If you’re single and have children, dating can be somewhat challenging. However, it’s possible to be a great parent and still enjoy taking part in dating and developing close relationships with other adults.
Try these dating tips for single parents
- Vow to keep your parenting life and your dating life separate until appropriate. Consider your dating life as an activity you do the occasional evening as an adult social activity.
- Strive to achieve a certain balance in your life. Ensure that how you spend your time on a day-to-day basis demonstrates your life’s priorities.
- Avoid involving your children with everyone you date. One of the most difficult things for a child after his parents separate is being exposed too soon to a parent’s “new” partner.
- Protect your kids from uncomfortable feelings by not involving them with your dates.
- Recognize that, even if you really like someone you’ve gone out with 2 or 3 times, you don’t know for sure at that point that the relationship will “work out” and become long-term. If you involve your child and it doesn’t work out, your child is again placed in the vulnerable position of feeling rejected, left behind and hurt.
- Set limits regarding dating and parenting efforts with your children. Be upfront and honest about how much time you’ll spend with someone you date.
- For example, if you feel you can’t be out past a certain time or can’t go out two nights in a row because of your parenting duties, be open about it. Doing so shows you’re clear and confident about what’s important to you.
- Share your feelings with the person you’re dating. If you’re disappointed you’re unable to spend more time with the person you’re dating, tell them.
- This way, they’ll know what you’re going through and hopefully grow to understand your position as a parent who’s striving to have a healthy social life.
- Let your kids know that they’re your first priority. Regardless of just telling them so, demonstrate through your behavior that you love your kids and are interested in all their activities.
- Make a major effort to attend your kids’ school functions and extracurricular activities, such as sports, dance and music recitals.
- From time to time, talk with your children in general about your dating life. Tailor your talk based on the age of your children.
- Explain that you like to have fun with other adults and that there will be times that you go out with friends.
- Let them know a couple of days in advance that you’ll be going out.
- Your time out can be an opportunity to make life interesting and fun for your kids. For example, occasionally, let them stay over with Grandma and Grandpa when you have a date. Your kids most likely enjoy spending time with their grandparents.
- Or find a teenager close by that you know and trust. Usually, kids love to have teenagers for babysitters.
- As long as you know the kids will be well cared for and safe, make the time they spend without you fun.
You can truly enjoy this time of your life. Even though you’re a parent, you can set aside time to date. Make an effort to balance your single-parenting life and your dating life. When you do, you’ll discover the joys of both.