Dating Tips for Single Parents
It is possible to be a single parent and have a thriving dating life! Like everything you do, though, it requires some juggling. The responsibilities of raising children, work, managing a household and getting over a divorce or break-up can make it hard to imagine time for yourself, let alone dating. The following are some tips for balancing the challenges of parenthood while enjoying the dating scene.
Accentuate the positive.
You’ve done this before and even if it’s been a while since your last date, you’re not starting from scratch. Be secure in who you are, as an individual and as a parent. Think about what you’ve accomplished and how many people count on you every day. This will allow you to be confident when entering the dating scene and to select someone who will be a great match for you and your family.
Balance your priorities.
As a parent, you naturally don’t have the carefree lifestyle that you may have if you were dating without children. You definitely want to make time to enjoy a social life while making sure it’s not at the expense of quality time with your children. You will constantly be faced with competing priorities—time with a new love interest or the kids’ basketball game? Make sure to balance time for dating with time for your children. Any worthy dating partner in your life will understand your busy schedule and your dedication to your kids and will seek out times that work with the family schedule.
Talk about your kids from the beginning.
Your kids are an important part of your life. Don’t waste time with anyone you feel is going to discount you because you have children. Some people are not interested in dating someone with children—so be it! The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can move on to someone who welcomes the fact that you share your life with children. You want your love interest to know all about the kids before meeting them, but make sure you present yourself as an individual entity with a lot to offer a relationship — not just your role as a parent.
Decide when to introduce your children.
Introducing your children to that special someone in your life is inevitable and is a very important step for any long-term relationship. Timing is everything. It’s usually best to keep your dating life low-key when you are casually dating someone. If you decide to take your dating relationship to the next level and it becomes more serious, introducing him/her to your kids is appropriate. For younger children, you may want to introduce your dating partner as “mom’s friend” or “dad’s friend” to make the situation less threatening. Some resistance from your kids is completely normal. Listen to their concerns and assure them that this new “friend” is not meant to replace their mom or dad.
Set a good example.
Think about how you would like your children to handle dating when they reach early adulthood. Set a good example for your children by making sure you have fun with dating while respecting yourself and maintaining boundaries. Only pursue a dating relationship with someone that treats you well, makes you feel loved, and respects you and your children.
Have a confident attitude and utilize your past dating experience to navigate the dating world. Set boundaries and keep your priorities straight while pursuing a dating life. If a relationship is what you want, make sure it is with someone who is worthy of your time and time with your children. It is important to pay attention to your needs, not only for your own benefit but also for your family as a whole. A parent who takes time for him/herself is a good parent!