For single parents, the stakes are a little bit higher. You don't want to just bring anyone around your kids. You only want to introduce them to viable candidates -- people you can see yourself in long-term relationships with.
That's where sites like Delightful can be a big help. You can narrow the field to the right kinds of people, so you start the process of introducing them to your kids.
Those first few interactions shouldn't be taken lightly. That's why I've put together a few things to guide you throughout the process.
Introduce them immediately.
Simply telling them you have kids is not good enough. Around the time you start developing feelings for them beyond "They're attractive," they should already be used to being around your kids.
There's nothing worse than liking someone, only to have your kids give them the big thumbs-down. You'll cut out a lot of the frustration by making that introduction as soon as possible.
Evaluate their actions.
Within the first few meetings, you should be able to see their capacity to be a parent. Can they make conversation with a six year old? Can they make your teenager laugh? When your kids push their buttons, can they discipline them?
If your relationship is going to go anywhere, these are skills that they must have. It's better to get a sense of their "parenting skills" now than wait until it's too late.
Ditch the bad fits.
No matter how much you like someone, if they're not comfortable around your kids, then they're probably not the one for you.
Think about it: if they start out as an awkward fit, chances are things aren't going to get much better. The start of a relationship is typically a pretty good indicator of what's to come.
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: the right person will not only respect your role as a parent, but embrace your kids as their own.
You and your kids shouldn't have to settle for anything less.
In addition to being a world-renowned comedian, talk show host, philanthropist, husband and father, Steve Harvey is the Chief Love Officer of online dating site Delightful.com. He draws on his personal experiences and the stories that millions of people have shared with him over the years to help more people find and keep the love they deserve.