“Would you date a single parent?”
And my answer to that is, “Yes, I definitely would.”
If they are a responsible individual and parent and they have reconciled their differences with the father of their child(ren) and moved on, why would dating them be an issue?
My mother was a single parent with two children and my father was a single dad with a son when they met. Therefore, judging single parenthood would mean I am passing judgment on my own parents. I was the first child they had together as a couple—the first born out of their marriage. Had they resented each other for being single parents and buckled to the pressure of other people who had a problem with it, I wouldn’t be here today. The remarkable thing about my parents is that they raised me like I was the fourth born. The fact that my older siblings were step siblings to each other never occurred to me. My parents didn’t keep it secret, they just never brought it up. The only reason I found out was because one of my older brothers showed me our birth certificates when I was ten years old.
So when I say that I could date someone with a child—even two children—I’m not saying it because it’s the politically correct response or something that will score points with the ladies and feminists. I’m saying it because I saw my own parents love and raise my older siblings like their own. They did it without playing favorites; did it without bias or distinguishing between who was their biological child and their adopted one. I say it because I saw my siblings and I—the six of us—love each other regardless of who was blood and who wasn’t. It was my parents that taught me that you can love a child that’s not your own as if it was, and watching my older siblings made me realize that a child can love the person their mother or father is with as if she or he were their biological parent. That to me is all the evidence one needs to know that you don’t have to be biologically connected to be a family.
Any man can be a sperm donor and any woman can be an incubator. Any person can commit to being in a relationship with a single parent but never fully comprehend the responsibility that comes with it. Let’s be honest, some of us like to play house. We like to play mommy and daddy to a kid that’s not ours until reality kicks in and we run having wasted that parent and child’s time and emotional investment in us.
However, if your intentions are sincere and you fully comprehend what you’re committing to then chances are this relationship can work. I’m not just talking about the relationship with the parent, but your relationship with the child as well. It’s about understanding that you’re not there to replace that child’s absent parent, but rather, you’re there to be a responsible adult who might play a big role in that kid’s upbringing. It’s about knowing your place and the boundaries you can’t cross especially when it comes to discipline of that child. It’s about appreciating the fact that the person you are in love with has brought you in their child’s life and therefore you should work hard to never betray that trust and responsibility they’ve extended to you.