Start dating again after a failed relationship is hard. However, if you're a single parent, the problem grows exponentially.
Dating while having children is certainly different, but not impossible. Please take a look at our top 10 tips to start dating as a single parent.
01. Make sure you're ready to date.
Sometimes, the reality of being a single or divorced parent can make you look for an escape. Seeking a relationship due to stress or loneliness is tempting, but it's not the right foundation stone.
Make sure you are considering dating again for your sake only.
02. Don't hide you have kids...
Being a parent is nothing to be ashamed of - so don’t hide it from prospective partners.
Not mentioning it would be lying about a part of your identity, and any blossoming relationship should be grounded in honesty.
03... But don't overshare either.
Although you must be proud of your children, don’t make your role as a parent your sole identity. Talk about yourself as a person - your interests and your aspirations.
Your date wants to know you first, so let them see the person beyond the parent.
04. Online dating is your best bet.
Online dating allows you to scout potential partners without sacrificing time with your children. Likewise, it also gives you the tools to filter every prospect you have according to the criteria you seek.
05. Be on the lookout for warning signs.
According to ABC News, some predators target single mothers to gain access to their children.
It's better to be safe than sorry - don't give information about your children, run background checks, and follow general safety measures.
06. Don't over-involve your children.
Studies indicate children who witness their parents going through multiple relationships affect their stability and future success in romance.
So while you’re free to date as many people as you’d like, be sure to introduce your kids to long-term partners only.
07. Avoid pushing the parent role to your date.
In a long-term relationship, you and your children are a package deal.
However, avoid being overly eager to have your partner step into the parent role, and instead let it grow organically. Trying to force a dynamic will only strain the relationship.
08. Keep in mind your child(ren)'s age.
Depending on your children's age, they may react differently to the concept of their parent dating.
The older the children, the more likely they are to fear their parent may love them less. As such, it's essential to reassure them according to their anxieties.
09. Don't feel guilty.
It's common for single parents to feel guilty while dating, often because they believe they are neglecting their children in favor of the new partner.
However, Dr. Sheri Meyers affirms this is a false belief - instead, dating allows you to find a new brand of happiness that is not dependent on your children.
10. Don't be afraid.
Dating with children is not an uncommon experience. In the United States alone, over 23% of families with children are led by one parent, so including them in the dating scene is not taboo.
As such, things are different from the past - give yourself a shot at finding love again.