Though results from our recent study showed that single parents in the US are dating more (21%) compared to singles without children (16%), we know there are still plenty of reasons why single parents may be hesitant to jump back into the world of dating. Not wanting to your shift focus away from your kids, too many chores to do, too exhausted after working all day… we understand! It’s hard balancing a dating life while raising kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the endeavor. In order to help kick your single booty into dating gear, we asked our relationship expert Whitney Casey to share some advice on finding success while dating as a single parent.
Avoid the “Baby-Buzz-Kill”: First date banter should not include “baby talk”. Make a rule with yourself: Don’t talk about your kids, his kids, the neighbor’s kids etc. There will be plenty of time once you decide you like him/her to talk about your kids. On a first date you need to get to know each other…and despite what a crazy busy world parents live in sometimes…your kids do NOT define you. Try to keep the baby talk off the plate until possibly the third-fourth date.
Don’t be the “childless single parent”: Although you shouldn’t be talking incessantly about your children (see above) you certainly should never try to pull off that you don’t have any either! If you aren’t real about who you are when you are meeting someone…they are bound to be REALLY disappointed. If you are a single mom or dad proudly proclaim your parenthood (and then zip it!!) You shouldn’t want to date anyone who isn’t open to the fact that you are a parent…even if you think you can convince them you are great and then meet your kids (to see how great they are too!) It really isn’t fair to be false up front.
You may have good genes but get rid of those MOM JEANS: If you have been out of the dating scene for a little while you don’t have to go get an entire new wardrobe, but it is a good idea to freshen up your look a little. And this means you too guys! Some dead giveaways that you have been the Rip Van Winkle of the dating world would be these following items: jeans, shoes, hair and accessories. If you don’t want to invest a lot then stick to finding an updated pair of jeans, one pair of casual shoes a good blow dry or cut and skip the accessories altogether.
“Meet the Parents”: There are two thoughts that weigh equally with parents when it comes to introducing your “date” to your kids. The first thought: I’ll introduce them to everyone who comes over as “this is daddy’s/mommy’s friend” so it isn’t a big deal and the kids get used to a lot of adults coming in and out of their lives. These “friends” of course can’t spend the night, etc. The second thought: don’t introduce them at all until a solid relationship has been established. The only downside to this is that…if the kids really don’t like the person you have chosen…it is a little late. I have known parents who have done both of these way and both seem to work.
Are you a single parent (or are you dating one)? Let us know in the comments below if you have used any of these tips above, or if you have any others to share with other single, dating parents.
More information on Match.com’s Single Moms.