Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are You a Better Parent than Spouse?

I have, like some of you, read many blogs and articles on relationships and all of them had a common theme: Single adults looking for a relationship, companionship, or marriage. I often wondered after reading those articles what was the REAL reason why so many adults are still single today? Why is the single population larger now than at any other time in history?

As I pondered the subject for days and examined my own relationships and those in my circle, I discovered a common thread. We all were better at being parents than we were as potential spouses. Yeah that’s right, I went there! Could it be that those of us who have lamented about the quality of singles in the collective dating pool are ourselves part of the dilemma?

Most singles today are also parents! Without a doubt our children are a priority in the work/life balancing act that we juggle daily. Trying to add a relationship on top of that schedule is daunting at best and down right laughable when you try to figure out the logistics and costs of baby sitters, where can we go out that won’t put a dent in our pockets or our fuel budgets until that next paycheck (are you nodding yet)! It almost seems reasonable and realistic to just not even try to date until the kids are older and/or grown and out the way, right? Thus we come back to my original question: Are you a better parent than spouse?

As single parents we resign ourselves to sacrificing OUR life for the sake of our kids and wear it as a badge of honor when discussing our lot with family and friends. Are you guilty of the martyr syndrome? “I’ll just wait until the kids are gone before I get back into the dating game; I don’t want to bring all of ‘those people’ around my child because it’s not a good look, etc. etc.” All of those reasons are notable but also plays right into my point of why we are better parents than spouses at this time. Maybe, just maybe, you would rather parent right now than add the hard work of trying to develop a relationship that may end in marriage on top of that.

Let’s face it all relationships demand attention!

Parent/own child,
You/own parent

Now add another budding relationship that needs time and attention to grow and thrive! I’m already tired! Aren’t you? I want this, right? BUT, do I have the time to put into this to nourish it and make it solid? Am I willing to give up that time? Hmmmm, that’s the million dollar question and when and where the rubber meets the road, baby!

You want a rock solid relationship but your job, ministry or business, limits the time you can commit to getting to know this person. They get tired of being placed on the back burner and “keep it moving”. Darn it, another relationship bites the dust!

You never get past that period in a relationship where you have to decide if this person is worth your investment of time and energy or should you maintain your work/life balance between ministry, business or job and children. As a single adult we have the option to invite (by choice) a significant other into our daily life, married folks already have it built in!

It’s at this point we determine if it’s worth the hassle of trying to make the relationship work or if we will re-categorize that person to suit our own needs. That’s how people move positions without even knowing they’ve been moved. You thought you were their man or woman and you’ve been “benched” without even knowing it. You figure it out eventually but not without anger and resentment at the time you wasted trying to wait that person out due to miscommunication or lack of communication. You go back hard into your previous status quo of life with your focus being on your children, work or business and ministry and the cycle continues.

My question to you is this, have you reconciled that you might just be a better parent than spouse or mate? Being in a relationship is for grown ups and should be respected as such. I think most singles want to have someone at the ready for when they have time “to play” but aren’t really interested in an ongoing relationship with someone. They can do without the relationship drama just give them the perks of a relationship: designated escort for all social functions, someone to hang out and play with when they have the time available, and no strings attached sex if both are interested in that benefit package.

Ask yourself this question: If you can parent your child, balance your career, ministry and social life without having to make a commitment to a relationship, what is the incentive to “boo” up with someone? Just keep it casual, convenient and on your terms, right?

Which brings me right back to my original question: Are you a better Parent than a Spouse? For some of you that is the reason why you are single; for others of you that’s the reason why you need to remain single!


TO: Single Parents who are dating!

RE: You make time for what and who matters to you!

Bernice Bright Dickey, Author @

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