As a parent, single or not, most of your life revolves around your kids. But for many single parents, when the children get old enough that they can enjoy some level of independence, it is the perfect time to start dating again. Before you put yourself out there, however, you should take the time to think carefully about why you want to start dating again. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking for someone to share the load of caring for/raising your kids?
- Are you looking for an opportunity to have a no-strings-attached fling with someone?
- Are you bored and looking for an excuse to get out of the house without the kids?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you should probably take a step back and examine your motives. You may also want to think about your particular situation – what caused you to become a single parent. Are you separated from your partner or did you get divorced? Have you been widowed? Did your partner abandon you and your children? Your relationship background will play an important role in determining how soon you will be ready to start dating again and what your motivations for doing so might be.
Dating as a single parent isn’t as breezy and carefree as dating as a teenager or young adult – you are not the only one who will be affected by your new relationship. It is important that you approach single parent dating from a practical perspective in order to protect yourself and your children in a new relationship. On the next page, you will find a list of some of the healthier, practical reasons single parents start dating again:
- You are satisfied with your life but you feel like it could be improved by sharing it with someone else.
- You are lonely and longing to make a strong connection with someone like-minded.
- You want to share your life and your children with someone special so the two of you can grow old together.
- You want to get married again sometime in the future or you want to have more children.
- You long for an intimate connection with someone, both physical and emotional.
As you start to think about your reasons to get back into the dating scene you may find that you are anxious about connecting with other single parents. After all, it is hard enough to raise a child (or children) on your own, so dating someone who is also a single parent could get complicated. Before you get discouraged, however, consider these eight reasons to date a single parent:
- Single parents are strong and independent – they already have a handle on their own lives and they don’t play silly games.
- A single parent already knows how to be a good parent – this is important because you want to find someone who will bond with your child. You may also be looking to have more children in the future.
- You won’t find yourself waiting around and guessing how they feel about you – dating as a single parent isn’t a solitary thing, you always must keep your children in mind. If the relationship isn’t right, you’ll know.
- Single parents are incredibly loyal and dedicated to family – they have to be in order to succeed in raising a child (or children) alone.
- A single parent is selfless – they are always putting others (particularly their children) before themselves.
- As a single parent, you have had to adapt to unexpected changes and challenging situations – other single parents have this experience as well so the two of you won’t be torn apart by bumps in the road.
- Single parents tend not to rush into things because they have to always do what’s best for their kids – this means that you will be able to take the relationship as slowly as you need to.
- Most single parents take dating very seriously and they know what they want – they won’t waste their time if they don’t feel like something is right.
Now that you’ve thought about why you want to start dating again it is time to move on to the next question – do you have time to start dating?