Entering the seemingly mysterious dating world after time alone can feel daunting at any stage of life. On top of this, if you’re a single parent, you have the added consideration of your dear children and all that comes with being a mother or father.
Questions like, how do I find the time, how do I find someone who will fit in with my family and where do I meet someone, are all likely to be swirling in your head, causing stress and anxiety. These are all perfectly normal thoughts and fears, but they definitely don’t need to hold you back.
To help you get into the game, I’ve put together my top tips for dating as a single parent.
Be clear about your relationship requirements.
The number one factor in relationship happiness is compatibility. This doesn’t mean that you have to love ice skating, sky diving and eggs benedict if your partner does, although having some shared interests does help.
It is important to remember that healthy relationships involve mutual respect, honesty, and communication. If you are interested in someone, it is best to be genuine and honest with them about your feelings and intentions, and let things develop naturally. You may not know how to get him to chase you yet however if you focus on building a connection based on mutual interests and values the relationship will develop organically.
It means you should be compatible with your broader life goals and how you want to live. There needs to be unity in some personality traits and most core values. Otherwise, there will be disagreements and difficulty down the track.
You might think that you won’t find someone genuinely compatible, or you may believe unconsciously you don’t deserve that someone. This type of thinking will sabotage your ability to find a person you truly align with. I promise you it pays off to be picky. That person is definitely out there for you.
Asking someone out can be nerve-wracking as it is, but being a single parent can add an extra layer of complexity to how to ask a guy out. Remember, dating as a single parent can be challenging, but it’s important to take care of yourself and pursue meaningful connections.
Manage your time
- Plan time each week for dating – Schedule in dating like you would any other appointment or commitment. In addition, in the hour before you go out, set aside time to de-stress from work and kids. If possible, arrive a little early for your date.
Use your requirements list – Refer to your list to wean out those who don’t fit your non-negotiable criteria. Don’t meet them and simply move on.
Start with a short date – Meet on Zoom or go for a coffee first. Schedule an hour for the first date and use it to get to know each other. Keep your list in mind to see if you have similar values and life aspirations. Only go on a proper dinner date if there is a good measure of compatibility and some chemistry.
Make use of a personalised dating service – A personalised service can save you loads of time and energy by screening potential dates according to your personality and requirements. They should take the time to get to know you well, so you are only matched with the most suitable potential partners.
Don’t get bogged down in finding “Sparks”
Change one daily habit
Exorcise your ex
Be open about your kids, but not too open
Avoid the rebound
Don’t invite a stranger home
You’re not alone
About Anna Swoboda
Anna is a certified relationship coach, and the founder and principal matchmaker of the personalised, offline dating serviceHeartMatch. Anna is an expert at matching singles with their ideal partners. She has created a network of fabulous singles. She spends time with each person in her network to know who they are and believes her success in matchmaking is due to her combined approach of both art and science.