Dating as a Single Parent
- Friday, August 26, 2011
In regards to your second question, I would be very careful as to how soon you introduce someone you’re dating to your children. Our emotions can get the best of us and many times fool us. Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Oh, how true! I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the initial “romance” of a new relationship and to miss some major clues or red flags that are there as warning signs for our protection. Wait until some of the fire has died down, so to speak. And then see what you think. Once you have been able to discern the situation and observe this person’s heart, then you can decide if this person is someone you want your kids to get to know (keeping in mind that their hearts will open up to this person as well, as they see that your heart has already opened). In fact, you might even wait until you know if this is someone you want to marry (as in, right before you get engaged). I know that could be a while, but in some cases it might be the best thing to do. And then introduce this person to your children gradually during the engagement period.
Your children are your most valuable, tangible possessions here on earth. You would give anything for them. They are your heart, running around outside of your body. And so as with a dating relationship that deals with your heart, you must also protect theirs as well and proceed with caution. Are they emotionally ready to see you with someone else? Can they handle seeing you with someone who is now filling the role (in their minds) that was left by your former partner or spouse? Children are still so very vulnerable, and their understanding very limited. Introducing someone too soon could scare them and cause some troublesome issues. I would weigh the timing of the introduction very carefully in your efforts to always place the emotional security and well-being of your children first.
In closing, and in all matters, I advise you to bathe both of these questions in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27). Do you have friends or relatives who can pray alongside you that you would make dating decisions that honor the Lord? Perhaps you could even introduce whomever you are going out with to these individuals first. People who have known you for a long time sometimes can see things you cannot, and they also know you very well and can help you to see what you’re missing and also what is a good fit for you.
Prayer and accountability with fellow believers are the best ways to safeguard yourself—and your choices—before dipping your toes once again into the dating waters.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you.
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