Advice to the Person Dating a Single Parent
Being a single, primary parent is exhausting and a thank-less role. It’s also very easy to slip someone new seamlessly into family life without having to put in much effort. Dating a single, primary parent doesn’t mean that you become an extra child – you’re an adult and need to behave accordingly despite what you observe. Rachael Scharrer, divorce expert and founder of Divorce Answered, shares 12 tips for you to remember:
- Just because my home may be tidy, doesn’t mean that I like to clean. Make sure that you clean up after yourself and clean as you go
- Just because I can create an edible meal, it doesn’t mean that I want to be cooking for you every night. Make sure you take your turn to arrive with everything needed for dinner – even better, clean up afterwards offering a complete night off to the primary parent
- Don’t assume, ask me questions. Take the time to ask questions, don’t assume that you know what I want and how I want it done
- I don’t want a best friend for my kids. I want someone to have my back and lift me up when I need strength. If you aren’t sure how to do it, ask me
- I don’t want to be your parent. I don’t want to cook, clean or pick-up after you. I already do it for the children. Be self-sufficient
- Just because my house looks like it is in some semblance of order, it doesn’t mean that it is, that it was easy or that I am feeling refreshed. Be mindful that appearances can be deceiving
- Add value to my life. Surprise me. If you don’t, then you are like dead-weight that will be easily and quickly cut off.
- I am forever making decisions for myself and my children. Please take initiative to help me without having to be directed
- If I take over when you are trying to help me, bring it to my attention and tell me to sit down. I am not used to having someone assist and it will take a little adjustment time.
- When I have a whinge or vent, I don’t need you to solve my problem. Please sit patiently and listen
- Find out what makes me ‘tick’ and what little things are indulgent to me. Prepare or organise it for me without me having to ask or do it myself
- Don’t expect me to ‘put out’ or pander to you every night. I am exhausted – sometimes a massage, cuddle or watching TV while holding my hand is exactly what I need
Generally, primary parents are able to seamlessly do things for the new partners in their lives and they make it all look so easy. However, they don’t want to be another person’s ‘slave,’ no one does! Domestic chores, coordinating dates, adding value to each other and creating spontaneity in a relationship involves effort from both people for it to be a lasting, positive and beneficial relationship.