Ron Deal’s (2012) book titled, Dating and the Single Parent provides the best practices for dating singles and single parents. The book encourages those seeking marriage not to rush no matter the circumstances and delivers resources with examples of dating. The book is written from a Christian perspective or worldview, offering single parents a new understanding of dating. It examines the issues of single parents who date and the complexity of the blended family. The author notes, many single parents want to get married without going through the thought process of understanding what they are doing.
All this happens because most singles and single parents are not willing to slow down and wait.
The author makes it clear that the book is written for those dating who are single or single parents. Dating is stressful, and anyone who embarks on that journey needs to have practical guidelines of what to expect. When children and spirituality are added, the equation can be tough and overwhelming.
Readiness is essential when dating comes along, whether you are a parent or not. That is why it is vital to seek God, asking him for guidance. The deal addresses each stage, from meeting to marriage in a method that is bold and truthful. The reader is warned of the hard truths of dating, providing everyone in the journey with an opportunity to succeed.
The Christian perspective reviews various aspects and stages of dating, providing stories and illustrations on the best practices. Deal mentions some situations that are occurring in conservative Christian families.
Such as the effects of sex before marriage and cohabitation. These are common immoralities that are increasing today in our society. An exciting segment in the book is when the author cautions dating single parents about the moral issues that nonbelievers may not think about as they are going through the dating process.
According to Deal, the kid pace cardinal rule, “Let children set the pace for their developing a relationship with your dating partner. If they are open and engage, let them be. If they keep their distance, do not immediately demand that they open their hearts, give them time to decide for themselves” (p. 102). Single parents should consider their children when looking for a dating partner and any decisions they make. A critical stage that requires patience, although Deal adds, most single parents never maintain patience. Dating at times can be difficult, especially when dating a crowd. Deal explains, dating with a crowd is when kids are engaged in the dating process, on some level, even when a parent does not believe they are. It is essential that the new partner be not only right for the single parent but also right for the children.
When families come up, parenting styles play a significant role during the dating process. Balancing roles and parenting styles are also vital areas of consideration for single parents when entering relationships. Single parents are not only searching for a spouse for themselves but also a parent figure for their children. Even when a couple has closeness and a good relationship, the parenting style of one parent can cause stress on the relationship.
The author gives a summation of having a spiritual, personal trainer, taking it slow, and having expectations and considerations for what your family is to be like in the image of God. Here is where the groundwork is laid for the intent of the relationship. Be clear on “are you ready to date, talking with children, avoiding a big mistake, finding lasting love,” can be modeled in the functions of the advice the author offers.
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