5 Tips for Dating as a Single Parent

posted: 05/10/16
by: Korenne Smith

New Stepmom For Mikey?

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Mike talks to his son Mikey about Valene moving in with them this summer and possibly becoming his stepmother.

Dating can be tough for anyone. As exciting as the prospect of a new mate could be, you may be agonizing over the typical uncertainty of any new relationship: your outfit for date night, how to strike the right balance of conversation, and the potential for long-term chemistry. Dating with kids adds new challenges, but it can still be a fun, and, most importantly, fulfilling experience.

Last week, TLC's "Single Dad Seeking" highlighted the lives of single dads looking for love for themselves and their children. In the video above, Mike discusses with his son, Mikey, about his plans to begin dating Valene over the summer. Here are some tips for other single parents to consider as they dive back into the dating pool:

  • Examine yourself to be sure you are ready.

It is imperative to look inwardly to determine if you are actually emotionally ready to begin dating again. Some single parents may begin dating to find a "replacement parent," or as a cure for their own loneliness. Make a decision to date because you are ready for a loving partner. When you are self-assured and confident, you are more likely to find someone else with similar self-value.

  • Put your kid(s) first.

This goes without saying. You are a mother or father first, and your child is your priority. If your child is old enough, you should have a conversation with them to explain your decision to begin dating. As children crave stability, be sure to emphasize that their life will not change adversely because a new person has entered your life.

  • Have a conversation with your child's other parent.

This could be difficult, and even uncomfortable depending on your relationship. However, it's necessary especially if you ever plan to introduce your new partner to your children. Co-parenting will be significantly easier if your former significant other understands who is around their child.

  • Manage expectations with who you're dating.

Transparency is key with whomever you are dating. Be up front that you are a parent as you are meeting someone new. Hiding this aspect of your life will do you no favors as you seek to build trust and rapport. Work together with your new partner to plan dates in advance to manage your time wisely.

  • Ease into dating.

Let's be honest: You may be a little rusty with dating at first. You don't have to sit at a bar of hours to get asked out on a date. Join a local organization to meet others with similar interests. Or, go on group dates with other couples and friends. There are also a wealth of online dating apps and services to assist you in your search. Regardless of how you are meeting prospective mates, stagger your dates so you can ease into the dating scene.

In case you missed it, watch the premiere of "Single Dad Seeking" here.