Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dating with children

With offspring in the mix, there is more than one relationship to consider

Written by Lucy Cavendish
I am going to be really honest here – dating when you have children is really, really hard.

LucyCavendishTake my scenario. A year ago, I met a fantastic man. We sat next to each other at a dinner party. I found him handsome, witty, artistic, funny. When the evening ended, he asked me for my telephone number and I gave it to him. Cue forwards six months. We are together. We have had a wonderful time with each other. I have seen him every other weekend (when my ex has my four children) and we have done things I haven’t done in years. We went camping. We cooked duck breast on an open fire. We dived in to the river and swam late at night. We rowed down the same river to see where Constable painted the Hay Wain. It was just magical and wonderful and…..then it was time for him to meet the kids. This sent me in to a panic. My children aren’t, let’s face it, easy going. Whose children are? Most of them – if you have kids and are single – have been through some form of relationship break-up. It is unbelievably nerve-racking to introduce a new person to the children when, in your heart, you suspect they just want you to get back together with their father.

But this is what you need to know – This Is Not True! I realised, when my kids met this man, that they just wanted me to be happy. As long as he made me happy and he wasn’t throwing his weight around, they were very welcoming towards him. That doesn’t mean to say my eldest son was. He is a teenager, head of the family, and he was furious. But my smaller three were very sweet and welcoming. We all even went on a holiday together and things were looking pretty good.

I don’t want to put a dampner on this. Our relationship, in the end, didn’t work out but that wasn’t because of the children – many other factors came in to play. But while he was around and we were together, I think we showed the children what dating could be like – fun, inclusive, loving even. I think children are happier to take a whirl on this than us parents are. I always thought having four children would be a hindrance but that turned out not to be the case.

There are men out there who have the generosity of spirit to enjoy a family life, to revel in it. Children are wonderful and they give energy to all who surround them. Single-parents with kids who are back on the dating scene need to remember this!

FIVE TOP TIPS
1) Relax – date as much as you like and enjoy it
2) Recognise you have children and that they are a major part of your life but take time to enjoy yourself as well
3) You are a separate entity to your children and you deserve to have some free time to enjoy that
4) When the time comes, introduce your children to your new person with confidence
5) Your children will be led by you – if you are happy, they will recognise that!

For more articles and dating services for over 45s please visit: www.lovebeginsat.com


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