Dating is hard enough when you’ve no real responsibilities but when you add a child into the mix, things can seem a lot more complicated.
If you feel you’re ready to get back into the dating scene again now as a single parent, but are feeling a bit unsure about putting yourself out there, here are our top tips to get you back on to the road to romance.
As a parent you’re always going to experience some form of guilt and that’s totally normal. However it’s also normal for you to have another adult relationship. Remind yourself that starting a new relationship as a single parent won’t mean that you will love your children any less or that you’ll have less time for them, it just means that you’ll be taking a break and enjoying yourself.
The last thing you want to have to do is cancel or rearrange dates at the last minute so always make sure that your child care is sorted before confirming a date. If your ex is still in the picture then try to arrange dates when it’s their weekend with the children. This will eliminate the need to find external childcare and also remove the need to explain where you’re going to your child - at least until you get to know your date better.
Don’t think that having a child makes you any less desirable. There are thousands of single parents finding relationships every day, no matter how complicated their situation. Be honest with your date from the start that you have children. It’ll only make it harder further down the line if things go well. Also be upfront about what you’re looking for, if you want a committed relationship or a casual fling then be clear about that so that there’s no room for misunderstandings.
Dating when you have children needs to come with a new level of maturity. Unfortunately, that margin of error you enjoyed before kids isn’t quite as wide. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make mistakes but you do have to be a little more careful. So make sure that when you meet someone they get you and your life, that they know that there will be times that you won’t be able to stay out past midnight because you’ve a baby sitter to relieve and that you won’t be able to shoot off on an unexpected weekend away. It will save you a lot of time, and heartache.
When you make the decision to get back out on the dating scene then it needs to be because you feel it’s the right decision, not because you think that it’s something you should do. If you’re not ready for another relationship be it long term or casual then don’t feel the need to go out and find one. When you’re ready to find love again then you’ll be confident, happy and positive which is make you far more attractive.
Making sure you stay safe when you are dating is essential for both you and your children. There is no such thing as being too cautious.
To find out more, read our top 6 tips for staying safe when dating online as a single parent.
It can be difficult to get the true measure of someone until you’ve spent some time together, which of course can make it easy for people to misrepresent who they are and what they are about. However, if there’s something that just doesn’t sit right with you, regardless of whether you can put a finger on it or not, then trust your gut and don’t move forward. If you feel their behaviour is inappropriate at any time then make sure you record the incident and stop all communication at once. Don’t ever feel bad for wanting to make sure that you and your children are safe.
You don’t have to give a potential date all your information. Things like your real name, where you live, your home phone number - even the names of your children, should all be kept back until you feel comfortable and until you know the time is right. Don’t ever feel pressured in to sharing information you’re not comfortable sharing and never broadcast personal information on the internet.
Before heading out on your date do your research. Use google and Facebook to find out more about who your date is and what they are about. Also take time to get to know that person before agreeing to meet face to face.
When you do finally arrange to meet face to face then make sure it’s a place where you feel comfortable and that it’s public. You may be smitten but that’s no excuse to ditch your common sense. Make sure that a friend knows where you are meeting and also arrange to check in with someone both when you’re out and when you get home so that they know that you are safe.