Parents... are you ready to date or more?
It seems to be a common theme on here where people have rushed into dating/living together/new babies and marriage much quicker than logic would dictate. We all see the fallout. The complications.. the crapshows.
So, this is some advice for PARENTS out there thinking about getting into the dating world and a few ways you can tell whether you really are ready to dip your toe in that pool.
1. You are "done" with your EX. Really and truly, it is ideal if you can wait until the dust settles from your last relationship disaster before you go searching for Mr or Ms Right. Ideally, the divorce and custody orders would be set and final, but at the very least, you should have a legal separation from a soon to be EX spouse. If you weren't married, any legal ties should be tied off (no joint car loans...etc). I am not saying this for the victorian mindset that you are committing adultery. I'm saying this because when there are third and fourth parties involved in the end of time legal wranglings.. emotions can be high.. and people can become much more set on 'winning'. I know this may be particularly tough when it takes a long time to legally finalize when parties are being high conflict.. but it is simpler when you don't have your new BF or GF tossing in their 2 cents from the sideline. (which can rathet up your oponent even further too).
2. Your kids sleep in their own beds. This comes up on here way too often. Why on earth would a parent think it was OK for their child to sleep with their new BF or GF? Why would they think that their new SO wants that either. If you are so enmeshed with your child that you can't sleep in your own beds.. wait.
3. You struggle with raising your kids on your time. If you are struggling, you don't need the "help" of a partner.. you don't have TIME to be dating because you need to spend more of it figuring out how to parent effectively. This likely applies to men more than women who often seem to think that us single gals are crazy when we don't want to play mommy to their kids by former relationships. You travel and think it will be great because the SO can watch them? NO NO NO. Figure out your parentiing.. THEN you may be ready to date.
4. Your goals for dating include the need for someone to share your financial burdens. Get a 2nd job.. instead of dating people that should not be responsible for paying for your child(ren).
5. Your kids are a mess. Young, through Adult. If your kids have serious issues.. work on them without the interference of a new person in your life. Your new partner doesn't need to suffer because you are a crummy parent.
6. You let your EX schedule your life.
Look.. in the end, it's awfully selfish to bring other people into the toxic stew of your life when you don't have your things in order. Is it lonely.. sure.. but lots of people on this site really suffer because their partner jumped into dating way too soon.. it's really unfair to hold yourself out as available.. when many times you really aren't.
I'm sure there are others..