Dating is hard for everyone, but it can be especially hard for a single parent. You’re decision, who you associate yourself with and who you decide to be romantically involved with affect more than just yourself, and the weight of your decisions is substantially heavier when children are involved.
But just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the same love, romance and prospects as anyone else. Which is why, when you’re a single parent, you’re still entitled to a romantic life. The balance may be difficult to find, but here are a few ways to make dating when you’re a parent, easier.
Be Honest, Upfront And Always
Having a child isn’t a piece of information you should ever feel like you should hide, and it most certainly help your dating life to avoid talking about your life in an organic and honest way. Be upfront about your situation; let your date know that yes, you’re a parent and yes, you’re up for (insert: whatever it is you’re up for). Communication is key when it comes to dating, for anyone, but especially when you’re a parent.
Take The Time To Self-Examinate
It might be uncomfortable or awkward or even painful, but looking inward is key when you’re dating. Learn to be honest with yourself. Figure out what it is you’re looking for, want and need. You can’t be truthful with someone, if you’re not truthful with yourself, first.
Talk To Your Kids
If your children are old enough to understand, be upfront and honest with them. There’s no reason to keep them in the dark as, well, let’s be honest: kids are smart. You don’t want your child to feel like you’re abandoning them, hurting them or putting them last on your list of important people, so be truthful about your intentions. Let them know that romance is important to everyone, and everyone definitely includes you.
Separate Your Dating Life From Your Parenting Life (For Now)
Being a parent means, more often than not, protecting your children. There’s no reason to involve your kid in your romantic conquests, until you feel like someone is in it for the long haul. We’re not saying that it’s healthy to lie to your kid, but we are saying that it’s healthy to protect your kid form a possible let down of what could turn into a revolving door or dating prospects. Don’t introduce your children to your date, until you are certain your date is going to stick around.
Find A Balance
Because you’re a parent, you’re incapable of investing all of who you are in one particular thing. Dating is just one facet of your complex life, so find a balance between being a parent, a coworker, a friend, and a date. You can put off a date to spend time with your kid; that’s completely warranted and healthy. And you can find someone to spend time with your kid, while you go on a date; that’s also completely healthy and warranted. Don’t let your guilt force you into putting too much time into one thing. Being a human is complicated and complex.
Dating is hard for everyone, but that definitely doesn’t mean it isn’t also worth it. For everyone. So whether you’re a single parent or just single, enjoy yourself, have fun and give yourself the opportunity to find the love of your life.
-Your It’s Just Lunch Seattle Matchmakers,