When you are a parent you may look at prospective dates differently. You are not only trying to find out if they would be a good fit for you and make a good significant other, you are also trying to find a fit for your child/children and someone who would make a good parent.
Although all of this is valid, and very tempting to be thinking about all during your first date, it's not necessarily fair. Wondering if someone might be a good mom or dad after a first date is jumping too far ahead into the future. It is important to stay in the now.
Try and find out about the person sitting in front of you before you let your mind wander to the future. Your child is part of you, of course, but first dates are meant for exploration. So, explore the person you are with.
Jennifer Wolf, a writer for About.com and a Certified Parent Coach suggests that single parents create a list before you start dating.
If you're a single parent, this is a good exercise to do before getting back out there in the dating world.
- In the first column make a list of qualities you consider "absolutely necessary" in the people you date
- In the middle column write down qualities you see as "somewhat necessary"
- Finally, make a column listing things that are "not absolutely necessary"
"For example, you might consider loving kids to be 'Absolutely Necessary' says Wolf. "Being well-educated might be 'Somewhat Necessary' and being a fan of your favorite baseball team might be 'Not Absolutely Necessary.'"
Just remember: thinking about someone's potential as a parent to your child on the first date is not fair to either of you. You will do yourself a favor by getting to know the person for who he/she is.