How do you start dating again?

Karen - posted on 11/30/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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my ex and i split up when my daughter was 5 weeks old, she's now 10 months old. an old friend of mine wants to take me out, i really like him, he has always been a good friend of mine but i feel guilty for wanting to go. my ex is supposed to get my daughter everyother weekend but until this last month (after i threatened to take him back to court to get sole custody) it was more like once every 5 or 6 weeks. i only have one friend that i would trust to babysit but she is going through a divorce right now and i won't ask her to do that for me. my friend has offered to take both me and my daughter out for a family friendly evening instead of the usal kind of date but i don't want my daughter getting attached (especially since her dad hasn't shown much of an interest in her until this last month) to him then have things not work out. part of me really wants to start to move on with my life but the other part thinks it's too soon and my daughter's to young. any thoughts??

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Autumn - posted on 12/02/2010

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well IF her part time father doesn't get her how about inviting him for pizza and a movie at ur house after she is tucked away in bed???? would u be comfortable doing that ur friend should understand..

Sharon - posted on 12/08/2010

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From personal experience I would not let anyone close to my child that I am not serious with... My son is 6 now and I split with his dad when he was 3. I dated 3 men within the 1st year or so and I let all 3 men get close to my son - when the relationships broke up it wasn't only me that got hurt - my son did too. Ive now been on my own for 2 years and there's no way I would let a new man play a part in my sins life for a long long while.... I think if you are ready to date someone new then you should do it without your daughter around... Get a baby sitter or invite him to yours when she's in bed. Any decent man would totally understand and respect your wishes.

Amanda - posted on 12/07/2010

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I used to date and not worry about the kids meeting the guy. if they did then they did if they didnt then that was fine too. if you seperate the relationship then they will feel like the other person is taking you away from them and it helps get them used to meeting other people in their lives. we all have people that we meet and then they go out of our lives. as long as the family stays together it is good to keep everything new and exciting. but that is just my opinion. Have a great holidays everyone.

Quita - posted on 12/29/2010

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Okay I was in your shoes as well and my daughter was 3 when I did start to do a little dating. Yes, it's very true you don't want to bring someone into your child's life to soon but, if he is a friend then he is a friend. If you want to spend some time with your friend wait until your daughter is asleep. Understand this, your daughter is 10 months old and as much as you have to protect your child you also have to have some mommy adult time. And what that means is you need to spend time with another adult or your will lose your mind. Trust me when i tell you that.

Jacqui - posted on 12/11/2010

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well i think you are blowing this up! He is friend already right? so you keep him as your 'good friend' you go for picnics, go watch a movie, go for something to eat whatever friends do together. For crying out loud she is only 10months!!! i think you are hiding behind your daughter.
I have a 7yr old that i am hoping to adopt after fostering him for the past 6 1/2 yrs. We have started the home ass now. Anyway, my point is - I have been separated from my ex for the past 3 1/2 yrs. My son made the decision not to see him anymore and as he was the foster father, by law he has no rights to fight it. I have been on a few dates with 2 guys during this time, both he has met and both are still friends with me and my son. Its how you handle it with them (your kids in your case your daughter)They have come over to my place for pasta and wine while he has been in bed when i couldn't sort out minders and he is no worse off then he was before.
So i guess i m trying to say - as long as you are ready, go for it and have fun - dates do not have to end up in bed! - not at first anyway so get to know him and he to know you and then go to the next level if it feels right.

Hope you all have a fab xmas!

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hold on to what you have but let life happen. do care about your child don't let any men take you for what you have and ruin it. that will happen if you get involved it will become a win lose situation in all relationships . take it from a pro my daughter and I grew up together my husband and I split when she was three. years later and many bad experiences with "old friends" who want to be helpful wind up getting involved more than I wanted to be involved what happened another heartbreaking breakup on top of another then another.. hello?! its bad . don't want to bum you out or make things worse sounding than they really are. I had fun lots of love and laughter, love is not all bad kids are great none of it is easy but we live on .from my past experience I would hesitate and hold back on any and all serious relationships with other men for a while sit back and think life is ahead of you and time is moving fast for us all n this particular time of living . its hard . but if I had to do it again I would have fought double hard to keep any and all men at a distance no matter how lonely and bored I became. they all want a relationship or sex which most decent women want more from a man than sex . so to avoid feeling cheap or used for sex and not wanting to commit the difficulty is present for all who are single in modern times men and women. my advice is to fight off your feeling and care for your child or give up the child and care for yourself . hire a full time nanny or a sitter or family member if you have to find a man to take care of you that is all you can do. a best girl friend is probably your best bet for company and that is the truth. .

