What is the difference between dating and being in a relationship? When you change the way that you look at it, the difference becomes quite clear. According to a video I recently watched, dating is like test-driving a car; at least that’s how men look at it anyway. You test-drive a car to see how it works and how you like it. If you like it you decide to keep it, or you purchase it. The purchase is equivalent to a relationship.
For many of us test-driving a new car is fun and exciting. Add children to the mix and it changes things. Suddenly test-driving is not all about having fun and simply seeing if you like someone, instead you are forced to look beyond aesthetics and thrill, and think long term.
As parents when we have children the things we look for in a car are very different than what we may have looked for as a teen or single young adult. The car that is cool and fun to drive now may not be the right car for a family down the road. The same is true when it comes to dating. After having a child I knew that any person I dated had to have the potential to be someone I felt safe around and saw as reliable. While it was nice if they were easy on the eyes, I was more concerned about what they had to offer my child and me, and if we could make it past the test-driving phase. I had to decide if they were worth the investment.
My husband and I test-drove for months before officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. At the time, it felt so long but looking back I feel like it was the perfect amount of time. It gave us a chance to really learn one another. While it is hard to make the decisions such as how much time you want to invest in a relationship before things become official; it’s important to give it some thought. With regards to my own situation, being together so long made the transition of mommy’s friend to mommy’s boyfriend to mommy’s fiancé to daddy (something she began doing on her own) to mommy’s husband much easier. We dated for less than a couple months before I introduced him to my daughter. She was one and me 21, turning 22, and in a sense we both were babies. I was growing up at a rapid rate as parenting had forced me to do and she was growing at an alarming rate too because that’s what babies do. I learned a lot while test-driving with my Mr.
Continue reading for 10 of the things I learned or wish I learned while test-driving with a child.
I realize my situation was very different than some. My daughter was little during my test-driving stage and my ex for the most part was not in the picture. The lessons I learned were based on my own situation.
For those of you who dated or who are dating with children did I leave something out? Do you have any words of wisdom or advice to share? I’d love to know what your experience was or is like. Made a recent purchase? I’d love to hear about that too!
Photo source: iStockPhoto
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