• How to Date a Single Parent, According to This Pinoy Solo Dad

    The dad is performance artist Gabe Mercado who is a solo parent to a 13-year-old.
    by Kitty Elicay .
  • How to Date a Single Parent, According to This Pinoy Solo Dad
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  • When you’re raising kids on your own, getting back into the dating scene can seem an impossible task. It may be the least of your priorities, and honestly, where do you even find the time? And where do you look? Do you even look for it?

    When you do find yourself at that stage, however, there’s an entirely new ball game to consider: How do you make your date understand that you are a single parent and how do you manage his or her expectations? Well, one dad is here to help.

    Performance artist Gabe Mercado, the academic director of the Third World Improv school and artistic director of the premiere improv group SPIT, recently posted on his Facebook page that a friend asked him for tips on dating a single parent. You might know him from his popular television commercial with the infamous line — “Okay ka ba, tiyan?” — but many don’t know that he is a single, adoptive dad to a thirteen-year-old (read more of his adoptive journey here).

    We felt his words of advice will resonate with a lot of solo parents and those who plan to ask one out. So he gave us permission to publish his post in full below.  

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    Fellow single parents, feel free to add. 

    1. You will have to be content with being second priority.
    Be at peace with that and don't try to compete. Yes, you are special, but there will always be a stronger bond between parent and child and you will have to learn to co-exist with that.

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    2. Build a strong bond with the child because he/she might get jealous of you.
    At the same time, do not try to be her mother or father, or try too hard. We are a complete family already; your addition won't complete us. But be genuinely interested and invested. Single parents feel a great deal of guilt spending time away from our kids. You could spend more time with us if you integrate yourself gently into our lives.

    3. Be fun, be loving, be patient but give us a lot of space too.
    Being a reliable parent requires lots of time and presence and a lot of effort. Being a single parent is even more exhausting.

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    4. We can be fiercely independent and stubborn because we raised a child on our own, and that's not an easy thing to do.
    It's also a source of pride. On rare occasions we want you to see through all that bluster. Ask us how our day was, ask us to slow down, do the little things that show you care. But leave us with our illusion of being fiercely independent even if we both know that isn't really true.

    Do you agree with these points? If you're a solo parent and have something to add, we'd love to hear it in the comments!

    Follow Gabe Mercado at @gabemercado on Twitter and Instagram.

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