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Perils of dating when you are a mum

Relationship experts say children shouldn’t be introduced to the person you are dating until you are sure they will be settling down with you (Shutterstock)

With the current generation, blended families are almost becoming the order of the day with the rising number of single parents joining the dating field. This, has, however, made dating one hell of a task, especially whenever one is taken for a ride. One of the major reasons I have restrained myself from dating is because of my daughter. Relationship experts have made it clear that children shouldn’t be introduced to the person you are dating until you are sure that the person will be settling down with you.

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Now here goes the question, how are we supposed to know that the people we are dating have gotten to that stage where we are sure they will settle down with us in marriage? One minute someone has proposed and even met your parents and the other minute the relationship has taken a nose dive. By that time, you have introduced your young one to this person and you are left with a million questions to answer. Some men know how to play this game really well. Just when you think you have hit a jackpot, you start falling into a bottomless pit. Then the society will be there judging you for introducing your little one to every Tom, Dick and Harry that you meet. Dating as a single parent is like walking on glass, you never know when a piece will prick you.

I don’t know how these men do it, but somehow, they manage to make you think that the time has come to make the introduction only for them to flee afterwards. Dear men, do you really know what you put us through trying to explain where you and your gifts disappeared to without notice? It’s even worse when two single parents start dating and introduce their children to each other thinking it’s the right thing to do. Then afterwards they realise they were not meant for each other and are forced to separate children who have bonded. If there’s one thing that is really holding me back from dating, it’s the issue of putting my child at the risk of emotional torture. And to think that once the introduction is done, our children’ relationship with our partners tend to pick and flourish almost immediately. I now understand those who bid the dating world goodbye until their children become adults. Sometimes it’s just the best thing to do. But then again, my daughter has barely started school and to imagine that I want to bid dating goodbye till she turns 18! Imagine turning down potential husbands because of paranoia! I would however do this and protect my child than try out a relationship and hurt my baby while at it.

Dating as a single parent is like walking on glass, you never know when a piece will prick you (Shutterstock)

Then these children have a way of dragging the past to the present. If you ever happen to introduce your child to someone you are dating and later part ways, trust me, getting that person out of your mind will be one of the most difficult things to do as your child will always bring up the topic. By the way, these children have a way of busting your bubble when you least expect. They will remind you about an ex at that moment when the last thing you want to hear.

I once dated a man with two children, that was years back before I got my daughter. This man introduced me to his children really fast. I was barely into the relationship before the children started calling me ‘Mummy’. Before I knew it, he was tasking me with taking them out for weekend treats in his absence! It was all fun until one day one of the children who was around 10 started telling me how all the other ‘mummies’ who had come before me never used to take them out for treats. To make it worse, the two were from different mothers and every time, I had to stop an argument of ‘whose mother is better than the other’. They knew their mothers well and somehow each of them blamed the other’s mother for the situation they were in. I told myself never again! I don’t know what level of surety we all need to have before making this introduction but at least I know that I am not ready for it.

 

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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