Bianka - posted on 12/29/2010

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Your daughter is only, I guess a year old now. She does not understand what is going on around her. I feel that you should go on a date with your friend and have fun. You

Trisha - posted on 12/27/2010

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I feel as a child gets older it's harder to date. I am in the same situation as you. The father of my daughter only wants to be around when it's good for him. I have a life and I deserve to live it. I don't have options for a babysitter. My daughters dad watches her one day a week and if I need him any other time it's impossible to get that. So I had to make a big choice whether to take my daughter on a date with us. I made that choice and don't regret it one bit. My daughter at the time was just a year old. We dated for a few months and we are really good friends. And my daughter is still around him. He's a great person, a great father to his own kids, a great role model, and a great father figure for my daughter. And if I didn't feel he was this type of person my daughter never would of been around him from the start. As my daughter gets older I will make different choices as dating goes.

Nisha - posted on 12/16/2010

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i have a 3 year old me and her father split a month after her birth. i was very nervous about dating and fear that she would get attach. i have learn to go on dates even with my kids but i have rules. me and boy friend go to kid friendly places for dates instead of a quite dinner. be a good parent but don't let life pass you by

Lisa - posted on 12/16/2010

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Before you start going out there just take time for you and the baby get to know your child and the rest will come. Enjoy these days with her.

Maddy - posted on 12/13/2010

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i split with the father of my now 2y/o daughter about 8 months ago. i went on a few dates (mainly to keep my sanity!), but never introduced anyone to my daughter. then i started seeing a friend, we kept it really casual, and we hung out both alone and with my daughter. i think it's important to see how he copes with dating someone who 99.9% of the time has a child present. it's encouraging that he's already so accepting of you having a child. make time for yourself (dating) but keep clear boundries about who sees your daughter and under what circumstances. as many other mums here have said, wait until you know this guy better before introducing them to eachother, and even then take it slow, after all, dating isn't your top priority, your daughter is! any man who's willing to take it at your pace so that you and your daughter are comfortable, is the right man for you as a mum to be dating. and anyone that considerate of your needs and your childs needs, will probably be mature enough to keep in contact with your child even if your relationship goes sour! good luck!

Beverly - posted on 12/13/2010

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Don't be in any hurry to date too soon. It takes time to heal after a relationships has ended. Its ok to have male friends, and one evening out with your daughter isn't going to hurt, but I agree with some of the other posts-don't feel like you have to introduce each new guy to your child. Its very confusing. I made that mistake after my divorce too, and its not good for the kids. Its too confusing. You have a right to a social life, but take things slow. Your daughter will respect you more for it in the long run.

Jennifer - posted on 12/13/2010

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If he is truly about you and your child this is a great opportunity to find out!! TELL HIM how much you would enjoy going out with him but it just isn't working out for you. Talk to him about how you really dont trust alot of people watching your kid (good mom btw) and if he is a man of respect and character than he will not stop extending friendship to you but will be able to set himself aside to see where you are at FIRST! :) WHOA! Is it a risk? But that is the first step in getting ready to date again.. its being honest and discerning. I made a grave mistake and I suffered for it bad.. but I've learned from it. Sounds like your last relationship was rocky and have you stepped back to consider a little more time to figure you out and just maintain friendships in the process.. having a new man won't ever fix whatever were the issues with the other man.. it starts with seeing ourselves and getting ourselves healed first... it may help with better lasting friendships that could lead into a GREAT RELATIONSHIP.. I say that in caps as I am seeing this bloom in my life now and it was a year of alot of "no's" and alot of guys leaving.. well the last thing we need is a guy who is going to leave at first notion he may not always get his way.. right? isn't that what got most us IN this boat? Being a single parent and dating one will require a strong person to be in your life.. there are just no exceptions and with the world lacking in committment and values at devastating numbers (men and women) it can appear daunting.. I say if you feel stuck in options and have not told him how you feel or where you are at.. examine why you arent telling him these concerns.. sure he may reject you at first.. but he WILL respect you as a great mom.. and respect is a great start right?

Melissa - posted on 12/13/2010

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Your daughter's only ten months old. I think it would be ok to take her on a couple of dates with this guy if you have babysitting issues and he's ok with it. My daughter just turned two and I took her on a couple of dates when she was younger. She didn't bond to either guy and she doesn't remember either of them. In my case, my daughter has met a ton of my friends (some male) so meeting new people isn't unusual.

Now as your daughter gets older, the risk of her getting attached could become a problem. But if you start putting out some feelers now, you might solve your babysitting problem by the time that happens.

Good luck! I don't think it's too soon to move on with your life if you're ready to do so and a nice guy wants to date you. I think that's what we're all hoping for - I know I am.

