Challenges of being a single parent and dating
Anyone who has ventured into the dating scene in the last 20 years can testify that it can be a daunting, stressful, and sometimes exhausting experience. The advent of dating Apps and sites, some argue have made it a lot simpler, others would disagree. Throw in a few kids, school runs, after school clubs, parent evenings and your child’s other parent with whom you have split up with and dating as a single parent might just seem totally unachievable. Even finding time for yourself might even be a challenge, let alone ANOTHER person, but fret not, there is hope. Some people are even under the illusion that it is hard for single mother to date, but not every guy wants some crazy girl in her 20s, single fathers (yes they do exist) still yearn for companionship with someone with a bit of stability in their lives and don’t want be trapsing around bars at 2am knocking back shots! So just because you are a single parent doesn’t mean you have to step aside when it comes to dating!
There are a number of dating sites and apps specifically designed for single parents looking to date.
Admittedly there are some challenges, for the majority of parents their children are their number one priority, so dating with kids will always mean that a relationship with another person will most likely be their second priority which means you have to find someone who can fully understand and appreciate your situation, for many single parents looking to date this will mean finding another single parent; you will both understand and respect what being a parent involves but equally still seek a relationship with someone other than your own offspring.
Time and dating
Anyone who has children will know, for someone so small, they take up a disproportionate amount of time. And anyone who has dated with know that takes time too. Combine being a single parent and dating and it can seem like an impossible task. But like everything in life that can seem a huge challenge at first, it can be achieved with determination, and luckily, modern technology. Meeting people out at bars or other social settings might not be practical (or even desirable) when you have children at home, in fact some people even wonder how do single parents get a social life at all? Well, contrary to popular belief they are not totally consumed by their children and do desire social time with other adults and even romantic relationships. While there are numerous dating sites around, there are a number of sites specially for parents like Just Single Parents. Using a dating for parents looking to date will ensure that the precious time you do have to yourself will be used efficiently to find likeminded single parents who are looking for a meaningful relationship from the comfort of the couch once the kids are in bed or between school runs.
Considering Your Ex Partner When Dating
They say ‘It takes two to tango’ and this has never been more true with producing offspring, however after you break up with your partner this inevitability means dating as a single parent you don’t just have to consider your own wants, desires and needs, but those of your children’s and your children’s other parent. Understandably every parent is protective other their children and when bringing a stranger into your home or family is it totally reasonable that your ex may express some concerns when you start dating someone new, I’m sure you would too if the tables were turned? While you must always exercise caution when meeting new people, you cannot forgo enjoyment in your own life just to please others. After you have been on a few solo dates with a match and you feel there might be some potential then it might be time to introduce them to your children. An activity together is usually a good way for you all to meet, how you introduce them to your kids will depend on their age and their understanding of relationships. If your children and the new person you are dating don’t get along then it might not even be worth taking it to the next stage and introducing them to your former partner. If however everyone gets along, and this will probably be more likely if the other person is a single parent with kids too, then it would be an appropriate time for your former partner to meet the new person in your, and potentially your children’s’ lives.
Again, taking it slow and steady is going to be the beat approach here, things won’t always go smoothly and not everyone will always be happy. Just go with your gut feeling.
Your Children and a New Partner
This is really an extension of the above point, introducing a new person into a young person or persons lives can have a significant effect, but this can be both positive and negative. While child development experts are divided on the benefits and costs of single and two parent families, you will know your own children best and you should be the best judge if dating with kids is beneficial both to your family as a whole and yourself. When you enter the dating world as a single parent you should include your children and listen to their opinion, some children may exhibit negative emotions such a jealousy, anger and over protectiveness. However, conversely they might become quite fond of the new person in your life and be happy that you are happy. Without going down the road of gendered stereotypes types too much, there are probably some activities which boys and girls would prefer to do with a male or female parent or guardian.
Making Time to Date
As discussed before you can use apps and websites to connect with potential partners, but no matter how well things seem to go via a screen you can’t really tell if there is any real chemistry until you actually meet and bringing a couple of kids to a first date is like turning up in a wedding dress or bringing your parents along, probably not ideal. Try to use your limited time to your advantage, dates don’t have to be in the evening, while the kids are at schools go for a coffee or lunch date, you still have to eat during the day right? And if the date is going badly you can always use some made up offspring related excuses as a get-out-early card! If you want an entire day off or maybe an evening why not look after some friends children one day in exchange for them looking after yours so that you can have a guilt free evening out with a few drinks on a date and not have to keep clock watching?
When it comes to single parent dating, yes of course it won’t be the same as when you didn’t have children, but it doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to singledom until the kids fly the nest. Take a look at some of the dating sites for parents we have featured, and you’ll find lots of people in a very similar situation, looking for very similar things.
Just remember, you didn’t sacrifice your right to happiness when you became a parent!