Are you a single parent that’s ready to get back into the dating scene, but haven’t a clue on where to start? Are you wondering if dating is even a good idea or not? There’s no doubt that having children can make dating more challenging.
For one thing, you have to balance your commitments to your kids with the time demands of a new relationship.
This doesn’t take into consideration all of your other commitments such as your job or business, maintaining your household, and etc.
Also, you may be introducing a new person to your kids’ lives and that can cause confusion and tension.
Many people seem to have an opinion about single parents, and their advice when it comes to your private life goes something like this; take up a hobby such as golf, needlepoint, flying drones, tennis, kayaking, woodworking, photography, and so on.
Forget them, this is your life and you deserve companionship at whatever level you desire, whether that is romantic, friendly, or both.
However, dating with kids is not the same as dating without them.
There are some general guidelines you need to follow when you are introducing an adult into your children’s lives.
You want to ensure this individual is a good person to prevent putting your children in harm’s way.
This is why I’m going to provide you with 5 Single Parent Dating Tips you should consider before you start dating again.
Let’s get to it…
1)) Have A Conversation with Your Children
I would highly advise against jumping right into dating because your actions not only affect you but also your kids.
Starting a new relationship will affect your whole family, negatively or positively depending upon the person you’re dating.
So, talk to your kids about why mommy or daddy might see other people occasionally.
Don’t lie to your children, because after finding out the truth, depending on their age, may resent you.
If we tell our kids to be honest, then it’s only fair to practice what we preach.
2)) Take Care Of Yourself First
Before you start dating, begin by taking care of yourself. Too often, single parents who are primary caretakers have to balance so many things that they let their own self-care go down the drain.
Taking care of yourself shows a great deal of self-respect. It also reflects your personal boundaries.
If you invest the time and energy looking out for yourself, without a shadow of a doubt, you are ready to invest in new personal relationships.
If you can’t take care of yourself right now, do you really think you have the emotional reserves to be there for another person?
That’s why during the boarding process airplane attendants instructs everyone to put their oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help other passengers. How can you help the other passengers if you pass out from a lack of oxygen?
This same principle applies to taking care of yourself first before you even think about dating someone.
Another benefit to looking out for number one is you’ll appear more attractive and confident to potential mates.
3)) Establish More Meaningful Relationships
You may not want to start by finding dates online, not that there’s anything wrong with this approach, but it’s not for everyone. Instead, you could consider developing all types of friendships first.
Be on the lookout for individuals you’d like to get to know better in places that you frequent.
- Kids’ extracurricular activities (e.g. sports, music lessons, etc.)
- The gym
- At church
- Place of employment
You increase your chances of meeting nice people in places that promote positivity.
Of course, this is just a guideline and not a rule.
All you’re doing is establishing relationships with people you have chemistry with.
If a friendship leads to romance, that is great! But, even if it doesn’t, your new friends are likely to introduce you to potential dates themselves.
Do you see how this works?
4)) Socialize More
By beginning to actively socialize, you are actually preparing your children for your new dating lifestyle in the future.
They will begin to see that you have social needs that they alone cannot meet. Once they are accustomed to you going out from time to time, dating won’t be a shock to their system.
Get out of the house. Hire a sitter if you need to. Think of it as preparation for a lively dating life reborn.
Another advantage of developing your social life is that your kids will get used to you going out without them.
Your social life won’t threaten them or the security they feel.
Then when you do start to date again, the children won’t see a dramatic “shift” in your routine.
Mommy (or daddy) is just going out to dinner with a friend.
5)) Prepare Your Kids for Your Dating Future
They should know whether you are building casual friendships or whether you hope to marry.
Like I mentioned earlier, you should be honest with them, but it’s also okay to tell them that you aren’t prepared to answer specific questions at a given time.
Your children are much less likely to resist another person coming into their life down the road if you lay the proper groundwork ahead of time.
Your dating life shouldn’t end because you’re single with kids, because that’s unfair to you.
Of course, you must put your kids first no matter what.
However, your life is more than just your children.
Under normal circumstances, if you prioritize your commitments, there’s no reason that you couldn’t share your time between your children and the person you’re dating.
Change your mindset from an “OR” to an “AND.”
We’ve been taught that we have to always choose between two or more things, instead of getting all the options we desire.
If you desire to have a romantic dating data life and be there to support your children, then it’s up to you to make that decision.
You know that life moves at a very fast pace, and waits for no one.
If you want to date, then get out there and do it!