You love being a single parent, but let’s face it; the only date you’ve been on for a long time is your child’s play date. Stepping back into the dating world might be an exciting thought, but it may also leave you feeling nervous and confused.
You may wonder if you can actually fit dating into your hectic schedule, how your children will feel about you spending time with someone other than their mother or father, and whether you really have what it takes be successful at dating.
You aren’t alone. Thousands of single parents around the world have felt the same way you do right now. If you think you are ready to start back in the single parent dating world, consider the following advice.
Starting Back on the Dating Scene: Single Moms and Dads
Dating as a single parent can seem like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are a few things to consider before you head out for your first date:
- Are You Interested? – If you finally feel as if you are ready to begin dating again, don’t go on a date just to go on one. Find someone you are really interested in. Make sure your date knows you are a single parent and are comfortable with it and the fact that your children will always be of great importance.
- Don’t Feel Guilty – Many single parents feel guilty about re-entering the dating scene. While this feeling is normal, you need to realize that it is also normal to crave adult companionship. Having a night out with a person that can make you laugh and falling in love again doesn’t make you a bad parent. You won’t love your children any less because of it.
- Telling Your Children - If your children are old enough, sit them down and explain in simple terms why you are going out. Let them know you love them and listen to any fears or concerns they may have. Make sure your children are comfortable with your decision to date, and be sure they understand that your dating life will not affect the time you spend with them. In other words, you won’t be missing school plays or soccer games to have coffee with a new love interest.
Introducing Your Date to Your Children
The decision of when to introduce your date to your children is completely up to you, but you should take a step back and think before you do.
- Get to know your date first. Give it some time, if you can. Otherwise, you are inviting a complete stranger into your home.
- The first few months of dating are often called the honeymoon period. You and are date are both having a ton of fun, and you may want to introduce your kids quickly. Unfortunately, this feeling will pass, and you may find neither your children, nor your date, were ready for such a serious step.
- When you finally do decide it is time to introduce your children to the individual you have been dating, keep the introduction pressure-free and short. Plan a kid-focused activity for the meeting and make sure there are no unrealistic expectations. Gradually, over time, plan more and more child-involved activities that allow your date and kids to spend stress-free time together. Don’t push their relationship though; both your children and your date will develop their relationship together in their own time.
Top 5 Places to Look for a Date
Once you are ready to start dating, you may be wondering where you will find the next love of your life. Thankfully, there are several place you can look that are right outside your door.
- Social Events – Social events like trivia nights, music events, comedy events, and poetry nights are a fantastic way to meet creative and interesting people. Many are held at clubs and bars, but are not centered drinking, so you can meet talented individuals without worrying about alcohol impairing your choices.
- Sports Teams – Love playing a sport? Consider joining a co-ed team. Here you may be able to find a individual of the opposite sex you are interested in dating.
- Clubs - Clubs allow you to pursue your interests while meeting individuals who are like minded. Join a book club, travel club, or even a wine club. Use your similar interests to spark a conversation.
- Coffee Shops – There is a reason why so many movies involve singles meeting in coffee shops. It works. Next time you have a craving for a cup of Joe, find a busy coffee shop, smile, and greet everyone you meet. Sit close to the door and don’t hide behind a book. If you seem approachable, you may meet your next date.
- Friends – Consider planning a movie or game name with your friends each week. Let everyone know they can invite anyone they want to, and see who shows up. If you someone catches your eye, have your friend introduce them to you and start up a conversation.
Best Online Single Parenting Dating Sites
Is your busy schedule keeping you from getting out and finding that perfect date, why not get online? There are several dating websites that cater specifically for single parents.
Here are just a few:
- http://www.singleparentsmingle.com – Single Parents Mingle offers free basic service or paid service for $9.95 a month for single parents looking to get back in the dating game or just wanting to find friends.
If you are ready to get back into the dating game, make sure to consider these tips for finding the right date.