Single parent dating… There is a lot of stigma even today around single parents wanting to reclaim their autonomy when it comes to dating. Having said that, single parent dating has become another category in dating, and Luxy is here to help you navigate it.
Skip the super complicated period of dating as a single parent as Sydney Hutt says. As a single mom, she struggled much like all of you single parents might struggle in the initial stages of navigating this whole single parent dating world. The most important thing to remember is not to compare yourself to others and trust us when we say that it will get better.
Single Parent Dating Tips: Getting yourself back in the game
Tip 1: Self-Care
Similarly, as there is no one set way of parenting, there is no one set way of dating. Dating is a tricky concept to figure out, and doing it while also juggling your life as a single parent is almost like learning an extreme sport from scratch. So kudos to you for putting up with the pressure of singe-parenting and getting back into the dating pool at the same time. Becoming a parent can turn the world as you know it upside down, but you must remember that although your children can be the most important things your life, you are still important too.
Think of it this way: You are responsible for providing constant care and support for your children. But first and foremost, you need to ensure you are able to support and care for yourself. To provide your children with everything they need and give them a full and happy life, it is imperative that you have provided this for yourself as well. Be a parent that is available to them and make self-care a routine regime for you and you children.
Tip 2: Make Time
There is something that as a parent, you must never forget: your children always take priority over your partner. Ron Deal mentions this in his article about the best practices for dating as a single parent: “If you fall in love don’t abandon your kids by spending all of your free time with your newfound love.”
Children cannot understand the concept of abandonment or comprehend any reason for either parent not being around. Hence why a stable support system is so important for a child to have from a young age. As a single parent, you have an intense amount of responsibility for your child and it is important that any potential partners can understand this. Finding a balance between being there for your children and keeping up appearances in the dating world is difficult but not impossible. All it takes is an understanding partner and a great parent, which you definitely are.
There is no guilt in carving out time for yourself even when you are a parent. You deserve some me-time and adult company.
Tip 3: Dating Online
In an article for parents.com, Farr suggests that as a single parent, online dating should not be something to be afraid of! Online dating can save you a lot of time, which we all know is very precious and let’s be honest, essential as a single parent. Just imagine, a site where you can access eligible, high-quality singles that are readily available for you to date AND they live nearby! You can even decide who is worth your time and effort before even meeting them! To help you out further, Luxy provides all the guidance you desire when signing up and using this online dating app.
Not only does Luxy allow you to screen potential dates much faster, it’s also safer. And you can do it without having to hire a babysitter!
Tip 4: One Step at a Time
Amy Nickell shared her experience of dating as a single parent with The Guardian Soulmates, ending the article on an important note. While it is tempting to start thinking of the potential future you and your date could have as a new family, when you are dating someone new Amy emphasizes that it is necessary to focus on the present not the future. Enjoy dating and meeting new people, but don’t expect every date to instantly sign up for co-parenting and becoming a part of your family as of immediate effect.
Single parent dating can be a long and gradual process as you have to allow your date to get to know you before they know who you are as a parent. Involving yourself with a single parent can be a very intimidating process, so showing potential partners that you are aware and understand this will take the pressure off both of you. Take your time getting to know them before evaluating whether or not to introduce them to your children, there’s no rush.
Tip 5: Listen
Listen to your children. Most of the time, children can be a good indicator of deciphering a persons character. How your children respond to a new person in their lives is completely dependent on the child. But as a parent you have the ability to understand when your child is being genuine and also if people are being genuine with your child. Suss out the dynamic between new partners and your children early to avoid difficult situations and disappointing outcomes.
This process can benefit you, but it is also crucial that your children feel like they are being listened to and understood. Take them seriously and make sure they know they matter to you and that their voice is heard. Be understanding if your children take time to warm to your new partner as sharing you is not something they would be familiar with.
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Tip 6: Don’t Rush
Rushing into a relationship is never a good idea. As Amy says, your family is not incomplete just because it doesn’t follow the mainstream of having two parents. Single parents are able to raise their children just as well as those who are in a relationship, so don’t compare yourself to others.
To prevent false expectations, don’t rely on finding a partner straight away, it’s not always that easy. Take your time when getting to know the other person so that you can make good decisions. Remember, now you’re not only bringing another person into your life, but also into the life of your child (eventually). Having a long-term plan of what you are looking for and wanting to come out of situations will allow your potential partner to know where they stand. For example, consider when the best time to introduce your partner to your child would be. Establishing a timeline like this can help you to decide whether the dating process is going well or if it’s time to cut things short. If your partner also has a family, you should consider how this could impact both of your lives and your children.
Bonus Tip: What if?
Here’s one last practical tip that you can use to make the transition between being single a single parent to having a partner…
Ron Deal recommends to start engaging your children in hypothetical scenarios. Begin the conversations about future partners with ‘what if’ questions. This will introduce ideas about you having a partner so that your children can begin to make up their minds about how they feel about this. You will be able to gauge your children’s reactions, opinions, suggestions, before you make any moves. It’s a great way to communicate with your children without it feeling too forced or artificial.