Dating Tips for Single Parents

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.

  • http://www.meetdeafsingles.com/ Nick, shy girl

    Nice tips. I am freshly divorced so I am little rusty when it come to dates and pickups so this post was like a godsend to me.

  • http://www.singleparentcenter.net single parents and dating

    It really is hard to date if you’ve got kids – so many things that you need to consider aside from what makes you happy. While it is good advice to avoid discussing the kiddies on a first date, somehow you have to figure out if this person is going to mesh with you and your family, and that is a hard line to walk.

  • http://www.edatingtalk.com Jan

    Dating can be an exciting part of a single parentlife. However, making wise and practical choices is essentially important on the issue of who you date, for the sake of your kids.

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  • http://www.eqpid.com Jenn

    For singles parents the best would be for you to plan an outdoor activity for your “friend” and kids to meet. This is a great opportunity to see how they interact. Plus it is on the kids turf but not too personal. I would not let your “friend” come over to the house until you know there will be a relationship. Boys can feel really intimidated by males coming around.

  • http://www.makeaguylikeyou.com/ Connie-Make a Guy Like You Gal

    Good solid tips for those of us getting back on the horse. :)

  • http://lovesoasis.com Loves Oasis

    When I was a single dad I followed most of these tips – the new threads and fresh hair cuts are definitely a plus – but then I have been upfront with several girls that I dated about having a kid – only to have them back out a month later :(

  • http://www.singleonstage.com Single on Stage

    To become a good single parent is not so easy. I think single mothers can manage but managing every thing for single father is tough.

  • http://www.adultfreedating.net chelsey king

    Nice tips :) It really inspire me to go on dating again. :)

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    at this point i find just what exactly i want to be aware of..thanks a lot because of this informations..

  • http://www.parents-dating.com/ Parent Dating

    Awesome post, i really like the second point. You should be honest with your date, let him/her knows you have kid’s’. You need just to be genuine.

    Thanks for the post…

  • Autumn

    I’ve been seeing someone who is a great father & I admire that. I also have a child so its important to me that a man takes care of his responsibilities especially to his children. BUT, 99% of his conversation is about his son. He even texts me throughout the day to tell me about random things his son did or is doing. If we go out he talks for hours about his son filling every now & then with talk about work or a complaint about his sons mother. In the beginning we talked about ourselves & things we had in common but at some point he got stuck on talking about his son. I feel like when I get a sitter & go out that’s my time without my daughter so I don’t spend too much time going on about her. Don’t get me wrong she does come up in conversation with friends family & dates but I keep it a minimum especially with someone I’m dating. Am I wrong? Should I be trying to be more understanding as a parent? I like him but dear God I feel like he has nothing more to talk about & its driving me crazy. I tried to cut things off & he took it really hard now I feel bad.

  • http://WealthySingleMommy.com Emma Johnson

    Re: when it’s time to introduce the kids to the potential partner, I don’t think it’s an either/or. I think that if you have good feelings about a future with this person, it makes sense to make them part of the mix. This serves several purposes:
    1) you can see if the girl/boyfriends is good with your kids and had step-parent potential,
    2) they can test drive your family in turn,
    3) your kids are supposedly the most important part of your life. If you are spending all kinds of time with your lover and your kids don’t know him/her, that sends your children a message that THEY are less important, since they are not part of this big relationship in your life.

    Emma

  • http://wealthysinglemommy.wordpress.com wealthysinglemommy

    Re: when it’s time to introduce the kids to the potential partner, I don’t think it’s an either/or. I think that if you have good feelings about a future with this person, it makes sense to make them part of the mix. This serves several purposes:
    1) you can see if the girl/boyfriends is good with your kids and had step-parent potential,
    2) they can test drive your family in turn,
    3) your kids are supposedly the most important part of your life. If you are spending all kinds of time with your lover and your kids don’t know him/her, that sends your children a message that THEY are less important, since they are not part of this big relationship in your life.

    Emma

  • http://www.facebook.com/all.perky.3 All Perky

    Thank you so much for this. I am also a single parent and I have been wondering about starting to date someone and find a partner who can take care of me and my kids. I just hope your advices would work. I’ll let you know if it does. ;)

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