection and sleepovers may leave your child feeling confused and jealous.

Remaining modest at first in your interactions can set a great example of self-respect and will reduce your feelings of regret if it doesn’t work out.

Rule #4 – Don’t settle.

As the parent it will be important to recognize early on if a person is interested in building a relationship with your child. Assuming you are looking for a long-term relationship you should be asking yourself does this person qualify to be a good stepparent? Are they interested in spending time with not only me but also my child?

How a person interacts and the level of interest shown in getting to know your child is a clear indication of whether or not this person wants the full package. Don’t ignore the signs and don’t settle for someone who is not ALL in.

Being a single parent is tough and can be lonely at times. It is easy to become distracted with the feelings and hope of finding love once again but keep in mind that your choices will have a tremendous impact on your child. Keeping your child’s best interest in mind while trying to find love can be tricky but it can be done.

If you are in need of support, or need someone to walk with you during the journey of single parenthood, please call 407-622-1770 to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.