Last month, I asked several dating experts how my BFF, Peaches, can reignite his love life now that he’s a single gay dad. They offered a lot of great suggestions about what all single gay parents looking for love should do — and not do. Well, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Peaches is still single.
He and I chat pretty frequently about what’s going on, and I try to be helpful. But let’s face it, what I know about dating couldn’t fill a thimble. I mean, I’m smart enough to know not to date serial killers or guys who live with their mother, but that’s about it.
So, I asked those same experts with whom I spoke about in last month’s column to answer one more question for Peaches and every other single gay dad or lesbian mom: What is the single most important piece of advice for LGBT parents to remember when dating? Here’s what they had to say.
Trish McDermott, the dating coach at OneGoodLove.com and a single lesbian mom — “Choice is the most important driver of happy, healthy relationships. Don’t underestimate the power of choice in your life and in the lives of your children. Say ‘no,’ a lot. Don’t settle. Choose someone who is honest and kind and willing to do the work a relationship requires.
“We all need to make good dating choices, but when you’re a single gay or lesbian parent, choice becomes even more important, as bad choices create bad outcomes for your children.”
Jennifer Kelman, LCSW — “Take it slow. Kids of gay parents have a lot to deal with due to external pressures, so don’t add the chaos that dating can sometimes bring to their lives. Live a full life, love and be loved and that is how you will enjoy the dating process and eventually a long-term relationship.”
April Masini, the woman behind the online advice column, “Ask Amy” — “As a parent, you have to take good care of yourself in all aspects of your life. That means taking care of your sex life and your romantic life. To be a great parent, it’s important that you date and be happy in all the adult facets of your own life.”
David Cruz, of televisions, Millionaire Matchmaker — “First of all, know your value and self worth. Just because you are a single parent doesn’t mean you are not capable of finding love and a relationship.”
Recognizing your value and self worth can be difficult. No matter how fun TV sitcoms make it look, parenting is an arduous and thankless job.
As a single parent, you have to make time to heal before you start dating again. And that’s not always easy. As Trish McDermott told me, “Healing requires some pain. Learning from our relationships requires a willingness to examine them and carefully consider our role, for better and for worse. Something went wrong in your last relationship. If you don’t own up to your part of the problem, you’ll just bring it with you into your next relationship.”
Being a parent often means you have to continue some level of relationship with your ex whether you want to or not. How you handle the new dynamic speaks volumes about your character. In my opinion, Peaches is navigating those waters admirably well.
Peaches, my brother from a Scottish mother, remember you are amazing. Any guy smart enough to catch you will forever be thanking his lucky stars. Go get him.
And Happy Valentine’s Day to my own heartthrob, Kelly. Hubba hubba!