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Jun 2, 2009

the joys of dating


We are dating. (Mr. M. and I)

We both have tight budgets.

We both have two kiddos.

So our dates end up being "outings" with all the kids as we do stuff together or the few and far between time we might have for just the two of us - we end up watching a video or heading over to Target.  Woohoo!


Are we losing the romantic edge by not being as creative with our dating?  Is the relationship in danger because we don't get much time for just the two of us with four kiddos between us?

People like Jon and Kate lately in the news and other couples in my own personal world that are falling apart make me wonder with the "extra" responsibility kiddos bring to a relationship and when you throw in the fact it is a "new" relationship...how do we keep it intact?   Can couples attempting to blend families (and Jon and Kate aren't even blending... they chose to have multiples) survive the "dating" process?  I need some regained faith in the line of love and commitment.  Doesn't anyone stay together anymore?


Things really won't change when it comes to our responsibilities with our children... not for a long time.  And our budgets won't get any looser within the near future.... so our dating has been and will probably continue to be "daily living dating". So now the challenge remains... to become and continue to be creative with our dating life.

Single moms out there - dating and tending to children... what are some creative ways you liven up your dating life on a tight budget and when kiddos are involved?

In the past Mr. M. and I have done this:

1. took a walk at a park neither of us had been to in the area.

2. rented a video for the "whole crew" to watch a new family oriented movie.

3. went to the zoo.

4. turned off the television and just talked when we had quiet time after the kiddos are in bed.

5. took the kiddos fishing and hiking.

Don't you think as single moms we turn the whole dating thing into a realm open to new definitions?

Let me know what you think... single moms and single dads.

Find yourself... keeping it real.


Big Daddy Hokie said...

That's a tough one, but I think for me it comes down to the expectations society (marketing) has placed on us (dating parents) in terms of what we SHOULD be doing on a date.

Think about it, what's the first thing you think about when you think of a date? Dinner at a restaurant? A movie at the theatre? Dinner AND a movie? This is where the marketing campaigns have really gotten to us.

We are conditioned to think that unless we're spending money, it's not really a "date." Bullocks, I say! A date is about spending time with your significant other and if you both enjoy your "outing" then it's a date.

Actually, I prefer to stay away from the term "dating" altogether. Dating is what I did when I was young and dumb. I'm 34 and have a 4-year-old son now and I'm not looking to date - I've been there and done that. It's expensive! (See reason above.) What I am looking for is someone with whom I enjoy spending what little free time I have and it doesn't really matter what we do.

Thankfully, I have found that in a wonderful woman and for us, going to play tennis is a date; grilling out on the deck on a summer evening and just talking is a date; going for a walk to the local ice cream shop for a twist cone is a date. Best of all, she is great (I mean GREAT) with my son and he likes her just like he likes everyone else - he's just that kind of kid.

So, I guess my advice is not to pigeon hole yourselves (you and Mr. M) into a societal or marketing definition of dating. Do what you enjoy and trust me, there are a lot of budget-friendly activities that are still fun!

SingleParentPlus2 said...

Honestly, I really don't know how single moms do it? I have my children with me constantly and have very little time for dating. I have sole custody and my ex is half way across the country - I'm fine with that.

When I do meet someone I like, by accident or online, I explain to them that my family life is not a revolving door. My kids will not meet someone I'm dating until I'm confident this peron is going to be around for a long time - almost permanently.

My kids have never met anyone I dated and I've been single for almost three years and have dated three women.

In my opinion, do not date while the kids are around, wait until they are with the ex or spending the night with family or friends. Then you can go on a regular date with no restrictions.

Katherine said...

Thanks Gary!! Great advice... and I have to remember that ice cream shop as an idea for a next outing.

And thanks Singleparentplus2... I have also held your same reservations and my kiddos didn't meet Mr. M. until I knew this was more than my recent past experiences of "dating". I also have dated other guys that the kiddos never met... but now that we are past that bump in the road, it does open more time for us to see each other - because we have our kids the majority of our free time. Hang in there with those reservations till you know the special girl you are seeing is worthy of meeting the kiddos. I did and I am so glad I did too.

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