Tag Archives: dating

4 Challenges of Dating as a Single Parent

Being a single parent can crimp your style when it comes to dating if you let it. But don’t let it.  Here are 4 challenges that single parents face when dating, along with some advice on how to overcome them.  You owe it to yourself to have a life; and possibly a new relationship.  So follow this advice and you just might find yourself enjoying a few nights out on the town with an attractive companion.  And maybe more…

1. Time

One of the biggest obstacles to single parent dating is time. Without a partner to help you transport, feed and nurture your children, you may find yourself in a non-stop hamster’s wheel of activities, responsibilities and obligations.  And if you have small children, childcare may be an issue. They may already spend large amounts of time in daycare.

Giving yourself permission to get out and enjoy yourself is the first step toward having a regular dating life.  Enlist the help of friends, relatives and older children; or trade evening babysitting with another single mother so your youngsters can be around people they are comfortable with.



2. Money

Simply put, dating can be expensive.

There are many activities that can be enjoyed without spending large sums of money. A simple picnic, an early movie, skating, hiking, a drive in the country, dinner at home, or a BBQ in the back yard are all activities that can be arranged very inexpensively.  And you’ll probably have a more enjoyable time.

3. Empathy

Not all dates are going to be thrilled with a date who needs to check on her offspring often or who receives multiple phone calls from demanding children or babysitters. The restrictions on how long you can stay out and how far away you can travel may put a damper on an evening with someone who does not have children of their own.

Instead of leaving this to chance, join organizations such as Parents Without Partners.  This can be an excellent way of engaging in family activities and meeting other people, especially those of the opposite sex, who are in your situation. There are also many online dating sites available which are designed specifically for the single parent.

4. Lack of Self-Confidence

Many single parents put all of their energy into taking care of their children and households. By the time they are ready to jump back into the dating arena, they may be out of touch with trends and popular hot spots. They may not have a wardrobe conducive to dating. Their conversation skills may be limited to entertaining a three-year old during snack time. All of this can add up to a general lack of confidence when it comes to re-entering the dating and relationship scene.

It may not sound like a good solution but practice makes perfect.  Sure, making mistakes doesn’t sound like fun, but if you keep trying and keep a positive mindset you will regain your confidence and dating will get easier.  Be patient with yourself.  The worst thing that you could do is to rush into dating anyway.

Be kind to yourself.  Give the dating process plenty of time.  And enjoy the journey.

Are You Ready to Date Again?

Getting back on the dating scene can be daunting.  Working up the courage to start dating is tough for many people but can be especially difficult when raising a child alone.  To help you get back in the game, here are some top dating tips from an expert for single parents.

Are You Sure You’re Ready?

Dating is going to be a big step for you and could have an impact on your children, particularly depending on their age. If you’re not 100% ready, then this will be obvious to any potential suitors so be confident in your decision and never feel guilty about allowing yourself the opportunity to find love.

What Kind of Relationship are You Looking For?

Keep in mind that now you have children, relationships may be slightly more complicated than when you were originally single. That’s not to say that you can’t meet somebody amazing – think about what kind of person you are looking for and how they will fit into your lifestyle as it is now

Manage Your Expectations

Don’t expect your perfect partner to fall into your lap after five minutes. Like anything in life, you will need to invest time and effort in order to find somebody you are truly compatible with.

How do Your Children Feel About You Dating?

You don’t want your children directing the process but if they are old enough to understand they can be surprisingly insightful. When you are putting together your profile, they can help with things like choosing photographs or identifying individual qualities or stories about yourself that you may not necessarily be aware of or remember.



How does this Person Feel About Children?

If you meet someone and they are clear, or you have the sense, that they don’t particularly like children then walk away. Your children are wonderfully special and it’s unfair to introduce somebody into their life that doesn’t feel the same way.

Does this Person Have Children of Their Own?

Though it’s by no means vital, having children of their own means that they will usually understand the complications of childcare, scheduling, last minute cancellations and all the other joyous aspects that now accompany your dating life. That said if they don’t have children, then just look for that sense of understanding, and compatibility where raising children is concerned.

Should You Say that You Have Children in Your Profile?

Yes absolutely. Honesty is always the best policy and they are a big part of your life, but keep it simple at this stage. ‘I have two children, a boy and a girl, Adam and Anna, 7 and 9′ is sufïcient.



How Much Should You Involve Your Children in Your Profile?

You are the one looking to find love – not your little one – so make sure your profile picture is of you and you alone.  That said, an image of you and your children later on will provide nice insight into your exiting family dynamic.

How Much Should You Mention Your Children on a Date?

This is especially difficult, as parents we are hardwired to talk about our children and how great they are! Before a date, take the time to remember the things that really make you tick and make an effort to let your date get to know every aspect of your personality. Of course, if the topic of your children naturally comes up, don’t stress out about avoiding it, go with what feels natural and comfortable to you.

How Long Should You Wait Before Introducing a New Partner to Your Children?

There is no set answer here, rather a case-by-case decision on what makes you and your children comfortable. Wherever possible, you should communicate with your children about your current relationship and introduce the idea of a new partner long before the partner themselves. Also, don’t put too much pressure on a first meet. Do something fun and relaxed and let them get to know each other in a natural way.

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Single Parents Dating more than Singles without Children?

According to dating site Match.com, “21% of single parents are currently dating someone versus 16% of singles without kids; 35% of single parents have been on a first date in the past year versus 27% of singles without kids.” Now, these statistics could have been manipulated in a million ways (what does “single” mean exactly, how precisely do you define “dating,” etc.), but the good news is, this means that single parents aren’t moping around sad, lonely and bored. We’re getting out, and as Jezebel’s Anna North put it, “getting it on.”

As a single mother myself, I can attest to the getting it on part.  Since I’ve spent the better part of the last two years since my divorce following doing all of the things Match recommends the newly single parent do: compiling a killer wardrobe, maintaining a great hairstyle (one Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert described as an “eff you cut“), I seem to have no problem snagging a squire for an evening of romance.  What I can’t get is a date.

Let me rephrase that: it’s not that I think I am unable to get a date or that I think I’m not girlfriend material.  It’s that I haven’t had a man ask to buy me dinner.  That being said, I won’t deny that one of the first thoughts that exploded into my brain and out of my mouth when I knew I was leaving my husband was, “I gave you my 20?s!  I had a kid.  No one is going to want me now.”  It took about a year, but as I devoted more time to To read the entrie article clickmy emotional recovery, health and well-being, I realized I wasn’t “damaged goods,” despite the fact that I felt it and meant it the day that I posted that as my Gchat status circa summer 2009.

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