Guest Post: Tips for Dating Parents of Teenagers

The following guest post was submitted to me last month. The topic of “teenagers” isn’t one that I typically address on this blog, but it is appropriate to many who are divorced and dating. Enjoy!

Tips for Dating Single Parents with Teenagers

Statistics say that one in five new relationships begin on the Internet, meaning that 20% of the couples out there are using online dating sites to meet up. This is a number that’s only going to expand in the future, and the effectiveness of online dating sites is
extremely apparent in our culture.

Online dating attracts people from all walks of life, but it especially attracts divorcees looking to get back into the dating game.

This is a time where you may feel very apprehensive, especially if you happen to meet someone with children.

It’s not at all uncommon to meet a divorced man or woman who’s also a mother or father, and there are certainly enough helpful articles around offering practical advice on how to go about dating someone with children. But what do you do when the guy or gal you like has teenagers? Is it a completely different ballgame?

Here are a few tips for dating single parents with teenage children.

1: Don’t Force Yourself into Their Lives

If things are going well, you may want to insert yourself into this teenager’s life. With younger children under 10 or so, it’s a little easier to earn their acceptance if not their trust after a while. With a teenager, however, they’re already fully aware of what
relationships are, and they’re usually going to be a little bitter about a potential mom or dad replacement.

Being a part of their lives and being there if they need you is a great way to build the relationship, but interjecting yourself into their lives and trying to play the buddy or the parent will really only create more separation.

2: Stay Out of It

You can probably remember being a teenager, right? Well, you know that hormones are raging, you’re always right about every decision, and you never want to be told what to do by anyone.

Dating a single parent with a teenager means you’re most likely going to witness many arguments. It’s important that you stay out of these while they’re happening.

After the fact, you can console your partner and take their side, or even speak with the kid away from his or her mother or father, but you need to gracefully bow out of any argument while it’s happening, especially if the argument is about you – and it may very well be about you.

3: Accept Your Place

This tip is essentially the same for kids of all ages. You are never going to be the number- one priority. If this is something you need, then please look elsewhere for a relationship. Any selfishness is going to leave this broken family worse off than when you arrived.

Know that your role is with the parent and not to be a parent. Maybe the evolution of the relationship will change that, but that’s something that happens naturally over time.

4: Don’t make it Weird

You always have to remember that a teenager is fully aware of what’s going on in the bedroom and he or she knows why you’re there for breakfast. Keep the PDA and overnight stays at a minimum and definitely away from the kid.

More often than not, relationships with single parents are harder when the kids see the two of you in affectionate situations, and this is the case regardless of divorce, death, or even if the kid came up without a second parent. It’s confusing for them, often causing anger.

5: Know that you should Matter

As stated previously, you’re not going to be the top priority, but you should still matter to this person. When dating a single parent, you run the risk of being nothing but a shoulder to lean on or an ATM machine for financial difficulties.

You definitely know what love feels like when it’s given, so this is something you need to recognize in this type of relationship. If it’s apparent that you don’t matter as much to this person as they matter to you, you should save prolonged heartache and make a clean exit. You just can’t wait around for it, because if it hasn’t happened mutually it probably won’t happen at all.

This guest article was supplied by Simon S. He is a guest editor on numerous dating sites and spends most of his time writing dating site reviews.

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  1. The Queen has a 14 year old and the tips above are almost exactly how I handled it. I think that #1 is the most important. You have to let them come to you, most teenagers are so nauseatingly cynical these days and add to that they are much smarter than most of us where at their age and they can possibly run right over you.

  2. Pingback: Guest Post: Tips for Dating Parents of Teenagers « Relative Evolutions | Dating Drive

  3. I had been single for 11 years before I met my now boyfriend. After a few months of dating I needed financial help so he offered to move in and everything was fine up untill my teens father came into the picture. We never divorced due to my financial situation, my exhusband is now an illegal alien and he left me for another woman in Mexico so he up and left one night without saying a word and never came back! After being married to me for 21 years and having 6 children. He(ex) was living in Mexico Im guessing he got word of me having a man at the house so he returned to his moms house which is just across the street from my house! Well when he(ex) returned it was like all hell broke loose at my house with my 2 teens and a single 24 year old son whom still lives at home! My older son out of the 3 that still live at home kept telling me he was going to beat up my boyfriend if he didnt move out of my house (behavior learned from his father). So my boyfriend went and rented an apartment for us BUT now my 2 teenaged sons refuse to move in with us! I need some advice of what to do with my medling single son, please help because I am entitled to my house after my ex left he has never once helped out with the expense of raising the rest of our 4 children. The 2 eldest were in college already but that left me with 4 other children to raise alone. I think I deserve to be happy!

    • That sounds frustrating, to say the least. Have you contacted an attorney to discuss your rights to the assets (house) you shared with your ex? As well as any support issues that might apply?

      As a child of divorced parents I can understand why some children might take issue with one parent recoupling when the other parent is still (or back) in the picture. There can be a multitude of factors that play into it and each situation is different. It’s hard to say what will help your son accept your new relationship and support your happiness. Sometimes it takes patience and understanding, other scenarios benefit from the assistance of a therapist.

  4. Teens are not the same. Lumping all teenagers into a box and thinking they will all react in the same way is a sure-fire way to lose respect of a person of any age, not just a teen. While SOME teenagers may be “nauseatingly cynical”, others love their parents and are open to a new relationship, even though it may be hard for them. Teens are certainly not “always right about every decision” and are aware of it, too. Give your child some credit, or they will be less inclined to make an effort for your sake.

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