10 Dating Tips for Single Parents

Dating as a single parent is not only hard, it’s a little scary. You’ve usually been off the market for a while and so many things have changed. A lot of men and women out there don’t want to date a parent. You may be wondering exactly how you go about dating. Here are some great tips for getting back in the groove as a single parent.

1. You Are Not Alone. Get in touch with other single moms or dads. Everyone seems to know at least one. Ask your friends to put you in touch with other single parents. Have a lunch date with your group of single parents. Let the kids play in the backyard while you talk about the trials and tribulations of being a single parent. It always helps to have someone who has been there or is on the same carnival ride you’re on.

2. Babysitting Co-op. You know that support group we were just talking about? Yeah, trade babysitting with them. You go out one night, someone else goes out another, and everyone babysits each other’s kids. If that won’t work, you can always get together to pay a babysitter a stable salary to babysit for each family once a week or once or twice a month.

3. Don’t Flaunt It. As tempting as it is, you shouldn’t flaunt your dating status or your dates in front of your ex. That just adds more drama to your situation and everyone involved should be doing what is best for the kids rather than what makes them feel better about the breakup.

4. Be Honest! You will get rejected because of your children. It happens. Just deal with it and move on. As much as everyone hates being rejected, you should never hide your parent status from a date. It’s not worth it. If a person isn’t interested in you because you have kids, they aren’t right for you anyway.

5. You Used to Be Somebody. Before you were known as Mom or Dad, you were your own person. You had interests and passions that went by the wayside when you had kids. Revive those. Get involved in your community. It’s not only good for you; it’s good for your kids. Your kids will love seeing you have fun doing what you love and you will encourage them to be passionate about something or try something new.

6. Have Fun. Don’t be so focused on finding a relationship that you don’t have fun. Dating should be fun. It’s a lot like bungee jumping for the first time. You’re standing on the edge about to jump, you don’t know what to expect, it’s terrifying, but you know it will be awesome once someone gives you a little push. Don’t be afraid to take some risks and have some fun adventures.

7. You Are Somebody. You may have been through a rough divorce where a lot of things were said or done to make you feel bad. Remember your ex saw something in you that attracted them once upon a time. Don’t let your past relationship beat you down. You are a wonderful, valuable person. Take some time to look through old photo albums and remember what you were like before you were married and/or had kids.

8. Remember the Tortoise and the Hare. Don’t race to the finish line, or in this case, the alter. Don’t rush to introduce your new beau to your kids. Maintain an open dialogue with your kids about dating and how they feel about you being back in the game. Let them know when things are starting to turn serious. Your kids shouldn’t be meeting every man you date. Save the meeting for the one that you’re ready to take the next step with. You shouldn’t hide your kids and your dating life from each other either. Have him or her pick you up from home, let your kids answer the door. It lets them slowly get the picture without foisting it on them all at once.

9. Introductions, Please. When you’re ready to introduce your partner to your kids, have the introductions somewhere fun and neutral. Take your kids to Chuck E. Cheese or someplace like it, have your new partner join you for lunch and to play some games. They should, however, leave before you and your kids do in order to keep it short and casual.

10. It May Sound Corny. Try speed dating. Try internet dating. They are much easier ways to be rejected or to reject others because it’s not as face to face and personal as marching up to someone and asking for their number.

Chrystal is a free-lance author with over a decade of experience in the medical field, particularly with developmentally disabled adults and children. Chrystal originally hails from Columbus, Ohio but has l…  View profile

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