How to Date While Raising a Teenager
Divorced, widowed, separated, or just single from day one; these are all circumstances that arise that leave countless parents fending for their kid(s) well-being while trying to get their groove back and find a new soul mate.
As you ramp yourself up mentally and physically to embark upon the dating scene, it is important to understand the perspective of your teenager, internalizing some of the hardships that they may endure with the thought of you replacing or filling the shoes of your counterpart.
For starters, they may not be so welcoming to the notion of a new person entering their domain, the home they have come to know as a safe haven for you and them. Now consider that they are probably not going to be so understanding and receptive to the notion of another adult coming into the picture to pass judgment and lecture do’s and don’ts.
You, as the parent, much wholeheartedly put your child’s best interest first. It is not their fault for the position that they are in, and you must articulate that to them with words and affection. It is vital for your teenager to know and feel that you are not abandoning them, most especially during the years in their life that are most fundamental to their growth as an adult and the groundwork for how they will conduct themselves in their own relationships.
Sit down and talk.
Most of the time people assume that those closest will inherently know and understand the reasons why people do things. This is not one of those times to play mind or guessing games. You need to be direct with your teenager, forward in your delivery of how you are missing something in your life that you so long to have; but make a clear distinction that you are not looking for a replacement to the bond that you share.
Of course we all long for companionship, such is life, so do not feel beside yourself for wanting someone by your side to comfort you. Go out and date, tests the waters to see what lies beyond the horizon; that is the only way you are going to find someone whom would live up to your expectations, which should be greatly elevated so they can be a positive role model for your teen.
If and when you do find that right person, understand that initially there may be an undertone of hostility and awkwardness between your teen and your new boo. But know that it is only a sign of love from your teen. It shows how much they care for you and how they do not want anyone to come along that will hurt you.
What Would Simeon Do?
I can recall meeting my stepfather for the first time at a young age. Within a couple months of meeting him my parents got married and within that year I had a baby sister. Talk about an emotional and mental overload. There was a lot of resentment in the beginning. I felt like I lost my single mother, my crutch and confidant, to a new family.
As I look back at the situation, I realize that I just wanted her to be happy. But what I would have appreciated was a chance for her to talk with me and let me know about the void in her life that I could not fill. Teenagers are far from being naive about what goes on, and are a lot more adept at processing information then you may care for, so you have to respect them as an adult with maturity and respect. Talk with them with the same care and thoughtfulness you would with someone whom you would want right by your side.
Remember, your teen was once your baby. You can never lose sight of what is in their best interest, even while going out and finding your unicorn.