Dating can be stressful for many people, add being a single parent to the equation, and it can be that much harder. After a divorce single parents need time to get used to their new routine, such as child-custody arrangements and spending quality time with their children, while juggling many other things.
Moreover, while the courts may dictate a custody arrangement, all too often one parent may choose to consistently deviate from the plan, making it challenging for the other to plan his or her time. Still, when enough time has passed and you are ready to embark on your dating journey, it’s important to gather your resources of family, friends and babysitters in order to carve out the time and energy for this process.
How do I know if I’m ready to start dating again? Before you go on that first date, you may need to do a few things. I suggest a makeover — from the inside out! This means, if you need professional help to move past your divorce, your ex or any other issue that would spill into a new relationship, don’t be afraid to get it. If you’re still stuck in the past you will jeopardize your future relationships.
What if you don’t know the first thing about dating in the 21st century? Dating coaches have become very popular now more than ever because there are many options for meeting singles and a coach can bring you up to date on the new dating landscape. A dating coach will review with you the dos and don’ts of dating and most importantly work through any limiting beliefs may keep single.
I’m not confident about my age and weight gain what do I do? Before you run to the gym, you may actually want to work with an image consultant who can recommend the best colors, fit and fashion to help you look your best at any age or weight. Making the right changes to your wardrobe, hairstyle and make-up can make a world of difference. You may want to consider having your teeth whitened. This may all sound superficial, but the fact is, looking your best has a direct correlation to feeling good about yourself, which makes for great first impressions.
How can I meet potential dates? First, there are many ways to meet new potential dates. You may want to try online dating, a matchmaker, meet ups, single parent groups or new activities, such as dance lessons. It’s at events like these that you can meet someone with common interests.
Now that I’m ready for my first date, what about my kids? When it comes to your children, if they’re of an age where they can understand, let them know what you’re doing. Tell them you’re looking for a friend with whom to have fun. Reassure them of your love for them and that even when you’re out, they’re always in your heart and your thoughts. Then, be sure to make appropriate childcare arrangements for peace of mind, so that you don’t feel guilty about going out and having a good time. Children of any age can get attached to any partner you choose, so it’s important to avoid having a revolving door of men or women around your children. Only introduce someone to your kids when you feel there is potential for a long-term relationship, and after you’ve vetted the person enough to know it’s safe to have him/her around your kids.
Dating is about getting to know each other, keeping things light and having fun. The key to balance when dating as a single parent is to always be present. When you’re with your children, be with your children. And, when you’re on a date, be with your date.