Dating and being a single parent: how does it work?

Dating when you’re on your own and have children can be a bit complicated, even more so with infants or toddlers. Balancing a career and taking care of the family at the same time can make being a single parent very demanding. Every day is full of so many little tasks. If you add dating into the mix, it may seem like too much to handle. However, mastering the situation, as well as finding the right person for you, is still completely achievable.

When Should I Start Dating Again?

No matter what your situation, whether your kids are little or a bit more grown up, whether you recently split from your partner or your last date was several years ago, you are the only one qualified to make this decision.You may have chosen to have a baby alone, for instance, with a co-parent. However, if this is not your case, being a single mom or dad is probably the result of a separation. Getting over an ex, and in particular, the mother or the father of your child, can be difficult. In this situation, you must take the time to get some closure before anything else.Before you decide to start dating again, you need to know if you’re ready. Think about why you want to find a date. Is it because you feel that you need to have someone to share your life with or because you just want to have a little fun? Is it because you want to get out of the house without the children? Finding someone should not be motivated by the desire to fill a void in your life.

dating happy couple sitting at cafe and drinking coffee

What you need right now may not be dating but something else, for instance, feeling useful outside of the house or simply going out for a night on the town. Volunteer, or call a friend to meet you for a drink. There may be other solutions that are more suited to your problem.
If, on the contrary, you crave the feeling of being in the arms of a lover or spending time with someone you’d like to share your life with, you might well be ready to start dating again.

How do I Find the Time to Date?

Between your job, taking the kids to school or running them back and forth to their extracurricular activities, doing household chores, and going to social events, you might have the impression that you’re so busy that you'll never get a moment to yourself. So how could you have time for dating?

It's important to remember that, no matter how busy you may be, you can always find time to date. You must create room for it in your schedule and make things happen, regardless of whether you’re looking for a fling or a more serious relationship. If this is not already the case, you could try co-parenting with the father or mother of your child. Choose a night that suits you and arrange a babysitter or your parents to look after the children. You could even ask them to arrive in advance so that you have some more time to prepare. Organizing yourself well will help you to avoid too much pre-date stress or pressure.

Where can I Find Other Singles?

Do you have the feeling that you are spending most of your time in places that your kids like, for example the zoo, the playground or the children's section of the library? Additionally, do you find yourself very rarely going to places populated by other adults, such as bars and clubs? Why not try some places that are suited to all ages? Bookshops, parks, museums or child-friendly coffee shops are all good spots for finding other singles.

Alternatively, you may meet other singles using a dating website. You can choose a site that is exclusively dedicated to solo parents, or a more general one catering to all sorts of people, with children or otherwise. It’s an easy solution for finding a date, as well as a great tool for single parents whose time is precious and who don't get many opportunities to meet new people.

Should I Date Childless People or Single Parents?

The decision is up to you. Many childless people might be happy to meet someone with children, others might be afraid of it. The important thing is that you never hide the fact that you have kids. You should inform your date straight away that you are a dad or a mom. Non-parents may be very understanding of your situation and quite open to talking about it with you.On the other hand, if you want to date but don’t want another baby, seeing someone who is already a parent could be a good solution. Dating people with children also presents the advantage of being with someone who shares your experience as a solo parent. They may better understand your situation and the struggles of raising a child alone. However, this completely depends on the personalities of those involved. You may well meet a childless person who is just as supportive and understanding as a single parent.

Where can I Find Other Single Parents?

Although you might meet interesting people who are not parents but are happy to date someone with children, you may find that you prefer to date other single parents who have experienced the same things that you have.Dating websites for single parents are a good solution for finding other single moms and dads. It’s an easy and practical way to meet others parents who are looking for love (or just a fling) around you! You can also join forums or groups for single parents on social media.

Alternatively, looking for other single parents in places you already frequent as part of your daily routine is an excellent idea, as single parenting can often be quite time-consuming. Try chatting to people you meet at the gym, in parks and playgrounds, outside school when you’re waiting for the children to go home, or at concerts organized for children.

How do I Tell the Children that I’m Dating Someone?

Telling the kids might be hard, but it's necessary. You should tell them that you’re dating, but you don’t have to get into the details. They obviously don’t need to know everything. Give a quick and simple answer to each of your child’s questions without giving away more than is necessary, before eventually changing the subject. What you should tell them also depends on their age and personality. If they are little, you can just say that you’re seeing a new friend you like spending time with. As they get older you can share a little more, all the while remaining cautious of their feelings.

How do I Tell My Date that I Have Children?

It’s best to always tell your dates straight away that you have children. Never hide it from them. If you are dating via a website, always specify that you have kids on your biography or “about me” section. Tick the box “children” if there is one. You don’t have to write a lot about it, but at least make it clearly known. It will save you the trouble of dating people who don’t want to be with someone who has children. The same rule applies if you meet somebody in the real world - always be honest about the fact that you are a parent.

Should I Allow My Date to Sleep Over?

This depends entirely on you and the person that you’re dating. For some, it will be a definite no if the children are home. Others will feel more comfortable with this situation. If you want your date to stay at your place, you need to be sure that they are someone trustworthy. Your home needs to remain a safe place for your children. If your relationship is serious or starting to get serious, you might prefer to discuss things first with your children, rather than being showered with an awkward barrage of questions in the morning. Additionally, you might want to consider having a chat about the situation with your co-parent.

When Should I Introduce My New Partner to the Children?

If you’ve just started to date, you should wait for the relationship to become serious before introducing your children to your new partner. You don’t need to introduce your kids to everyone you’re dating, as this could confuse them. Furthermore, it’s best to make introductions in a place your children feel comfortable in, for instance, the playground, if they are little, or at home with a takeaway pizza. It’s important that your children meet your new special someone in their own environment.



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