Tips for Dating As a Single Parent in 2019
It is sometimes scary to go back into the dating world as a single parent. You worry about facing rejection; and about how your kids would react to the news of a new partner. Because of this, "the idea of ‘getting back in the game’ can be tough,” says Les Parrott, Ph.D., psychologist, and founder of BetterLove.com. "If that means taking your time, so be it. If that means getting some counseling or coaching first, do it. The toughest part is simply starting.”
Here are a few tips that would guide a single parent who wants to start dating again.
1. Wait a year
According to Prevention.com, the best thing for you and your kids is to wait at least one year from the end of your last relationship to re-enter the dating scene. Within this one year, you would have had enough time to confront the issues from your past relationship. By confronting past issues, you are putting yourself in a better place to have a healthier relationship.
2. Do not hide the fact that you are a parent
The Guardian Soulmates, advise that you should be open about the fact that you are a parent. Due to the stigma and myths surrounding single parenthood,many single parents believe they are better off keeping their kids a secret. This is a big mistake. You are better off revealing your status as a single parent as early as possible. This way you know how your potential partner would react to the news and whether or not you need to spend any more time pursuing a relationship with this person.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should only take a further interest in people who do not mind the fact that you are a single parent. You cannot hide your child(ren) forever, so the earlier you talk about them, the better.
3. Let go of guilt
You are bound to feel guilty about the fact that you no longer spend all your free time with your children, but don’t let this stop you from dating.
“You'll probably have some inner conflict—a desire to date and begin a new life with someone while simultaneously feeling some guilt or worry about the effects of dating on the children,” says Paul Coleman, PsyD, a psychologist and author of Finding Peace When Your Heart Is in Pieces, quoted on Prevention.com. “The mistake is ping-ponging between those emotions as you try to justify dating on the one hand while worrying or feeling guilty on the other.”
4. Don’t be in a hurry to introduce your date to your child
Your date should never be seen as an assistant parent. The person does not have to be involved in the life of your child, at least until things get really serious. And even when you finally introduce them to the kid, you should let the child know your date is just a friend. This is not such an easy thing to do, but Amy Nickell, writing for The Guardian Soulmates suggests an easier way to do it, “my personal solution here is to ask my boyfriends to work by the rules of a public swimming pool: if you wouldn’t get away with it there, don’t do it in front of my son.”