#AskMargie: Dating single parents
MANILA, Philippines – Single moms and dads take the spotlight in this week's episode of #AskMargie.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Margie Holmes talks about dating single parents.
Many years ago, dating a single parent was scandalous and also quite puzzling. Why would anyone go out with someone who had “extra baggage” when there were so many single people around?
Happily, we’re more liberal and accepting nowadays, so dating single parents aren’t such a big deal anymore.
And yet…these are the answers I got when I asked: “What should we remember when dating a single parent?”
Jan Gabriel Melendrez Castaneda: Never get in between the parent and his/her child.
Matteo Pirante Perez: Proceed with caution. You should not be introduced until the relationship is serious as the child may be looking for a mother/father figure and being a transient figure may fuck the kid up even more especially if he/she ends up liking you.
Tammie Tam enumerates the do’s and don’ts:
- DO respect their time, they are busy already with work and family responsibilities, they can't just drop things and go or be spontaneous all the time.
- DO see them as a person with sexual and social needs as you would a single person with no child.
- DO respect their privacy with their child.
- DON'T expect to be invited in the house or introduced to the child unless you'll be around for a decent while.
Here’s Miradel Abellana’s list of do’s and don’ts:
- Do assume she needs you to go slowly.
- Do assume that the children — hers or yours — come first.
- Do assume you should have condoms, because some might not want to have another kid
- Don’t assume she’s a desperate single mom.
- Don’t assume your sex won’t be “intercourse interruptus.” – a knock on the door, a wailing kid, etc.
Andrew Craig-Bennett: You must expect the child or children to be very jealous of anyone who takes their parent's attention away from them - this means you! Expect bad behavior aimed at driving you away. The children have already lost one parent and they may be privately terrified of losing the other one. …You need to be very gentle and very patient to gain the child's trust.
Bob Couttie: The child is part of the relationship. It may, though, be easier for a child to accept a surrogate father than a surrogate mother. My father, a wonderful man, was a single parent. He married someone with two children. I was always a second class citizen in the household.
Steve Rogers says: There are societies in which being a single parent still carries a real stigma. In the Philippines, which combines the folly of forcing young people to marry because of a pregnancy with the folly of not allowing divorce... things can get complicated.
Anonymous says: If you’re dating a single dad, expect him to be more cautious. You will have to understand that chances are, the kid is with the mom, so if he has the kid with him he’ll drop everything to spend lots of time, especially if the kid is a daughter. Be supportive. Tell him, “go on, be a dad.” He will love you for it.
As for the kid, wait until she warms up to you. Once the kid does, you can be a friend. Don’t play stepmom until you’re married to her dad. Proceed with greater caution if the kid’s a teenager, harder to handle than the more impressionable kids!
Mei Magsino shares totally different advice that many might have wish they followed: Naku hassle yan! Get a real single date na lang! Mas ok pa rin yung solo mo sya at solo ka nya! Mahirap ang may kahati.
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