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Dating these days can be complicated. When you have a child (or children) it becomes even trickier to navigate. However, it can be done, and you shouldn’t let the fact that you have a child discourage you from meeting your potential Mr. Right. While it’s okay to date as a parent, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration when figuring out how and when to do so, in order to make the process go smoother.

To introduce or not to introduce: both are okay

There are so many different opinions on whether or not kids should be introduced during the dating phase. You have some people saying that potential partners should be introduced to your kid early on, so that time won’t be wasted if there is a disconnect between the two. Then you have others that feel that kids shouldn’t be introduced to partners until there is a serious commitment involved. Whether you decide to wait or introduce your child early on, be confident in your decision. Your child is an important part of your life that should be no secret, withnor should you feel uncomfortable letting potential partners know they exist and how significant they are. Understand that you can let someone know you are a parent and how significant that role is in your life without actually introducing that child to your partner right away. Those two things are not synonymous.

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Kids pay attention

If you are someone who feels that introducing your child to partners upfront is important to you, be mindful of how often you do so. A suggestion would be for you to establish a set amount of time that must pass before you make the decision to introduce your child to anyone new. Children pay attention to their parents, and you don’t want your child to get comfortable with meeting someone new every time you do. This will send an idea to your child that people are disposable and it is normal for adults to switch partners quickly. That may not be exactly what you’re doing, but understand that a child may see things that way.

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Vibes don’t usually lie

It’s extremely important (especially for younger children) to pay attention to their interactions and vibes with your partner they’ve been spending time around. Children often give off signs that something is not right, particularly when they’ve been molested or are being abused. With the numbers for those crimes and child murders rising, it’s very important to be mindful of not just the type of person you have around your child, but also the dynamics between them (good or bad). Dangerous people don’t have a specific uniform, and abusers/molesters of children often come in familiar, friendly faces. Pay attention to your child’s reaction to your partners, no matter how old they are. Allow them to be comfortable expressing their opinions about the partner to you so that they may feel more inclined to tell you if something is not right.

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Don’t be afraid to get out there and date. Having a child doesn’t stop you from being a great catch, and the right person will accept and love your child just as they care for you. Just remember that keeping your child safe is more important than meeting Mr. Right, and don’t overlook red flags that will endanger you or your loved ones.

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