Children are our everything. But what’s a single parent to do when another Saturday night rolls around, your kids are with their friends, and you’re bored at home?
If you put off dating to be there for your kids, you may find that getting back into the game is pretty hard. There are all sorts of challenges to overcome, like logistical plans and deciding if this is someone you want to introduce your children to.
Having kids changes all your priorities.
Which relates to your dating life too. Because now your number 1 priority is your children: spending enough quality time with them and doing what needs to be done to raise them right. And this will impact what you start looking for when you date.
As one parent recently explained to GQ:
“Stability, how they take care of themselves, how quick they are to anger, how they treat service workers, and whether they smoke or not (instant deal-breaker) all became really important once I became a single, full-time parent.”
While it might seem easier to just not try to date, you’ve got some support to help you figure out how to date again.
Shannon, aka Midlife Single Mommy, can totally relate to your struggle. She’s a mom to an eight-year-old and a businesswoman. In her blog, she specializes in helping other single moms find friendships and dates. She is 46, so she has plenty of experience dating in your 40s.
You have nothing to hide anymore.
By your 40s, you should have a pretty good sense of who you are. And when you have children to take care of, there is no room for compromising yourself anymore. The first step towards finding a successful relationship is to be honest about who you are and what you are looking for.
Take your time when you meet new people.
“Stay tuned into your needs and get to know and learn of any red flags that may come to light early on. If you are coming out of a long-term relationship or marriage give yourself time to become emotionally ready for a new relationship. Just take dating lightly and enjoy the new adventures.”
You are a full-on adult now with all sorts of responsibilities. You don’t need to rush headfirst into a whirlwind relationship anymore like you did in your 20s. Taking your time will protect you and help you feel out if a new person is right.
Your kids are a priority in this relationship too.
Younger kids especially can get attached pretty quickly to whoever we are dating, so you want to make sure that this person is the one before you introduce them. Shannon says give any new relationship 4 months before you even consider bringing your cutie over to family dinner. Meeting a parent’s new boyfriend is a pretty big change for a kid, so be extra aware of how they might be feeling.
Make sure that the person you date is someone who likes kids too. And when you plan those first few meetings, keep it light and fun! Plan a fun bonding experience like bowling or mini-golf so that the night isn’t overflowing with expectations.
Dating as a single parent is a challenge, but you are not alone.
According to the Pew Research Center, the United States has the highest number of children who live in single-parent households in the world. That means that there’s also a pretty high number of single parents in America! You are definitely not alone and there is all sorts of help out there to navigate this particular dating scene.
There are also plenty of dating apps geared towards single parents. So follow along with these tips, meet someone online, and then have fun!
Read Shannon’s article to learn more tips about dating as a mom in midlife.
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