Tips for dating as a single parent

Dating can be complex no matter what your situation, but dating as a single parent can feel even tougher. Whether it’s because your confidence has taken a nosedive, your children take up most of your time or you’ve been put off by the stigma attached to dating as a single parent, throwing yourself back into the dating world can be a daunting prospect.

With more people now raising their kids alone, the stigma isn’t as bad as it used to be, but many parents often feel guilty about finding a new partner when they have children. Not to mention you may be short on time and worried about having to introduce your children to someone new. 

But we’re here to remind you that you’re only human and you have the right to a love life as much as anyone else. To help you push past your reservations and get the most out of dating, we’ve pulled together some of our top tips for finding love as a single parent. Check them out below.

Make sure you’re ready

First and foremost, you need to be honest with yourself and make sure you’re ready to rejoin the dating world. It’s hard to be happy with someone else if you’re not happy with yourself. This means making sure you’re over your ex and that you’re feeling good about yourself and your situation.

Free yourself of guilt

Remember, you have the right to move on and continue with your life. Don’t feel guilty if your ex isn’t over you just yet and don’t obsess over how your children will take the news. While it is, of course, important that you put your children first, you may find they are fine with everything and just want to see you happy. So before you begin dating make sure you free yourself of any guilt and stigma – and certainly never apologise for dating or for being a single parent.

Be honest

Whether you’re setting up an online dating profile or joining a dating agency, never lie about your situation. Because let’s face it, how long are you really going to get away with it? And then you’ll have to tell your date that you lied and it could potentially cost you a future together. So it’s best to be honest from the start. That way, you’ll be matched with someone who knows the situation and is OK with it.

Be strategic about when they stay over

As your relationship progresses it’s only natural you’ll want your partner to stay over. If you’re a co-parent it might be better to time this so the children are away. Alternatively, ask a good friend or your family to babysit and have the kids overnight. This way you can keep things discreet in case the relationship doesn’t work out, or at least until you’re ready to tell your kids.

Decide when to tell your children

Timing is everything and you need to make sure you tell your children when the time is right. Don’t rush into it. If they’re younger they may not really be aware of what is happening. Alternatively, older kids may be more intuitive and accepting of the fact you’re dating, but either way don’t rush into introducing them to a new partner.

It’s also important to make sure you and your new partner are on the same page. It’s not only important that you’re ready for them to meet your children, but they need to be ready too.

Dating as a single parent can feel like a daunting prospect, but done right it can be such a rewarding experience and you could come out the other side with an exciting new relationship. It’s important to be honest about your situation if you hope to meet the right person. Here at Ignite Dating, we work hard to match couples who are well suited to one another’s lifestyles – kids and all! So if you’d like to know more about how we can help you rejoin the dating world, get in touch with our friendly team today.

Coronavirus Uncategorized

7 Virtual Date Ideas and the Apps That Can Bring You Together

With the UK on lockdown for the foreseeable future, technology and apps are playing a huge part in keeping us all connected to one another and providing us with a new wave of virtual date ideas. In fact, you may have found that you’re actually talking to friends and family more now than you ever have before! This could be due to the fact that many of us now have a lot more free time on our hands and are trying to stave off boredom and insanity while confined to our homes!

You’ve probably seen the videos that are popping up all over the Internet of funny and creative ways people are staying in touch, having fun at home and making the most of technology to stay connected. And despite these troubling times, we’re lucky enough to have this technology at our disposal to allow us to keep some degree of normality in our lives. People are able to work from home, children can continue their schoolwork and most importantly, we can retain some sort of social life despite not being able to see our friends or partners in person.

So whether you’re planning a first date or you’re in a new relationship, there are still so many ways you can have fun together and keep in touch despite being on lockdown. Below are seven virtual date ideas and the apps that can help bring you closer together. So next date night, why not consider trying one of these?

Having a games night over House Party

The House Party app has blown up since the UK went into lockdown, with people across the country using the video chat to hang out with their friends, virtually. So why not choose this platform for your date? Not only can you see and talk to one another, but the app also allows you to play games with each other. These include the app’s own version of trivia quizzes, Pictionary and charades. 

Getting to know one another on WhatsApp

Video chat might not be your first choice of date if you’ve not met before. Weirdly, it can sometimes feel more embarrassing to connect with someone via video link than in person (usually because we look a little different on a grainy camera and we never like hearing our own voice!). But this doesn’t mean you still can’t get to know your date.

