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 - 


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.