The dating world can be a crazy place. And never more so than as a single parent.
Not only do you actually have to find the time to date, but the game seems to have changed … big time. It is no longer just about you. You have children to consider, and more than likely, the children of your potential partner.
Yep, it’s a challenge. But it’s also fun. Dating as a single parent can provide the company, the laughs and the confidence boost you need to really enjoy life.
So, before you make your reappearance in the dating world as a single parent, here are some tips to keep you sane and on top of your game.
Dating is time consuming
It may seem obvious but make sure you have time to start dating again. You may have forgotten but dating can be a heady experience. If you meet someone you like everything else seems to fall by the wayside as you forge your new relationship. Are your kids in a good space in their worlds? Are they going to be ok if you shift some focus from them? Plus, will your work/home commitments allow you time to date. If not, it might get frustrating.
Be in the right headspace
Possibly one of the most important considerations before dating again is making sure you are ready. As a single parent, it’s likely you’ve been through an emotional rollercoaster. Unless you are 100% healed, strong and in a good headspace, the dating game is not a safe place for you. Put it this way: If you are unable to handle a few knockbacks you are not ready. It’s a jungle out there and you need be prepared to encounter the odd snake on your dating journey.
Get ready for the apps
Dating apps may get a bad rap, but as time-poor single parents they are saviours. They allow you to e-meet potential partners from the comfort of your couch as the kids sleep soundly. By hooking up online you can learn a lot about each other before making the commitment to meet. This may sound unromantic but it will save you so much time. Do some research on dating apps, decide which is right for you, then give it a whirl. It may seem odd at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Consider your kids
Decide how you want to play it when it comes to your kids and what you tell your potential dates. Dating apps make it easy with the ‘I have kids’ checkbox but think about how much information to share as you get to know people. It’s important to be honest, but remember however much we think our own kids are utterly amazing, a first date candidate doesn’t need too much information. Plus, this person is pretty much a stranger to you, so for safety reasons don’t give too much away.
Staying the night
The natural progression of any relationship will lead to adult sleepovers. Depending on your parenting arrangements, these could be tricky. If you have several ‘kids-free’ nights each week it is best to keep your overnight adult company for then. If this isn’t possible, make sure you introduce your children and your date first (if possible, several times) and let them know when they are staying. Sharing Cornflakes with a complete stranger in their own home is confusing and upsetting for a child.
Safe sex … always
As you are older this time round, or because you’ve ‘had your kids’ you may feel you are exempt from the safe sex rules. Not so. Look into which contraception is right for you and protect yourself from STD’s and unexpected surprises. Plus, we’re all adults so have the conversation with your bed buddy so you both know where you stand. Nothing can put the mockers on your new dating game than an untimely mistake in the bedroom.
About The Author
Article written by Lucy Good from Beanstalk Single Mums.
Lucy works with hundreds of single mothers through her business and popular FB group, the Single Mum Vine. She sits at the centre of the think-tank of modern-day single motherhood and is a sought-after social commentator on single parent issues.As well as having her own blog and podcast series, she has appeared several times on national television, speaks regularly on national and local radio and writes articles for online and print parenting, news, lifestyle and business communities.