Written by Jana Angeles
There’s no shame in being a single parent. If anything, it’s great that you’re in the dating scene again. No matter what stage of parenting you are in, things with your previous partner didn’t work out. It may be because you outgrew each other or just didn’t have enough time and energy to provide the commitment you needed to sustain the relationship.
Even if you have a child, it doesn’t mean your love life should be put on hold. It’s awesome that you’ve chosen to put yourself out there once more. This means you can officially put everything you had in your previous relationship in the past and begin to move forward and be with someone new. Before you start being serious with someone, here are some tips to consider now that you’re a single parent in the dating scene…
Be honest about being a parent
We understand that disclosing the fact that you’re a single parent can strike as a turn off when you’re dating someone, but at least you’ll know in the first place if it’s not going to work out. Being honest about being a single parent doesn’t mean you’ll hurt your chances of dating people; it just means you’ll be closer to finding someone who can understand your situation but still be open to getting to know you as a person.
Don’t apologise for being one either
Some people just don’t like the idea of having kids, nor do they want to date someone with kids and that is completely fine. However, if you feel obliged to apologise for being a parent when you have to reschedule or cancel dates to make your schedule work with your kids, it’s not a healthy thing to do considering the fact you already have to make sacrifices for them too. It’s not fair to feel ashamed about having kids because at the end of the day, they are your family and they are in your life and nothing can change that.
Think of dating as a positive experience
You should feel proud that you’re dating again! With work, balancing your kids’ schedules and trying to do mundane activities such as cooking, cleaning and keeping the household together, dating should be taken as a positive experience. You are putting yourself out there once again and not only that, it shows that you are maturing in all other aspects of your life. While you’ve been putting the priorities of your kids first, you are also doing something for yourself!
Take things slow
Dating can be quite fun because you get to do activities you probably haven’t done in a while such as intimate dinners, going to the movies and having someone you can talk to on the regular. Assuming that the person that you’re seeing is getting to the point of being serious, it’s important to remind yourself to take things at your own pace and not feel pressured to please the person you’re seeing. Know your limits and recognise the power of saying ‘no.’
Focus on what’s important
Your kids will come first no matter what and even if you are in the dating game right now, it doesn’t mean you have to deal with the cards you get just because someone has noticed you after a long time. Remember that you shouldn’t settle for anything less and you deserve the best.
While you are dating, just remember you are looking for someone who can learn to love you and your children. You shouldn’t have to stay with someone just to avoid loneliness. We understand that being alone is hard but if you have to stop seeing someone because you know they aren’t right for you, end it as soon as you realise this. You need to focus on what’s important for yourself and your family as well.
Putting yourself out there again can be challenging when you have children and learning how to balance your schedule with work and other things should be the least of your worries when you’re finding a partner. Dating should be a positive experience for you where you shouldn’t feel ashamed of having kids and you deserve to be with someone that can learn to love you and your family dynamics which already exist.