One of the great advantages of online dating is that it allows you to meet a huge pool of like-minded singles. It accommodates for all different ages, backgrounds, preferences and lifestyles. One of the types of singles that can really benefit from jumping online is the single parent. If you’re newly single and have kids, there’s no doubt that being on online dater can certainly work for you!
But before you get your photos and profile up online, take a moment to think about how best to date as a single parent. It’s different than dating without kids. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
1) Be up front
Your kids are the most important part of your life, so make sure that potential love interests know that you’re a single parent. Be up front and honest about your situation, and if having kids scares them away – then they were never going to be the right person for you in the first place.
2) Take it slow physically
It might’ve been awhile since you’ve been intimate with someone, but don’t rush this. You’ve come out of a marriage, you have kids, and you want to get to know your new love interest before taking it to the next level. You have other responsibilities outside of just you, so take your time. And no sleepovers when the kids are around! It will simply confuse everything.
3) Kids come first
The kids must come first in your life, regardless of how much you like your new love interest. You need to keep their routines the same, and never break promises or deceive them just to try and put your date first. Your new date needs to work in with you, not the other way around.
4) Have clear boundaries with your ex
Your ex is likely going to still be involved in your life due to the kids. So make sure you have clear boundaries with them in terms of your parenting expectations and responsibilities, and your face to face contact. Good clear boundaries will make you less complicated and easier to date.
5) Hold off on early introductions to the kids
Regardless of how excited you are about this new love interest, there’s no need for you to fast forward the relationship and introduce them to your kids. They’re likely still coming to terms with the marriage break-up, and they don’t need a new intimate partner to confuse and upset them. So wait 12 months before introducing them to the children. That way you can really tell if this person has got long-term potential.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)