Cupid's Pulse Article: How to Date when You’re a Single ParentCupid's Pulse Article: How to Date when You’re a Single Parent

By April Littleton

Being a single parent has its challenges – especially when it comes to dating. When you’re raising children on your own or co-parenting, getting back into the dating pool is hard. You’re not sure how your kids will adapt to someone new hanging around. Plus, is it even worth it to try to give your heart to someone else? Cupid has some tips:

1. Take your time

You don’t have to rush into a relationship with anyone. You have your kids to think about and they don’t need to be introduced to a new person every single week. When you’re ready to start dating again, take it slow. Don’t worry about what other people think. You start to date when you feel like it’s the right time, not when anyone else says you should start testing the waters again.

2. Explain to your kids

When you do start to see someone new, you need to prepare your children for the situation. Whether they are too young to understand what you’re telling them or not, you still need to let them know you’re going to spending some time with her person who isn’t their mother/father. Reassure them that the new love in your life isn’t there to take the place of their other parent, but you’re simply hanging out with someone else on a romantic level. Your children will have plenty of questions. Try your best to answer each one of them honestly without getting into any specific details about your love life.

Related: The Do’s and Dont’s of Speed Dating

3. Introduction

You obviously don’t need someone who you’ve only been dating for a short time to meet your children. However, if things get serious between you and your new potential love interest, you need to start thinking about introducing your honey to the other important people in your life. Make sure your new boyfriend/girlfriend already knows about your kids (that should have been one of the first things you told them when you first started dating) before you set up a date for the whole gang to meet. When the day does come for the outing, make sure you keep the activities fun, short and to the point.

Related: How to Handle a Clingy Partner in a Relationship

4. Be courteous

Be careful how much PDA you should – especially in front of your children. Everyone will need to adjust to you dating someone new, so make sure to avoid any situations that could be uncomfortable and/or hurtful to your kids. Also, your new partner might not be too fond of the idea of the two of you sharing serious affection for each other in public anyway.

5. Keep your past where it belongs

Your ex shouldn’t be involved in any part of your love life. Don’t bring him/her up unless the reason has something to do with the children you have together. If you want to develop a serious relationship with the new man/woman in your life, they don’t need a constant reminder of the feelings you and your former flame once had for each other. You need to start living your life for you and your kids. Who you date has nothing to do with your ex and vice versa.

Do you have any additional advice for a single parent who’s dating again? Comment below.