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.
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.