Being a single parent is very time consuming especially when the other parent is absent. Most of the time that will be spent working full-time, if you are in school that is added on, and of course the ultimate well-being and care of your child is always the number one priority. Although, you have a tight and hectic busy schedule you may from time to time, wonder and think will you always be single? How can you possibly even begin to think about dating when you have a child to take care of? A million questions will wonder through your mind, what do you wear? When is an appropriate time to introduce your child? Are you even ready to date? How do you even find the time? Is online dating even acceptable or okay to do? I have picked out a list of answers to questions that you may be wondering, to help you through the time of your first dating experience or many dating experiences after you decide that you are ready.
- The number one priority in life will always be your child. Your child will always come first no matter what, I have learned that it is always important to let whoever you decide to start dating know that you are a mother and that your child is and will always be your top priority. Some guys are not always okay with that and it is always better to know up front then to waste your time, lets face it you do not have any time to waste.
- Online dating is okay if that is what you choose to do. It is your life and how you choose to meet people is up to you. It is best if you choose to meet people online to be safe with it always and to try to get to know the person a little bit before you decide to meet them. People have had success through online dating, it is hard sometimes to meet people in person when you have a busy schedule and online dating can be a more easier way to meet someone. Online dating can also be scary, it is almost like as Forest Gump would say "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get" I feel like online dating is exactly the same way, with tinder, bumble or all the new apps they have out there the person can look great and then be awful or they can look like a risk and be a sweet treat. The odds are in your favor. It's really a gamble sometimes.
- The biggest question most people will always have been when is the right time to have the other person meet the child or if you have more children how does this happen? I personally feel that it should depend on how serious the relationship is, if the relationship is a serious one and the person is trustworthy, and you are feeling comfortable around them then I would say that is an appropriate time to bring the other person around the child. If you are co-parenting, I feel like it is a respectful thing to talk to the other parent about depending on the relationship of the co-parent. When your children are younger they do not generally remember people very well, especially when they are toddlers but I say the best thing to do is to wait until you are sure of the person. As well as to make sure that they understand they are going to be an additional role model in the child's life, the child doesn't need another parent. You are looking for a partner and you also have a child, so both of you guys are a package deal.
- How do you know if you are ready to date again? That depends on your healing process, it takes a long time to heal a broken heart, it takes a long time to learn how to trust someone again. Sometimes when you have been single for so long, you are so content with living the way you are, you don't need anyone and you honestly do not need anyone to complete you, so it is difficult to figure out how someone new can be added into your little family or if you can find that space in your heart to let them in. That is something you have to decide for yourself, and sometimes you honestly do not even know until you try to go back out there that you are not ready yet and that is okay. Being single and dating is one thing; but when you are single parent and attempting to date again it can be one of the most frustrating things in your life. It is up to you to decide when you are ready and you will know.
- When you finally decide that you are ready to date and you know for sure, the fun parts are what should you wear? What are the best options for a good first date when you haven't been out there in awhile? I always say you wear what makes you feel comfortable and something flattering but also classy because you are someone's parent! Normally first dates are out to eat, so you can never go wrong depending on the weather with either a nice shirt or sweater, jeans and boots or a pretty dress and boots or flats. You'll still more than likely try on 10 outfits and send them to all your closest friends freaking out on what to wear and then attempting to go shopping to find the right outfit, but don't over do it! If you want to throw in heels go for it, remember to always be yourself you have nothing to hide and if the first date doesn't work out at least you always have your number one fan waiting for you at home!
- Topics? What should you talk about? Try not to talk too much about your child, it's okay to talk a little but you want to get to know your date. I know you will be missing your child like crazy and more than likely be checking in on the sitter to make sure that your baby is doing okay, but do not forget that you are allowed to have some time to yourself as well. Ask them about themselves, these are some good questions to ask on a first date to see if you might even be interested in a second date. 1. Ask them to tell them about themselves 2.What are you passionate about? 3.What is one thing that most people would not know just from looking at you? 4.What do you enjoy to do the most on weekends? 5. What is a deal-breaker for you? It is best to avoid to talk about past relationships, politics, and anything touchy. You want to gradually get to know your date, if you the relationship ends up progressing then it's good to get everything out.
- Make sure to remember one important thing now that you are a parent, no matter how young that you are you can't have the "No Strings Attached" relationships anymore. You can not be wild, young and free. You have big responsibilities, so when you start to date again these are important to remember because you can not just blow off work the next day or have random guys over your place at any given time. You have to make sure that you have the proper boundaries, you do not want to cause any confusion with your children or with your date. It's good to focus on wanting a healthy relationship, because you do not have any time for nonsense drama in your life.
The best thing to do is just remember to be yourself and do not put too much pressure on yourself or on the date. Whether you meet them online, at work, through a friend, school or wherever; everything will be okay. It is always good to get yourself back out there and remind yourself who you are. Dating and relationships are honestly difficult already, while adding on having a child makes the process even more stressful. It will be okay. Just breathe and remember Netflix is always available to watch 24/7. Who needs to date when you can work and go to school all week, then take care of your child and get emotionally invested into a tv series?? If this date doesn't work out there are always plenty of fish in the sea.
Happy Dating Single Parents! May the Odds be in your favor.