Dating is complicated at the best of times, but when you are a single parent, dating becomes just a little bit more complex…
Finding the time and the energy, let alone a babysitter are just some of the obvious obstacles in the way of any single mum or dad trying to get back into dating. To help you on your dating journey, Single Parents on Holiday have collated their top single parent dating tips. Enjoy the read – but most of all enjoy the excitement of getting back into dating, whether it’s via our online dating site for single parents or through friends, work or other ways of meeting singles.
Dating tip #1: Define your goal
What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking for romance? A bit of fun? A new mum/dad for your children? Or a life partner for yourself? Are you trying to create the family you never had or re-create the one you lost with your ex? Or, are you broody and want another child? Single parents are extremely busy, and often don’t think about what they truly want from life. Women are more guilty of this than men, who tend to be much more single-minded in the pursuit of their goals.
Try to be honest with yourself. Look inside and think carefully about your goals. Once you have done that, it will become much easier to define – and ultimately find – the person you are looking for. A life coach can also be a great help with that.
Dating tip #2: Be honest
If you are a newly single parent, you may not be looking for the next life partner. And that is fine. You can go out there and make clear that you are looking to meet other single parents for fun or for friendship. There will be other single parents in the same situation as you. Once you are ready for something a little more serious, make it clear to your potential dates, whether that is on your online profile or in person. Whatever your situation, honesty goes a long way and saves both you and your date a lot of time. And we all know that time is precious when you are a single parent.
Dating tip #3: Don’t compromise
You might have had a bad experience, and this has put a dent in your confidence. Or, you might feel, as a single parent, you can’t be as picky. Ditch the doubts and remind yourself of your qualities. It may be hard to regain your confidence after a failed relationship with the mother or father of your children, but you will find that once you are past that stage of self-doubt, you will come out stronger and more confident than before.
There is no reason, whatsoever, why you should settle for someone who is not 100% right for you. Don’t compromise at the early stages of the relationship. Trust your instinct. Compromise can come later when you are in a solid relationship and trying to plan a future together.
Dating tip #4: Keep your options open
Dating as a single parent does not mean you can only date single mums or single dads. Lone parents might be more understanding of complicated babysitting or weekend arrangements with your ex, but any mature adult, should be perfectly capable of understanding that a single parent has responsibilities, and that these can be somewhat unpredictable. There are plenty of men and women who are interested in dating a single parent. Don’t dismiss the single you meet online or through friends for not having kids or never having been married (or having been married twice). Everyone’s life path is different, and you wouldn’t want to be judged by others in the same way.
Dating tip #5: Be yourself
Don’t try to put on a show in order to impress. The person you want to attract should like you for who you are. If you feel nervous or insecure, explain this to your date. It is a lot more charming than a fake act, trying to appear bubbly and witty, when that is not who you are in real life. You will regain your confidence over time, so just be yourself, whether that is shy or bubbly, serious or quirky.
Equally, if you are meeting Mr. Sporty, don’t pretend you are a passionate skier or biker – it might come back to bite you, if he suggests a cycling tour for your second date! If you are a great match on all other levels, there is no reason why you cannot pick up his hobby, or he pick up yours at a later stage if it appeals to you. So there is no need to lie about your skills or hobbies.
Try to portrait, who you are as a person whether that is on a dating profile or during your date – because you want to attract someone who is drawn to YOU and not the fake you. Chances are, they admire you for all the qualities you never think twice about: As a single parent, you are likely to be independent, responsible and a lot more mature in mind than someone without kids your age.
Dating tip #6: Don’t feel guilty
That is easier said than done, when you are no longer used to taking time out. But happy kids need a happy parent, so don’t feel guilty for taking time off from being a parent: Go out and have some fun and leave the guilt at home. You have deserved some ‘me’ time and adult conversation, and your kids will probably love spending an evening with an auntie, grandparent, or babysitter.
Having children brings a whole new dimension to dating. It can make life more stressful at times, and more beautiful at others. We hope our single parent dating tips will help you feel more prepared and relaxed as you embark on your dating journey.
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For more single parent dating tips, check out our other posts here: