Right, now that I have recovered from that shocking display of stereotypical slander against single parents and people who don't have a father figure/male role model in their lives, I am capable of a proper reply. Before we begin, just to let you know, I am a single parent, yes, but my son has a fantastically close relationship with his father and wider extended paternal family. Mostly because I have the views that I do about relationships and parenting. The reason that I keep my adult romantic relationships and dates totally separate from my son isn't because I am anxious about him developing "Daddy" feelings for someone I bring home, it's because I believe that your responsibility as a parent is of a higher priority than having a fulfilling romantic life and bringing people into his life that could potentially have a negative impact isn't me living up to my responsibilities. It takes time to really see someone for who they are and whilst it's fine to take a risk yourself, it isn't okay to take those sorts of risks for other people. I'm not talking about someone being a paedophile or anything as extreme as that, I'm simply talking about people who will have any sort of negative influence or impact on the life someone you have responsibility for. People who would become controlling, domineering or not accept that we are incompatible. People that will prolong an unhealthy relationship and the results spill over and affect his life. People who are unable to maintain boundaries and agreements and therefore might have people in their
life who could negatively affect my child. People who have seemingly stable medical or psychological conditions that affect their behaviour and it does not become apparent how much it affects their behaviour for some time. When I date someone, I take the risk that they could be any of those things; that's a risk I take, myself. I do not have the right to take that risk for my son and so I would only bring a stranger into his life who I was pretty damn certain wasn't any of those things. Gaining that certainty takes months.
Now, there are some things that I think are just wrong and not many people will disagree, like not feeding your kids, and there are some things that I (or anyone) believes is wrong and people might disagree. It does not take away from the fact that I (or they) still believe that thing is wrong. I believe that involving your children with people you are not in a stable, romantic relationship with is wrong. I believe that establishing a stable romantic relationship takes months, at least. I believe it is always wrong to have people who make bonds with your children that terminate as soon as your romantic relationship fails. You cannot guarantee that someone does share those same sorts of values about children for some time. I believe that your adult dating should take place away from your parenting. I strongly believe in reinforcing a strict distinction between your romantic relationship and your role as parents - even amongst biological parents. Combining dating with hanging out with your kids is not doing that.
If they hate them and back away from kids like they're the plague, there's a good chance that the relationship won't work out long term. I would hate to learn that after investing months and months on building a relationship.
I am not looking for a partner that will co parent my son in any way. I am not looking for someone who wants to join us for parent-child bonding sessions, activities or outings. My son has a father, he doesn't need or want an additional one. If he happens to get on marvelously with someone I am in a relationship with and in time, comes to view him as a significant person in his life, great! But that's not something I am seeking in a partner. It's not a role they need to fit. They only need to be a good partner for me, someone who happens to be a single parent - that just means they need to understand that we need to schedule around my parenting duties and that if something is up with him, that will take priority the majority of the time and we may have to reschedule. The only reason I like a partner who isn't turned off by children is because I probably want to have more children some day.not because I need them to co parent my existing child. I don't need to see how good they are with my son, I need to see how good they are as people generally.
Now, often in this conversation people say things like "Don't you bring friends into your son's life?" and the answer to that of course I do, but I have some friends, good friends, that aren't the kind of people I want around my kid. Yeah, they are fun for me to hang out with on occasion, but not good enough stock to be in any sort of position of influence in my son's life. I don't want their drama, their values or their general demeanor around my boy. Most of these people I had the advantage of knowing before his birth and I decided early on that they wouldn't be seeing much of my son after he was about 1, and they don't. My friends don't meet my kid until I have assessed them in a similar fashion to I would a partner. I. of course, have lots of friends (with and without kids) who are around him often and spend time with him alone.
If you read back through these forums, you will see numerous examples of how a romantic partner of a parent was able to harm or potentially harm the children of that parent because they had been allowed access to them far too early on. Way before they had any true indication of what that person was like on a bad day. There is nothing anyone can say that will convince me that putting your children in a position to be harmed by your lover is not a risk that can be greatly minimised by parents completely separating their dating lives and prioritising their duty as parents over their desire to have romantic relationships.