[deleted account]

Hi Karen.
I made a mistake and introduced my then nearly 5 year old daughter to my "friend" and we did lots of stuff together with her. I feel bad now. It had been less than a year since her Dad, my husband had passed away, but I didn't want to be alone. Very hard times.
She got to know my "friend" and started to really look up to him as a father figure. She even said that she loved him. This made it extra complicated when I broke it off realizing that I needed to deal with my grief and do what was right by my daughter. There were many questions I had to answer to my daughter and I definitely confused her. I confused myself too.
I think it's partially this and another dating situation that makes her not want me to date. It seems that we are both happy having "our life" right now.
I realize that if I want to date I will have to try desperately to get my sister, the one of the very few people I trust, to watch my girl. It's been three years since my husband's death and it may take awhile for me to even really get there. But, I know better now because I learned from my mistakes that I would tell my that daughter I would be going out with an old friend. If the dating turned into a relationship over quite a lot of time, I would then carefully prep her and introduce her to my boyfriend.
However, for right now, I want to spend my time focusing on my girl as these years are passing so fast and now she's getting clsoer to the age of 8 and I dont' want to miss a thing! I'm a single Mom and I think dating would take away some of my priorties, the number one priority being my daughter.
Mistakes are great opportunities for learning. I remembered that quote from a parenting class I took a long time ago. It's so true.
I wish you the best no matter what you choose to do. Just make sure you put your daughter and you first. ♥

Kylie - posted on 12/12/2010

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I started dating again when my daughter was 1 1/2 it only lasted a 4 mths. He was really great with her and my daughter liked him. When we broke up she never asked about him. Your child is young and prob wont remember your man either unless of course it lasts. You deserve to b happy 2

Sherry - posted on 12/11/2010

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Personally, I don't think that now is a good time to be dating anybody. Any time away from your child is time that you will never get back. I have been a single mother for almost 6 1/2 years (haven't seen sperm donor since I was 7 months pregnant). Every moment I spend with my daughter is precious. She still wants to have me around. I went on one date about 6 years ago, and I felt awful choosing to be with this guy instead of my daughter.

I am only 37. There will be plenty of time to spend with a man when she is grown. I am away from her enough as it is when she is at school and I am at work.

I also don't want to introduce her to somebody that has a good chance of not being around later on. It is hard enough on us. I don't want to him to break her heart as well.

Donna Leah - posted on 12/10/2010

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I wouldn't know what to do either. what is important is that my children doesn't get their heart broken by my wrong decisions. so i guess it would be smart to leave the guys at a safe distance. :)

Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2010

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first things first - are you comfortable with the thought of dating? it is not to soon if you feel ok with it all. your daughter is still at an age where she will not get attached to someone unless they are around rather often. if you enjoy the company of this friend and he is willing to take both of you out - enjoy the evening. speak with your friend about how uncertin you are about the whole dating thing and want to start off as friends if it makes you feel better.

you have every right to get on with your life...

Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2010

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My daughter was 8 when I divorced her father. I chose to be a career mom in-lieu of dating.

Seriously! Why would you threaten an adult? When it comes to your child you don’t have to speak. Actions are the only words you need. What did you think was going to happen when you threatened him?

This is your life! You hold the cards and drive the bus, not your daughter’s father. We all have to live with the decisions we make – good, bad or mistaken slips of the tongue. She’s ten months old. It’s not like she’s talking and can easily distinguish between the two in a manner that would scare her for life.

If you say this man is an old friend, why are you questioning if you should allow him to take the both of you out? Friendship can lead to a lot of things but in this case except it for what it is. There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to have a life and be happy.

Before I go…..If you don’t know what you want in a mate and you’re willing to date until you find it; you really need to get to know who you are. Date around but do not involve your daughter in any the mayhem.

