It can be tough to go out on a date as a single parent, but it's by no means impossible. Here's how to get back out there.
- Step 1: Resist scolding a date's child, or allowing them to step in and handle situations with your children. Discuss parenting styles and philosophies, in the spirit of learning about one another or being helpful, but draw defined boundaries while dating.
- Step 2: When it comes to introducing dating partners to your children, take it slow. Only introduce them when you are dating someone exclusively. Let the kids get used to the new situation as you and your new main squeeze get used to each other.
- FACT: As of 2010, there were 14 million single parents in the U.S., responsible for 21.6 million children.
- TIP: Get counseling before getting serious with anyone and sort out resentments or unresolved needs
- Step 3: Confront any ulterior motives you may have: are you looking for a coparent for the kids? Are you afraid to be alone? If these are your primary motivations, you may not be ready to date yet.
- Step 4: Open up about being a single parent right away. Be honest to avoid miscommunication and suspicion as you build a relationship.
- Step 5: Prepare for rejection as a natural consequence of dating, and be sure you're strong enough to handle it. Accept rejection as part of the process of searching for a mate.
- Step 6: Express your motives early on, explaining whether dating is just for company or fun right now, or whether you are looking for something more serious. Sharing expectations with your date avoids misunderstanding later.