18 February 2014

Ten Things Not to Say to a Parent on a Date.

All this Valentines Day malarkey has had some of my friends seeming to think I should meet a man and meekly hinting that joining an in internet dating site would be good for me.  I have to admit to balking at the idea.  Like Hell it will I say - have you seen what Kate (Wit Wit Woo) Sutton goes through?  It's hilarious and heartbreaking all at the same time.  She might get some great blogging material from it, but it's certainly not for the faint hearted.

I'm happy as we are, me and my boys and our variety of Foreign Language Students keep things interesting at home, but I know
my friends mean well, banging on talking about their acquaintances who've gone on to marry apparently wonderful partners they've found this way.  In fact, I read recently somewhere that dating sites now account for introducing one in four serious couples.

So perhaps it's foolish to continue resisting with all my might, but presently, that's where I am.  It doesn't mean I'm closed to the idea of meeting a funny, kind and handsome millionaire through other means though and that I haven't secretly made mental notes of these tips provided by eHarmony for any dates that might transpire in the meanwhile.

I actually think they're a great guide for those of us who have never dated as parents and eventually bite the bullet.  It would have been a far less sincere list left to my own devices!



10 things not to say to a parent on a date.

When you are dating a parent, there are a whole new set of challenges involved. You just need to be thoughtful and remember that the needs of a parent are different to those without kids, especially when the children are young. Here are the top 10 things you shouldn’t say or do if you’re on a date with a parent:

1. Don’t say you don’t like children -


This may seem obvious but it’s so important that it’s worth a reminder. It’s unlikely you’ll even get through a whole date if you tell a parent you don’t like kids. If you’ve been matched by eHarmony then this shouldn’t be an issue as it’s one of the criteria we use to pair potential matches.


2. Don’t criticise their parenting skills -


If you do talk about the kids then it’s never a good idea to criticise their parenting skills. Even helpful suggestions can be seen as criticism so you need to tread carefully.

3. Don’t put pressure on your date to meet their kids - 


When to meet the kids is always a tricky question but, ultimately, it’s up to the parent to decide. It’s great to say that you would be happy to meet them but don’t put too much pressure on.

4. Don’t be competitive about your children - 


If you both have kids then try not to talk about them competitively. Showing pride in your children is fine but bragging too much could cause bad feeling.

5. Don’t ask about the father/mother -

Don’t ask questions about the ex – it’s never a good thing to talk about on a date. If they want to confide in you then they will when they feel ready.

6. Don’t say you do or don’t want kids too early on -


Just because someone has children doesn’t mean you have to talk about children. If you say you don’t want kids then they may see this as an insult to their children. If you say you do want kids this may feel like you are pressuring them. This is a conversation best saved for when you know each other a little better.

7. Don’t make unreasonable demands on their time - 

                                 http://www.flickr.com/photos/potzuyoko/7188172030

A parent, especially of young children, will have to prioritise their kids. You will need to be understanding of this and appreciate that you may often come second to the needs of their children

8. Don’t make commitments you don’t mean - 


Parents have different priorities to people without kids. Don’t feel pressured to make any commitments unless you feel ready. It’s better to take things slowly than end up disappointing someone.

9. Don’t ask too many questions about their children - 


Whilst it’s good to show an interest, try not to talk too much about the kids. This date is about the two of you and there will be plenty of time to find out about their children if you both decide to spend more time together.

10. Don’t try to take on a father/mother role too soon - 



Remember that your date’s children already have a father and mother. All families are different and, if your relationship continues, then this is a role that will develop naturally with time.

This is a Partnered Post.

25 comments:

  1. Some very good tips, and probably best not to talk about each other kids or you'll never get to know each other! X

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    1. It's so true and never would have thought of that!

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  2. I love Kate's blog! Dating as a single parent is a complete world away from dating as a single person, all these tips are very good.

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    1. I do too. And we also agree on their tips - good guidance I really think :)

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  3. I must admit I would go out of my way not to mention kids at all, bring on the romancing I say! ;)

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    1. I think I would have used them as a default tbh and would now have to go out of way not to do that!

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  4. Dont turn up to the date claiming to be single but having a Barbie plaster on your cut finger and when asked about it blush profusely and confess you are not quite as single as you implied

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    1. I'll pass that on to them for their next one T! ;) X

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  5. Great list, apart from number 8, which puzzles me a bit! Yes, as a dating parent I had different priorities, but they by no means included a rush to commit- in fact the opposite if anything!

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  6. Really good tips Anya and I think something many people can learn from. The amount of people who I've dated and then wanted the whole shebang immediately is crazy.

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  7. I had never even thought about this, but what wise tips. I have mixed feelings about internet dating. Two good friends of mine met the loves of their lives on the web, so therefore I think it's great, but then I have other friends who have had disasterous experiences. One girl had to pay for everything on a series of dates, and then on her next date ended up with a guy who revealed he was a "wizard" and told her all of this stuff about her future (which of course included him!!) :D

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    1. Lol! Like I say, it's not for the faint hearted and people do find happiness and the advice given here is helpful, I think :)

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  8. It's a minefield! Can't imagine trying to date these days! And people seem under such pressure to be a certain kind of person and fit a mould - what a nightmare!

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    1. I can't imagine it either Mary! And there is enough pressure just to be doing it, let alone in a certain way *faints at the thought*

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  9. I have to admit that if I were single, I "may" consider online dating ..... I do all my other shopping online ;-)

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    1. Never thought of it that way - genius! X

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  11. Some excellent tips, i know some mothers who put pressure on the children to call the boyfriend 'Dad' even when the biological father is still in the picture and that makes me go grrrrrr x

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    1. You're right Angie - they're are lots of tricky situations out there!

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  12. loooooove this post, as im a single parent attempting to get into the dating game myself and never had to deal with dating whilst having a child, so its certainly an experience!

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    1. It makes you re-think the whole conversation, doesn't it?!

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