Single Parent Dating
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Single Parent Dating

With the divorce rate at over 50 percent in the United States for first time marriages, it is hardly unusual anymore to find yourself among one of the millions of single parents. For some newly single parents they can’t wait to get back out into the dating scene while others tread very slowly, or even need a bit of a push from well-meaning friends or relatives. The longer you were married, the more intimidating--even downright scary-- it may be to even consider dating again. When you are a single parent, the idea of dating again takes on another layer of concerns and confusion. Not only do you need to think of your feelings and your future, but you must also consider what is best for your children and how they will handle the idea of you dating again. Each single parent’s experience with dating again is unique; however, there are some universal considerations that may apply to you.

Dating Again

Just the idea of dating again scares many single parents. Exactly how to go about it may be enough of a mystery to prevent many from even trying. For anyone who has been married for a considerable number of years, the rules of the game have likely changed, yet the basic goal remains the same. To help ease you back into dating again, consider the following tips:

Don’t be pressured into dating again. If you are not ready, don’t do it.

Before you start dating again, take the time to analyze what went wrong in your previous relationship and what you are looking for this time around.

Let friends and family know when you have decided you are ready to date again. You never know, they may know someone who might be a great match for you.

Consider online dating. This is often an excellent way to ease yourself back into the world of dating again.

Talk to your children about the idea of you dating again. Depending on the age of your children, this may be a brief conversation, or may be an extended conversation over weeks or months until they are comfortable with the idea.

Finding a Babysitter

This is often the most practical bar to dating again. If you haven’t been going out on Saturday nights for years, you likely have no idea where to find a babysitter. If you are lucky enough to have a mother, brother or aunt close by, then you may not have to look any further. If, however, you are not so lucky, then start by checking with friends or co-workers who either have teenage children who baby-sit or who have small children who regularly need a babysitter. You may also wish to contact a professional sitting service or use an online referral service. Unless you personally know the person, a trial is a good idea before your big date. Have the sitter come over on a Saturday afternoon while you run errands so your kids can get to know him or her. One less thing to be nervous about on your big date!

Introducing Your Children to Your Special Someone

This is often the most difficult part of dating as a single parent -- when to introduce your children to your date. Again, this may depend on personal preferences and the age of your children. For children under about the age of 13, it is usually best to wait until you are sure that the relationship may be going somewhere. For older children, you may consider a brief introduction earlier on to get their opinion or feedback. If, however, they are not onboard with the idea of you dating again then you may wish to hold off on the introduction until you are sure there is a future in the relationship.

How you make the introduction is of equal importance to when you make the introduction. Make sure your children know what is going to happen unless they are too young to even understand the concept. Springing someone on them is a sure way to create a catastrophe. Consider a fun outing doing something your kids like to do so they are comfortable and already excited about the day.