Carolyn Hax readers advise a single dad making an attempt to keep away from poisonous relationship


We requested readers to channel their inside Carolyn Hax and reply this query. Among the finest responses are under.

Hello, Carolyn: I’m a single dad with a younger daughter. I’ve determined to surrender relationship as a result of I concern I are typically drawn to ladies who’re finally not good matches for me — I ought to know higher however I’m liable for leaping toes first into poisonous relationships. I need to defend my daughter from the implications of my poor relationship decisions. I simply turned 50 and really feel like I am too set in my methods to adapt.

Whereas I totally get pleasure from my time with my daughter, I do get lonely … and concern repeating my errors. How ought to I keep away from the temptation of falling for a nasty relationship once more and defend my daughter and myself?

Single Dad Relationship: I’m an solely daughter who was raised primarily by my single/divorced dad. He by no means dated anybody after the cut up with my mother after I was 4 years outdated and had full custody. The primary purpose he cited was not wanting one other particular person interfering together with his relationship with me. Whereas I do admire his love and care that he dedicated to me, I additionally witnessed his loneliness and isolation regardless of his having good mates and pursuits.

He modeled a whole lot of constructive traits that I absorbed, however one factor he didn’t mannequin was methods to have a profitable long-term relationship. I think about he shared a few of your similar fears. My recommendation could be think about going to a therapist, ideally a wedding and household therapist. They may enable you to work by means of your relationship obstacles/fears and enable you to construct instruments and consciousness round relationship as a single dad. Going to remedy wouldn’t solely be for you, it could enable you to mannequin wholesome, proactive steps for working by means of relationship challenges on your daughter. Even when she’s not conscious you’re in remedy, she is going to profit from seeing you be taught wholesome methods of relationship and relating.

— Raised By A Loving But Perpetually Single Dad

Single Dad: Good for you for recognizing a dangerous relationship sample and placing your daughter’s pursuits first! Few single mother and father would do that. I believe it is smart to take a pause from relationship, nevertheless it doesn’t must be perpetually. Give it a couple of years till your daughter is a bit more impartial, then dip your toes within the relationship pool once more and see the way it goes.

Within the meantime, domesticate actions that preserve you from being so lonely and mean you can develop a broader and more healthy set of relationships with each sexes. Be a part of single-parent assist teams, play a sport (pickleball is common) to remain match, take your daughter on journeys (museums, wildlife sanctuaries, reveals) to domesticate shared pursuits. And be comforted by the thought that while you do begin relationship once more, a comparatively match and wholesome middle-aged man with wide-ranging pursuits and an energetic social life will probably be in very excessive demand.

Single Dad Relationship: I assist the concept of giving up relationship. After a string of breakups, I did that, too, at age 49 or so. As an alternative of relationship, I dove as deeply into in my private ardour (in my case, making music) as I may whereas nonetheless being liable for my daughter and my work. Getting extra concerned in my interest put me in contact with extra folks, which led to having mates and dates with folks I already knew and preferred and with whom I had one thing in frequent. It took some time, however finally there was a match — and an amazing one. And I wasn’t lonely whereas ready as a result of I used to be so busy with my mates and doing what I liked to do. Perhaps this method may be just right for you, too.

Single Dad Relationship: After my first marriage ended, I went to remedy off-and-on for 3 years earlier than I even thought-about relationship once more. I noticed my abusive marriage was simply one other tousled relationship, in a protracted line of tousled relationships. I used to be mainly relationship the identical man time and again; he simply had a special identify and face each time. If I hadn’t performed the non-public work in remedy, I wouldn’t have been wholesome sufficient to acknowledge what I deserved, and it wouldn’t have labored out with my now-husband. We’ve got been collectively eight years and married for 4. I’d have self-sabotaged the connection as a result of I wouldn’t have been in a position to belief him.

I extremely advocate (active-participant) remedy. Simply going and being passive is not going to obtain the therapeutic and adjustments in mind-set vital for elementary change. You owe it to your self, your little one, and your future companion to be as wholesome in your entire relationships as doable. It’s an funding in your future that you’ll not remorse.

Single Dad Relationship: My son is 20 years outdated, and I raised him by myself. I didn’t date in any respect throughout his childhood. Such as you, I didn’t belief myself to make good choices. I additionally didn’t have any more money for babysitters and going out. As an alternative, we socialized with different households. I used to be very concerned with all the actions he was concerned in. We had a lot of mates, a lot of enjoyable and many adventures. He went to school final 12 months (Ivy League!), and my mates instantly put me on a relationship app (regardless of my reluctance!). I now have a really good boyfriend and am experiencing the miracle of an surprising romance.

It appears an excessive amount of to ask that you just surrender intercourse and romance throughout your little one’s childhood, and I’m not positive I truly advise it, however that’s what I did. I used to be lonely at instances, sure, nevertheless it was the most effective factor for me and my little one — no regrets. We’ve got an attractive relationship and so many completely satisfied recollections of a beautiful childhood.

Each week, we ask readers to reply a query submitted to Carolyn Hax’s stay chat or e-mail. Read last week’s installment here. New questions are sometimes posted on Fridays, with a Monday deadline for submissions. Responses are nameless except you select to determine your self and are edited for size and readability.

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