DatingTips for Single Moms

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“I am a single mom of a three-year-old. I have just begun to date online. I am afraid that my son won’t want to “share” me with anyone and act up. What is the best way to introduce a new friend or date to my son and when is it appropriate for me to do so?”

When you are comfortable, introduce your date to your son as a “new friend.” Friendship is not only the foundation of a viable marriage, but something your child understands! All new friendships do not continue, but good ones evolve. You cannot know the future, so just stay with the present.

First, there is no magic time frame for an introduction. After all, it is important that your son realizes that you need friends — males and females that are your own age. Just as your son has his preschool friends, he will understand that you need adult friendships, too. It is not a matter of competition, so jealousy is lessened from the start.

Second, maintain appropriate boundaries during the dating process in order to protect your child from primary attachment to someone who may just be passing through. It is not the specific amount of time, but the nature of the commitment that evolves between you and a boyfriend that should determine the relationship between your child and a significant other.

Keep your dating life relatively separate from your family life until you know someone well enough to feel they would be a good friend to your son. Start off slowly with limited activities like going to the zoo or having a picnic. Do not assign parental responsibilities to a boyfriend. Wait until there is a clear commitment to the relationship and potential for marriage before considering deepening the involvement with your son.

Finally, answer your child’s questions as honestly as possible. For example, one single mother had been dating a man for six months. The relationship had become a committed boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. The boyfriend became acquainted with her three-year-old son and they liked each other. They had been to the zoo and enjoyed contact around reading books and having breakfast together. One day, when her son wanted to play his educational computer game between bites, his mother was talking to him about the importance of sitting down to dinner together. She told him that family members are special to one another and having dinner together was a special time to be together in families. He took this opportunity to ask her if her boyfriend was a part of their family. She said “no,” he was a good family friend.

This mom’s answer clarifies boundaries. She refrained from setting up false expectations by blurring the line between friendship and family, even though her son and boyfriend were clearly developing affection for one another. When, and if, her boyfriend and she do commit to marriage, he would then be invited into the family with responsibilities and expectations for full membership!

Of course friendships are important, but it is important that you protect your child from getting overly involved with men who may appear as caring parental figures to a child only to disappear later. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Dating Site Tips

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Did You Know?

We want to hear from you… What do you think of our new dating site design and functionality? Are you having problems with any parts of the site? Do you have suggestions for new functionality, or more questions you’d like to see in the profiles? Do you have a Match success story to share? Whatever’s on your mind, if it relates to online dating, we’d love you to tell us about it.

– That you can find people in our database in a number of different ways? Visit the ‘Find People’ section to read the details and choose the method best suited to your needs.
 

– That our ‘Help’ section contains a detailed FAQ? Check it out for answers most of your queries. If you have a question the FAQ doesn’t answer, please ask us.

– Profiles with photos get up to 10 times as much attention as those without photos? Go to ‘My Profile’ and select the ‘Photos’ link to upload yours today.
 

You can easily add other members to your favourites list by clicking the ‘add to favourites’ link on their profile? If you keep interesting profiles in your favorites, you can find them again quickly the next time you visit.

 

You can block messages from another member who may be bugging you, by simply clicking the ‘block him or her’ link in their profile?

 

You can keep an eye on all the newest profiles with photos on the site by visiting the Gallery? The Gallery contains up to 100 of our members’ recently uploaded photos, searchable by country and gender so you can get to the good stuff quickly without wading through masses of photo-less profiles.