You want to get started dating a single parent, don’t you? No matter where you’re starting out from, modern dating can be a tricky area to navigate. It starts out as a simple desire to meet someone new. But it can turn into a minefield of ‘swipes’ and unknown conversations. And that’s before we even go out on an actual date!
Social media has upped the pressure on our quests for love. Online newsfeeds pour out endless smiling images of happy couples and festive engagements. It can be hard to know what’s real and what’s a filtered version of romantic reality.
We all want to meet a person whose right for us. Someone who can understand and appreciate who we are, beyond photos and bio captions. Seems simple, right?
There are many options available to us now, to help us meet the right person. With the dating scene changing to an online one, we have the benefit of many free online dating sites that can help us find a match. Sometimes, that person may come with a few complexities.
Or in other words – children!
So, how can we go about dating a single parent without getting in the way of their other priorities?
5 step guide to dating a single parent
Step 1) Ask yourself what you want.
Before you start to date someone with children, ask yourself a few questions. Do you actually want the sort of relationship that a single parent can offer? Many people love children and like the idea of bringing them into their life. For other daters, it might be that a different relationship would suit them better. Are you willing to take on what this sort of connection will implicate? Take the time to think the situation through to prevent any unwanted misunderstandings. Or indeed wasted time for either party.
Step 2) Consider their needs.
Every parent will have a certain amount of commitment to their child or children. The schedule might vary week to week, but the core fact of this will not change as time goes on. Commitment to family life will likely include the amount of time they need to devote to them, and not to you. When you’re dating a single parent, try to remain as considerate of the needs they may have relating to childcare. Remember, you’re dating them to find out more about them. That includes getting to know their needs, beyond what you were attracted to in the first place.
Step 3) Be authentic, but stay realistic.
Children can spot a false person from a mile away – and they’re not shy to let the world know about it! When the time comes for you to start spending time with your date’s children, always make sure you stay true to yourself. Don’t try to overcompensate for anything and stay true to who you really are. This step isn’t just about impressing their children! It’s also about seeing if you are going to be a good match for the family dynamic. By being who you really are, you’ll be able to tell if the chemistry is going to work or not from much earlier on in the journey.
Step 4) Appreciate them for who they are, beyond being a parent.
You have chosen to date this person because you are attracted to them as a person. And that’s great! As your relationship develops, make sure that you keep focused on the reasons you first fell for them, beyond them being a parent. The person you’re dating will appreciate your effort and it will encourage a far more positive direction for you both in the long term. They’re likely on the dating scene because they want to be appreciated as an adult. Give them the gift of genuine appreciation.
Step 5) Stay respectful of their boundaries.
Unlike other daters, single parents have likely put in a lot of thought to who they are allowing into their life. This can be a great start point for anyone looking for something longer term. When dating a single parent it’s important to be respectful of their boundaries. They may need to take things a little slower than you might want, to ensure their personal comfort. They may need to cool things off every now and again, when their children need their attention. This could be as simple as their child being off school with sickness, or having to take care of them on a weekend when they might not usually. Stay respectful of the fact that these loves in their life were present before you arrived on the scene.
Falling for a single parent comes with its certain challenges. But there are a huge wealth of incredible benefits and opportunities that also come in the same package. Reliability and a sense of personal investment is much more likely when dating a single parent. Dates that involve their child or children can make for an enjoyable day out!
Single parents are still daters like everyone else. They are individuals who have found themselves on the dating scene. They’re looking to meet someone special to them. Sure, they may have a few little people in tow. But their heart wants the same things as anyone else. The same as you, in fact.
It may not always be easy, but no relationship comes with guarantees. Most of all, try and stay respectful of one another. Oh, and remember to have fun along the way. No one ever said it needed to be too serious a process.
If you can reach a balance that both of you are happy with, then you’re well on your way to a very happy future together.
Happy new year!