Dating when your child’s other parent is involved

Question:
Is it inappropriate to have “company” when your child’s mother/father stops by to see their child? Especially if things are strained between the two of you.

Answer:
In many situations there are parents who share children and are no longer in a relationship. Because feelings are involved, many people forget the most important factor – the physical and emotional well-being of the child. People get so buried in their emotional baggage that they project their tension to their children. Therefore, when making a decision you should do (not just say) what is in the best interest of your child.

If this is a question that has been asked because you may be the one upset at your ex for dating and moving on, then you need to let it go. What your ex does, who they date, or who they have over for company is none of your business as long as it is not putting your child in any hurt, harm, or danger. If this is the case you need to take the necessary legal steps to protect your child (custody, visitation, etc.). However due to the nature of the question, most likely this is not the case otherwise it would have been addressed. Therefore breathe, take a step back, and allow your ex to live their life. The less you try to control other people, and focus instead on what you can do to control your own life, the more peace you will have.

If this question has been asked because you are the parent who is dating, then wisest route in this situation is to do what is necessary to eliminate or at least attempt to decrease any conflict. Having company over when your child’s parent is visiting, will likely cause conflict between yourself and the parent of your child. Consider your child’s point of view.

This is not to say you must allow an ex to control your life and who you spend time with, but there are simply wise ways to handle your relationship with the mother/father of your child (as well as your future relationships). Allow your child’s mother or father to come and visit or pick up their child before or after you have company. When you state “company” it implies short-term or gives the impression that this is not a serious relationship. Therefore, eliminate your ex’s interaction (as well as your children’s interaction) with the person you are currently dating unless or until it becomes a serious, long-term relationship.

Adults should know better, but children need to be prepared emotionally to handle your next relationship(s). Keep in mind this is not about your needs. What is best for the child (or children) is more important than what the adults want. Try to set up times when the person you are dating is not there when your child’s mother/father comes by to see the child. If that is not possible, try to limit the interaction your ex has with whoever you are dating if you know things are already strained between the two of you.

Many people are so stuck on having “me” time that they fail to realize the ultimate responsibility they have been given as a parent. Being a good parent is an unselfish act and at times requires sacrifice. You forfeit some of the luxuries of life when you bring a child into the world because their emotional and physical needs must come first. It is stressful at times, but you need to readjust your perception. Children are a blessing. Once you learn that giving to others is nurturing to your spirit, you’ll see that unselfish acts of love and kindness toward your child, your ex, and others can bring you enjoyment in your life.

Putting the needs of others before your own can be gratifying. It sows into your spirit, paves the way for you to have peace within your life, and you will reap an amazing harvest in the future from the seeds of love, kindness and forgiveness that you have sown. Think of your child (or children) first before making any decision concerning their other parent. Ask yourself, “What is the most peaceful, loving, productive, positive route that I can take?” Make the decision and take that route. Your life (and your child’s life) will be the better for it.

Best wishes to you and yours,
Truth in Love

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