Choose an evening and make sure you put some time aside when you’re not distracted with work, TV or anything else. Chat to each other via text or WhatsApp and get to know a bit more about one another. This will give you a chance to determine whether they are a good match for you.

WhatsApp is also great for connecting with your date periodically throughout the day – just don’t fall into the trap of worrying over when they were last online and if they’ve read your message. Remember, some people are continuing to work despite being at home and others have families to take care of.

Watch a movie using Netflix Party

Does your favourite date night include going to the cinema or getting cosy on the sofa and watching a movie? Well, you still can, thanks to Netflix Party. You can watch the same movie at the same time from different locations and there’s even a messaging option which allows you to discuss the film with one another (of course, you can always keep each other on the phone while watching too!). A great way of watching a movie together, even when you’re not and one of many virtual date ideas.

Cook together over Skype

Do you love sharing a meal with your partner? Whether that’s attending a cooking class, going out for dinner or cooking a romantic meal at home. The great news is that you don’t have to stop just because restaurants are closed. Why not log onto Skype and join each other as you prepare your dinner and eat it together through video chat. You might want to choose the same meal to make it feel even more authentic, but even if you don’t, having the camera set up on your kitchen table while you chat and cook can make it feel like your date is right there in the room with you.

Team up for a virtual pub quiz on Google Hangouts

As a nation, we love the pub and we also love a good pub quiz. Trivia and drinking has been a date night favourite for years and the internet is refusing to let the lockdown change that. If you love a pub quiz, there are plenty of providers and groups out there that are putting these together and hosting their quizzes on Google Hangouts, for others to enjoy. You and your date could team up (communicating via your phones) or play separately (but on the same quiz).

You might even find that your local pub is hosting their regular quiz night but now online, or that one of you has a friend who has chosen to organise the event themselves. There is plenty of quizzing going on across the nation right now, making this a great option for your virtual date.

Take an exercise class together using Zoom

Are you and your date gym buffs? If you love nothing more than to workout and enjoy an exercise class, this could make for a fun date idea – even when you can’t go to an actual class. Many personal trainers and gym owners have taken their business online since gyms were forced to close to promote social distancing. Using platforms like Zoom, they are able to connect participants from across the country via a video link, where you can all take part in the workout as instructed by your PT.

Zoom allows for multiple participants to join (as many as 100 in some cases), so you and your date can join the same class and you’ll be able to see each other as you take part.

Go for a walk and chat over a phone call or FaceTime

For many of us, going out for our daily walk and getting some fresh air is the highlight of our day, so why not share this with your date? You could simply put some headphones in and give them a call, or you might even want to video call them so they can see where you are and you can feel more like they’re there in person. FaceTime is a great app for video chats as it provides a good, clear connection so you won’t lose each other mid-way through your conversation.

Be sure to choose somewhere quiet and local to take your walk, like your local park. Just be careful to choose a spot that isn’t too crowded and be sure to practise social distancing wherever you go.

We completely support the government’s guidelines on COVID-19 and social distancing. However, just because the country is on lockdown, it doesn’t mean life has to come to a complete standstill. At Ignite Dating, we believe it’s possible to continue meeting new people and forging meaningful relationships, even though you can’t be together in person right now. Using some of our virtual date ideas, you and your love interest can set aside some time each week to get to know one another and have some fun. Don’t let lockdown stop you from finding love. Dating apps and agencies have never been more popular as people look for comfort and connectionsm so now could be the ideal time to join. Get in touch with our friendly team today.


Dating after 40 – The 8 mistakes you need to avoid

We’ve all been there, you’re getting ready for a first date or you’re discussing a new match with your friends and you’re going over and over that list in your mind.

There’s no denying that dating after 40 is a different experience. You’re not as young and carefree as you were in your 20s, you may well have gathered some baggage in your 30s and the dating world is a different place than it once was. Not to mention, if you’ve been single for a while you’ll probably be receiving dating advice from every Tom, Dick or Sally that stumbles across your relationship status. But at the end of the day, who knows you better than you?!

And the good news is, you’re not alone! So don’t feel pressured to jump back in just because your mum’s neighbour, Janet, has decided you’re running out of time and the dating pool is getting thin. Janet is wrong. In fact, some people find dating after 40 to be a very rewarding experience and it is at this age that many people meet their soulmate.

