On Finding Love Again As A Widowed Single Mom - Role Reboot
Mar 11, 'My Dad is a superhero' my five-year-old son said during bath time, about a year after his father had died. As all single parents know. Apr 20, The first time you think about dating again, it sounds exciting. Right after a divorce, when separated, some time after a death. And the timeline. There's also the physical element of dating when you're a mom. that bipolar love-my-kids-to-death-but-sometimes-want-to-kill-them persona that goes with Not because I need to be in a relationship, or get married again, or press 'reset' on.
OK, Leslie, can we hear you? Leslie, are you here? Elizabeth, let's go to you, because we're having some technical difficulties, which have plagued us today. So Elizabeth, what about you? You talked about that, too, how the idea of dating again after the loss kind of feels - it's awkward, it's embarrassing. Awkward, and, you know, being a young widow especially, it's a very different experience going back into the dating world after you've thought you've already found the person that you're going to be spending the rest of your life with.
And so you're sort of questioning, how am I going to open up to somebody new and how are they going to understand what I've gone through? And it can be quite terrifying because you don't know how, you know, other people that you're going to be dating are going to accept what you've experienced, and what they might say that's insensitive.
So it's really putting yourself out there. And, you know, it's also very angering because you're thinking, why am I back out here in this dating pool again, you know, I thought I didn't have to go through this anymore.
So, Elizabeth, though, can I ask you, though, is it your feelings or is it the feelings that other people have that is the main issue here?
Some family members were critical of you for that. So is the main thing that causes awkwardness, is it your feelings or is it really other people's feelings? Or you're thinking about what other people are going to say?
Widows: Getting Your Kids On Board With The Dating Game
Well, I really think it's both. I think that, you know, you're judging yourself a lot because you want to honor the memory of your late husband and you don't want to look like, you know - because you don't ever get over a loss, you know, you always carry that with you.
And other people, you know, it's easy for them to say things because they haven't been through it. And so you are sensitive to people saying, oh my goodness, she's moving on too soon or she hasn't grieved her husband long enough, maybe she didn't love him that much.
You know, there's a lot of hurtful things that can interfere with your moving forward. So, you know, I had to put a lot of that in the background to listen to my own heart and what I was ready for.
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And, you know, it can be a challenge but I think when it comes down to it, it's your path and it's your life. And I got lucky because I think a lot of my family and friends were very supportive of me doing what I needed to do.
Leslie, your children are now teenagers. Were they teenagers when you lost your husband, and do you think that's a complicating factor? They're just starting to date. Well, they were 12 and 15, and it is a little bit complicating.
But, in a way, I thought my daughter would see you can go out on a date and if it doesn't work out, big deal, you move on. So there were upsides, as well.
And, in fact, I found that sometimes my - there was one time I introduced my children to a man I thought would be a long-term situation and it - you know, they had a much keener antenna than I did, that he just wasn't that into me. So they actually were helpful in opening my eyes. So it is complicated but, luckily, I had very generous, resilient children who really just wanted me to be happy. And so they sometimes seemed amused by the dating situation and sometimes were really concerned and helpful.
Why the nicknames, Leslie? The "Crunchy Dad" or "Union Guy," why the nicknames? Well, that was initially because I just didn't want them to turn around and Google them as soon as I mentioned the real name.
I thought that would be a little too much information too soon. And I thought, you know, if something seemed like it could be a long-term involvement, then I would, of course, happily introduce them. But I didn't want them to see every awkward step along the way, and it was also a way to keep these men at a certain emotional distance. If I was a bit flip about it, it kept it more lighthearted. What were you afraid would happen if they Googled them? Well, they might - one - a couple of them, I have to say, were sort of well-known guys and I didn't really want them to go into school and say, hey, did you know my mom went on a date with so-and-so?
It just seemed like it would be unfair to the man and just too gossipy.
The Single Parent's Guide to Dating
Did either of you have any role models for this? I mean, as you both pointed out, you don't get married with the idea that you're going to lose the person who you've loved and pledged to love.
I mean, that's generally not the way people kind of go about things. If activities seem too hard on your schedule or psyche right now, Zane says to look into the Internet dating scene. For the timid or busy, it's a great way to get used to the idea of looking for love without the pressure.
Is your child too sick for school? Use our quick quiz to know for sure. Ring Whether you're looking for a fling, a ring, or something in between, remember that dating is part of the journey, not a means to an end, Zane says. You've already had your kids and white dress moment, so there should be no rush to the altar again. How much should I share? It's worth being upfront about the fact you have kids, Zane says.
No date likes to be surprised by that info later on. Other than that, she says, save the details about your children, your custody arrangements, your divorceand your ex for when you know the person better. Instead, focus on topics that are easy to discuss and help you learn about each other.
Telling the Kids Though you may be excited about a new relationship, be extra cautious about sharing this information with your kids. The children may already feel they lost one parent in the divorce, Baumgartner says, you don't want to put them through another loss if this relationship ends.
It's also important to consider the age and personality of your children. If you do break up with someone your kids have already gotten to know, try to explain it to younger children in terms they'll understand.
Baumgartner recommends relating it to friendships your child may have had.
Look at photos if you are shown them. Especially because single parents date on a variety of timelines. Right after a divorce, when separated, some time after a death.
And the timeline is theirs. For them to decide. Being a single parent is pressure enough. As long as you are an involved parent who cares.
Too many of us raises hand have done it too early. Only to realize we made a huge mistake and had to undo what we had done. No matter how well adjusted we think they are as parents.
And you should be really sure that this person is a nice person before you introduce them to your kid s. And that there is potential for them to be around for a while.
On Finding Love Again As A Widowed Single Mom
Marriages so easily break up. A kid night is a night when you have your kids with you as a single parent Five minutes before the date, it could get cancelled. For any number of reasons. Little Timmy just shat himself and threw it on her dress. Penelope, the sweet-faced angel, decided to hold her breath because he was leaving.
Emma, a tween, decided to run out of the house because she promised to watch Modern Family with her sometime. A single parent is about to go out on a date. This is a top 3 perk to being a single parent. Because we all need a break. Do you hear me? You will never come before their kids. Chew on that for a second. I had a great girlfriend a number of years ago. I think we were in love.
Although now I see love differently so maybe not as much as I thought. But it was a nice relationship.