10 Dating Tips For A Single Parent
Society has its own way of looking at a “successful life” in western culture. That looks like two people getting married, having children, and then living a life that only dreams are made of. But, that doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, a spouse dies and leaves the other alone to raise a child. Sometimes, an accidental pregnancy occurs, and one of the partners decides to hit the road. And also, a woman doesn’t find the person they want to be with or marry, so they decide to get pregnant in their own way and raise that child on their own. There are plenty of combinations in which this situation takes form, but when it all boils down, it’s the same: someone is raising a child or children as a single parent.
It can be incredibly tough raising a child by oneself because all of the responsibility and emotional strain falls onto one person. There’s no sharing the duty or the full responsibility. Sometimes, single parents have help, but it isn’t the same as having a partner there every day by one’s side. Eventually, the time may come when this single parent either, meets someone great and wants to start dating them, or they want to head out into the dating world again for either something long-term or pleasure-driven. Here are 10 dating tips for single parents (these tips are for both genders):
#1. Don’t expect everything at once
This is smart advice for almost everything in life, but it especially is applicable here. It can take a while to feel “ready” to date, but because of being a single parent, it’s important to go into things with relaxed expectations. It will only hurt oneself and the children as well if one puts all their “eggs in one basket” and expects a perfect long-term relationship to be the result of dating. It also puts a lot of pressure on oneself and the other person on the date. Go into it with a relaxed and open mind and see how things go. Try this FLAMES Love test.
#2. Don’t feel guilty
It is so easy to feel guilty in this situation because currently the children are without one parent. One worries about letting the children get close to a new person, only to have the relationship eventually end. Some parents also feel guilty about having their own lives because they feel like it’s selfish or that they’re taking precious time away from their kids. There is also more pressure on them as well being the only parent. But, it’s important for parents, even single parents to get time on their own! They need to do their own thing and have their own lives, just like everyone else. When it’s time to start dating, go ahead and do it! Don’t feel guilty.
#3. Figure out how to start doing it
Because of being a parent, it’s wise to consider how the dating process will go. Perhaps, it’s not smart to start trolling the bars and picking up random people. Internet dating is becoming more and more popular these days and can be a great way to screen people before the date as well as take one’s time to get to know someone. In a bar situation, it can be difficult to get to know their true self, and it can get a little messy.
#4. Don’t rush
As mentioned above, it’s OK to take one’s time. No need to hurry to get to the altar! Now that kids are in the picture, it’s even more important to be smart and to go slow (if looking for a long-term relationship or marriage compatibility). Let the relationship unfold as slowly or as quickly as is comfortable.
#5. Figure out sleepovers
Sleepovers are totally normal and appropriate, but be sure not to do it when the kids are in! Make sure they’re away in the custody of a friend or relative before considering having a sleepover. There’s no reason to get the children mixed up in this before the relationships is official and more serious. Don’t feel selfish about this either! It’s perfectly normal and healthy to have sexual relationships, and even single parents deserve to have them if they want them!
#6. Manage time well
Keep things in balance. It’s important to do parent-time, but it’s also essential to have self-time as well as time for dating. Be sure to keep it in balance, so that one’s head doesn’t spin off by trying to fit everything in!
#7. Maybe consider other single parents
Single parents may be the best possible choice for dating partners! That’s because they know what it’s like, and will understand priorities. They won’t put pressure on, and they can understand the emotional strain it takes to raise children alone. Also, it might be smart to find other single parents in the same situation in order to get some guidance and emotional support.
#8. Wait to tell the kids
Some parents might feel like it’s lying to not include children in this part of their lives, but it’s for the best. Until the relationship is sticking around for a longer amount of time, then include the kids. But, it’s not necessary to bring them on an emotional up and down experience with new partner after new partner. But, it’s also important to remember not to wait too long, because one would like to see how their kids and their partner get along as well!
#9. Find a good childcare situation
Childcare can be expensive, but it’s also stressful if there’s not a reliable one available! In order to be able to get that essential alone time as well as dating time, find a situation that is dependable and easy. That way, there is enough time for each activity, and the kids are in good hands.
#10. Don’t be ashamed
Sometimes, after divorce and because of single parenthood, people are ashamed to go out in the dating world again, because they may feel like others will reject them because of it. But, that prevents them from living their lives and searching for the relationships they really want! So, go into these situations with confidence and head held high. Not only will it make the dates more fun and relaxed, but it will also be more attractive.
Dating is hard enough these days. People are all searching for something that makes them feel happy, loved, secure, and appreciated. But, dating as a single parent makes it even that much harder. A single parent may feel insecure and nervous about going back to dating. They may be worried about their kids’ security and feelings about having a new person in their lives. They may also feel like it’s selfish to want this for themselves.
But, if a single parent wants to get into a relationship, then they should go into it feeling confident with nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Get emotional support and encouragement from others. Find a good childcare situation. And feel comforted that each person deserves to find relationships that support them and make them happy. It’s not selfish to want this, and it can give the children a good example and role model.