So if you’re currently looking for love but you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of dating apps, the complexity of online profiles and the endless dating horror stories you’ve heard from your single friends; don’t give up yet.

That said, there are some common pitfalls that many over 40s fall into when trying to get back into the swing of dating. In this guide, we’ll talk you through some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid when dating after 40, so you can enjoy a better dating experience and find love. Check them out below.

1. Rushing to get back in

Making the decision to start dating again is a big one, but this doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself in headlong and arrange a date within the week. Finding love is not something you want to rush. So take your time, find a dating agency or site that’s going to work for you and ease yourself back in, or you could find yourself becoming over (or even under) whelmed by the dating world.

2. Being unwilling to try new things

Last time you were on the scene, dating might have been more traditional; meeting at a bar before being wined and dined and walked back to your front door. But times have changed and the dating world has changed, so don’t be afraid to try new things. For example, if a potential partner suggests something like Junkyard Golf or a night at the aquarium, don’t turn them down assuming they’re a bit ‘quirky’. Instead, keep an open mind and try new things. These fun and unique dates can be great ice breakers and a perfect way to find out more about someone than simply chatting over dinner.

3. Lying about who you are

If you are going to be creating online profiles, the temptation can be to tell a few white lies. Perhaps use an outdated photo of yourself or leave off some pretty important information from your profile. But this can backfire badly. If you aren’t honest, how can you expect to make a genuine connection with someone and find a partner who has similar ambitions and goals to you? So if you’re going to use sites that require you to build a profile, just make sure you’re always truthful about who you are.  

4. Not keeping an open mind

When you’re 21 and your whole life is ahead of you it’s easy to dream up your ideal mate. But over time you come to realise that everyone has their quirks and there’s no sense being with someone if you want to change big parts of their personality. So it’s important to keep an open mind when meeting new people, don’t get stuck on your ‘shopping list’ of what makes a perfect partner, otherwise you set your expectations too high and more often than not, will be left feeling disappointed.

5. Going for someone exactly like your ex

When you’re dating after 40 it’s likely that you’ll have had a serious relationship (or two) in the past. You may have even been married before. But there’s always a reason why your ex is, well, your ex! And you don’t want to fall into the same trap this time around. So if you begin to notice a new love interest is displaying similar behaviour to a previous partner, it might be time to call it off before history repeats itself.

6. Relying on dating apps

Literally millions of people across the globe are using dating apps, which is great for creating a huge dating pool. The problem is, a lot of the people that use these apps aren’t always honest about who they are or what they want. Not only this but with hundreds of suitors at your fingertips, it becomes harder to make any real, meaningful connections. Not to mention they could be speaking with 10 other people at the same time as they’re chatting to you.

So while dating apps do work for some people and couples have been known to fall in love, get married and start families as a result, these apps have also led to a string of unsuccessful dating horror stories. And while these tend to be a favourite amongst the younger generation, if you’re dating after 40 you might want to consider all options before pinning all your hopes on a swipe.

7. Not knowing what you want

Before you begin dating again, it’s important that you know what you want from a partner and your future. This doesn’t have to be set in stone and you should definitely be flexible, but it’s a good place to start. Especially as some things in life can be non-negotiable. For example, have you got children or do you want to find someone who has children? Are you looking for someone who might want to get married someday or are you looking for someone who just wants fun? With this in mind, it’s important that you have some idea of what you’re looking for before you begin the search.

8. Taking it too seriously

We’re not suggesting that you throw all caution to the wind, meet up with a string of potential partners and party like it’s 1999. We understand that after 40 your priorities change. Perhaps you’ve got children, perhaps you’re hoping to find someone who still wants children, perhaps you’re divorced. Whatever the case, we know you’re not the same person you were 20 years ago.

That said, you’ve got to try not to take dating too seriously in the early stages. Otherwise, you could find yourself becoming too attached, feeling disappointed or feeling like there’s no one out there for you. This simply isn’t true, but sometimes it takes a while to find the right person. So as we’ve already said, be open-minded, prepared to try new things and don’t take it too seriously. Remember, dating should be fun!!

At Ignite Dating, we appreciate that age is just a number and that dating after 40 can be just as exciting as in your 20s. Our matchmakers will work closely with you to get a real understanding of what you’re looking for in a partner so we can ensure you meet with like-minded individuals and those you share similar interests and aspirations with. Get in touch with our friendly team today.