Janet - posted on 12/10/2010

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i've been divorced since '02 and haven't dated, but am now involved in a long distance relationship with a man who like me has been through divorce, is a single father of two teenaged boys as my son is 161/2 and between his two which are a year younger and older. i can't wait to meet him as he's coming up here to visit in june for 1-2 weeks, will be flying up and possibly visiting us for one of the two weeks as he wants to finish hiking the dalton/north adams part of the applachian trail he's not finished in this state and that's just to the west/northwest of us here. i've not dated as my ex thank god is long gone and doesn't want anything further to do with my son and visa versa. i can't wait to get back into going out and having relations with a man again it's been since '01 and a long time coming! have really missed the companionship as well as being with another significant soul mate! just take it one day at a time as things will start to sort themselves out bit by bit. natty was deeply hurt by my ex for stopping gifts as when it came to his birthday a few months after christmas he was expecting something special after sending his picture and list of potential gifts he wanted. his birthday came and went, then a few months later we found out via court that he had fled and was sticking me with his creditors as well as other bad phone calls, but all's i had to do is to call my lawyer tell her what was going on and she went to court to stop all action being taken against me at that time. they eventually found him and served him with court papers, but he fled again underground and just was found 1 year ago this past september, forced to get a job or be deported and or jailed too! well now am getting just $100 a month but it's likely for the rest of his life seeing he owes us in the upper thousands. good riddance to him if he wants to see natty, it's going to be in a very public spot and in the middle of large crowds so he won't be able to get away with anything at all! nat knows he can't be nasty and will have to start anew, but otherwise is planning on changing his last name sometime in the next 3-5 years when he's got the cash to do it as he no longer wants anything to do with his father including his last name!k but again it's totally up to him, i'm not getting involved in any decision making as he'll be 18 in 2 years time and a legal adult. he's already made some good decisions of a speciality school or working in a restaurant to gain experience as that's the field he's chosen to go into to be a cook or pastry chef.

Mbali - posted on 12/09/2010

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Follow your heart dear and always put your child first. I also recently separated with my Son's dad and it hasn't been any easier as my son is inlove with his dad, and I would not introduce him to anyone untill I am ready to move on to a serious relationship. Taking time off is important, you and your daughter both need it, time to be just yourself dear, clear your mind and make the right decisions.

Lori - posted on 12/09/2010

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I am having a similar struggle. My daughter is almost 6 and I left her father 4 years ago. I really have not dated, as I have been so busy with other things. I recently decided it may be time to start dating again. My daughter has met a couple of my male friends, but not a boyfriend. With your daughter being so young, I would not worry too much. A date or two will not create a serious bond, and she won't remember it later if it doesn't work out. I always wanted to wait until a relationship was serious to introduce my daughter, but then if it doesn't go well, I am already seriously involved. What do you think about introducing as a friend rather than a boyfriend? Does that make a difference?

Melissa - posted on 12/09/2010

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My guy friends have always been adopted uncles for my daughter. She's 4yrs old and my last serious bf I met when she was about 9months old and we were together for almost 2.5yrs...kids are smart, despite her dad hardly being around she knew who her dad was/wasn't. If you really like the guy then go ahead and go out for a day together with your daughter. No one said u couldn't just hang out.Nothing wrong with it and it'll give ya time to get to know each other more without the pressures of being a date date. Dating and being a single mom can be hard sometimes, but be it this friend of yours or another guy, you'll eventually find Mr. Right for ya'll. I didn't think I would but I have in a single dad who's daughter is about 9.5 months younger then my daughter. He's a great guy/father, treats my daughter equal to his, makes me feel special/wanted/loved and I can't wait to see where things go.

Andrea - posted on 12/09/2010

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What about a coffee date during the day, with your daughter? Keep the date on a low key, and see how things go. If he and you are going to get serious, he's going to have to have some involvement with your child, so you need to know that he can handle it, ad that they get along.
Then maybe when your ex has your daughter, you can go out on a real date.

Ryan - posted on 12/07/2010

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Take your friend up on her offer. Its possible that babysitting your daughter will help her take her mind off whats going on in her life. You need your you time whether its for dating or not. As far as introducing a guy to her goes, I'd say don't do it till you know the guys gonna stick around.

Shell - posted on 12/02/2010

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If your happy your daughters happy. Life is too short to wait. This could be just a few dates and thats it and would be nothing more for you daughter to attach to. Once they are older it gets harder.

Tina - posted on 12/02/2010

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I too was in your shoes, except my son was 9 at the time. I also have no real support system as far as babysitters and the like either. If his father doesn't take him, I don't go. It is that simple.
Being that your daughter is only 10 months old I can't see how ONE date will get her attached to this man. If you two hit it off however, I think you'll need to come up with some sort of plan so you two can have date nights though.
I am a believer in not introducing kids to significant others until you are sure the relationship is going somewhere, KWIM?
I have just crossed this threshold with my son and it was scary! LOL but my son and honey really hit it off well and so far so good!

I'd suggest if you have a daycare or playgroup she attends, get talking to other parents. Maybe you and another parent could switch off, you watch their child so they can go out and then they watch yours? Good luck to you and I hope it works out!

Elizabeth - posted on 12/02/2010

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From what I've read and experienced it's not good to let your kids meet a new boyfriend or potential boyfriend in your life, until it's a serious relationship so that it won't be so confusing for the baby. I think it will be worth the wait, if the guy understands then you know he could potentially do well in your daughters life so I think waiting for a good baby sitter would be the best thing for you and your daughter :)

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