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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › Group Objectives & Clarification

Group Objectives & Clarification

user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI

Hi Everyone:

I hope you are all having an enjoyable summer so far, and if you have not yet had a chance to do so, you will be able to take advantage of the opportunities our group has to offer some time soon.

With all of the new members we've had join recently, I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment to clarify a few important points with respect to our great group.

First, this is a social networking group in place for the purpose of connecting folks in similar circumstances for friendship and social activities. This is not a support group in the formal sense, we do not offer "therapy" and we do not pretend otherwise. Hopefully, members will form friendships and, in that process, give one another support when it is needed, as friends would for one another. And, hopefully, getting out amongst others who can relate to your situation and having a new social outlet can help folks move forward following the huge life change divorce can bring. It did for me, anyway, and, hopefully, others will benefit in a similar manner.

Second, this group is not a dating site or a "singles" group. There are other groups out there that serve that purpose, offer speed dating events, etc. Again, the focus of this group is friendship and support. My reasons for stressing this are many, but mainly center around the fact that many of our members are very recently separated and/or divorced, feeling vulnerable and still trying to work through strong feelings. They do not need, nor may they want, to feel pressure to date and/or be exposed to new relationships, PDA, etc.

That said, I understand that dating within the group has and will continue to occur. This is a natural result of people spending time together and getting to know one another. If that happens, so be it, and it is not my job to police that. However, I would hope and, frankly, expect, that individuals in relationships with other members remain discreet in their interactions as relate to group discussions and activities, and keep any potential fallout from the end of the relationship out of the group. To be blunt, we don't need that kind of drama in this group.

Finally, please understand that while the group and website are here for everyone's use and benefit, I feel, as organizer, a strong responsibility to the members of this group to maintain a high level of integrity for the group. This has resulted in me, at times, having to apply my best judgment and make decisions with which everyone may not agree. But I learned a long time ago that you can't please everyone all of the time, so I just try my best to please most of the people most of the time. However, my #1 goal at all times to ensure that each and every member is treated with dignity, kindness and respect. Of course, we should feel free to joke, have fun and poke fun at one another. Anything less takes the joy out of life, in my opinion. But I believe we can do that and still keep it respectful.

I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this group for well over three years, and I am constantly in awe of the wonderful folks I've had the opportunity to meet. If you have any questions or comments on the above, or if I can help in any way, please let me know. Your feedback is welcome at any time.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you all soon!

user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 115
As pointed out by one member, it is also important to mention that not everyone in the group has gone through a divorce, but are still dealing with single parenting issues and in need of support. There are a lot of different roads that people can take that result in being a single parent, and it should be noted that not everyone in our group has gone through a divorce.

Similarly, not everyone in our group is a single parent. Many of our members do not have children, or they have children that are grown and no longer minors.

So, we are a diverse group! However, the underlying issues that have brought us all together are the same.
A former member
Post #: 78
I can appreciate your message Laura. I hope I am not out of place sharing some of my own thoughts.

I remember that one thing that we talked about at one point is that you mentioned that group events should be open to the whole group and not limited to certain people in the group. I don't think I internalized what the impact of that was at the time but I've witnessed a few things recently that registers this for me.

Those of us who have planted ourselves pretty firmly into the group have a responsibility to make sure that our communications are welcoming to other members, particularly the ones who might be shyer and insecure about sharing themselves.

As far as dating within the group, I do have some advice. I am in a serious relationship with someone I met through this group. However, because this group and the friendships I made in it have come to mean so much to me, we had a lot of discussions about the weight of it. It was a personal rule of mine that I didn't date within group but the reason I made that rule is because, as one of my most important social outlets, if I started a relationship with someone and it didn't work out, it would limit the possibilities of me finding that connection with someone else without all kinds of social ramifications. So someone really has to be special to take that risk, which the person I'm speak of is. But my advice to people new to the group, and particularly those who are just recently separated or divorced, is that you wait at least a year after you separated from your ex, or a year after you've been in the group, before you consider dating someone in the group. What you might not realize is that being single again may be painful but it is your opportunity to rediscover yourself. It's not just an ending, it's a new beginning. And if you jump into another relationship right away, it might be exciting for a while, it might take your mind off some of your loneliness and hurt, but you start focusing your life around another person again and you miss out on the opportunity to really rediscover yourself.

That's what this group is about, for you to find an outlet to reconnect with the part of you that you lost in your marriage. If you're just looking for a hookup you're not only cheating yourself from that, you're also cheating the people who are looking for that from the group. There are plenty of dating sites. There are plenty of singles dating groups. This is a friendship group. And friendships can lead to more. But please, acknowledge that when you date within the group there is some weight attached and it can affect the dynamics beyond just you and the other person.
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 118
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Todd. You bring up some very good points and expressed yourself very well, as usual.
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