Dating A Single Mom - Discipline and Parenting Styles Can Be Deal Breakers
Dear April Masini,
I'm a divorced dad who is currently dating a divorced mom. I am really attracted to her, but she seems to still have unresolved issues about her divorce. As a result, she overindulges her twelve year old son and makes excuses for his bad behavior and his bad grades. She is always buying him things and covering for him. I know her son is not necessarily a bad kid, but I worry what it would be like living with another parent with such a different parenting style. I'm also concerned about the impact this may have on my kids. Do you have any advice on whether or not there is a future for us and our relationship?"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Dating Deal-Breaker,
Listen to your instincts! Give your girlfriend some room and some time to work out her issues, and give yourself the opportunity to assess if the two of you are really compatible before you move any further in this relationship. During this process, I think that it's very important for you to date other women to see what else is out there. After all, you have more than just you to think about.
Parenting styles that differ CAN be a deal breaker when divorced moms date divorced dads. Yes, dating IS more complicated for divorced parents because it's not just the two of them. It's the two of them, their kids, their kids' other parents, other grandparents, etc. When singles date there are certain areas that are important in order to make a relationship work -- like religion, socio-economic background and present, sexuality, work ethic, energy levels, etc. If the discrepancy between two singles dating in any of these areas is too great, the relationship may very well not work. When divorced parents date, parenting styles and issues surrounding the children DO count as potential areas of compatibility or deal breakers.
A discrepancy in how a divorced mom parents her son, and her own conflict about her divorce and it's affects on her son, can negatively affect her relationship with the divorced dad she is dating if they marry, and it will definitely affect any blended family dynamics, negatively.