Dating as a single parent has its own set of challenges. Mother’s Day is today (happy day to all the single moms out there!) and with Father’s Day fast approaching, I thought it would be timely to offer some tips for the dating parents out there.
1. Know that you deserve it.
Needless to say, single parents are busy. Really busy. Added to that is the ongoing emotional adjustment to life without a partner, co-parenting and establishing a new normal with your ex, and finally all that energy it takes to raise healthy, happy kids when the family unit is split. You will likely have some reservations about starting another relationship, especially if it was a tough transition for you and your children. So putting it off until you feel ready is a good thing. But just be careful about waiting too long. It’s only going to be tougher to re-enter the dating scene and then adjust to a new relationship if you become too accustomed to being alone. Also, once you take that initial step, you will probably find that you really enjoy dating and connecting again in a romantic way. Dating, at least at the beginning, is about you. And you deserve it.
2. Take it slow
So when you are ready to get back out there again, it’s always a good idea to take it slow. Take the time to figure out what you are comfortable with. Online dating can be a good choice for single parents. You are in control of how much you participate and who you choose to communicate with. You can also be upfront about having children and who you are looking for in a partner. That way you won’t waste time communicating with someone who doesn’t get your life.
3. Yes, date someone who gets your life
So dating is for you. But dating as a single parent means you will always be considering your children, too. For a relationship to work, the person will need to understand and relate to the daily demands of your life. And if the relationship is to work long-term, they will certainly need to really like (love?) your children, too.
4. Don’t introduce your children too soon.
When you meet someone you hit if off with, you might want to share the person with everyone, including your children. But hold of as long as possible. Let the relationship develop slowly and enjoy being a couple without the added pressure of your children being involved. You will also need that time to ensure your partner is likely going to be in your life long term.
Terran Shea is a Matchmaker and Dating Expert with MutualMatch.ca