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Being a Single Parent and Falling In Love Again

single parent

There are 13.7 million single parents in the US who are raising about 22 million children, based on a report released by the Census Bureau. That amounts to about 26 percent of children under 21 in America today, The Spruce says. Given the complications of trying to start a relationship when a child is involved, it’s not altogether surprising that the average single parent is wary of falling in love again.

The hurdle of time

One of the reasons why single parents find it hard to find romantic partners is the lack of time. In the UK, about 70 percent of single parents do not get any opportunities to meet anyone new in their lives. About 80 percent, on the other hand, do not have time to go on dates. This scenario is typical. After working 8 hours a day, parents go home and take care of their kids. This barely leaves any room for parents to meet up with potential romantic partners, let alone go out on dates.

Confidence issues

Another road-black to the road of romance for a lot of single parents are the confidence issues. This is especially true for single mothers who feel that they are no longer as attractive as when they were single. That or that they no longer deserve love, feeling unworthy of the emotion after the last relationship they had, says the Mirror. These issues will need to be worked out. If you find yourself confronted with the thought that you aren’t attractive any longer or don’t deserve to be loved, you can seek out help from experts. Talking to a licensed therapist providing relationship counseling to help you process your emotions and kill those insecurities. Seeking out help from a professional is ideal since it allows you to get to the bottom of the problem. Knowing what instances or situations have spawned these insecurities in the first place makes it easier for you and your therapist to find a way to break the pattern and help you work things out.

The package deal

Anyone who has dated a single parent in the past knows it’s a package deal. That makes it extra complicated since you will need to find romantic partners who can fully accept your children and be willing to commit not just to you but to raising or caring for your kids as well. That can make for a very complicated setup, one which few partners are willing to try out. That adds to the difficulties of falling in love as a single parent.

The energy black hole

Any single parent would tell you that having a child drastically eliminates the trial-and-error aspect of dating. That’s because you can’t go on dates as much as you can to get to know each other because you need to be home to read Dr. Seuss for the nth time. The needs get backlogged, and they’re all important: cuddle your kids and tuck them into bed; take them to soccer practice or their ball games; cheer them up when they lose and reprimand them when they do something wrong. Being a single parent is a full-time job. It’s like a black hole that sucks all your energy in. If you want to meet someone, then you’ll need to juggle a lot of your time. You’ll also need to introduce…

The new friend

It’s not always easy for children who have been brought up by single parents to feel at ease with mommy or daddy’s new friend. If your child is angry, upset or misbehaving, seek out the guidance of an Allen family counselor to help you handle the situation. With a counseling professional, you can find out the best way to introduce your ‘new friend’ to your child, how long you will need to wait and how to reassure your child that you will still love him and that he will still—he will always—come first.

If you don’t know how to express all these thoughts in a way that your child will understand, getting child therapy and adolescent counseling can go a long way to making your child feel secure in the knowledge and certainty of your love as a parent. This is also the perfect opportunity to teach your child that falling in love will not diminish what you feel for him in any way. It just means that falling in love can happen at any time, and that when it does, it can be something special.

About the Author:

Jennifer Slingerland Ryan knows a thing or two about kids and families. First, she knows they are joyous, exhilarating, loving and so darn fun. Second, she knows they suck your life dry and make you weep like a baby. By day she’s a psychotherapist; by night she’s a mom and wife. She claims to love therapizing couples, educating parents, reading dystopian fiction and sleeping in her free time (read: she never sleeps). Jennifer has spent over 12 years in private practice working with individuals, couples, and parents who are faced with kid-drama, mamma-drama, and family-drama, and she claims that although some stories make a grown woman cry, she loves it.
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