Let’s be honest – dating at any time can be a bit daunting. As exciting as it is to start looking for that special person, putting yourself out there can leave you running for the hills. But it doesn’t have to be completely terrifying.

When you’re a single parent it adds a new element. You aren’t as carefree as you once were, a few more grey hairs, a little more tired, and your priorities are different. Very different. Your kids will always come first – but that doesn’t mean you can’t find love.

Self care is so important as a parent. I really mean it. You can’t pour from an empty cup and all that! And finding the right person is part of that self care. Dating should be fun and enjoyable, if everything goes right then we love dates! And by getting out and socialising (hello adult conversation!) you can ultimately be a better parent to your children.

Outdoor seating at a cafe with a man and women at a table smiling together
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How To Start Dating When You Have Kids

Pick Your Poison

Speed dating? The guy from work? A dating site? Friends set you up? It doesn’t matter what you choose – just pick one! And if it doesn’t work out you can always try the next one. Getting started is the hardest part, and once you’ve dipped your toe in you’ll get a feel for what is going to work for you.

If you’re anything like me then the places you frequent most are play parks, soft play and kiddy gymnastics sessions. So let’s be realistic, you’re not likely to find someone to chat up there and anyway – it’s probably not a great idea to hit on someone while you’re kids watch. Take an active step towards looking for someone new and you’ll be surprised at the options available to you.

Be Upfront

Whether it’s on your online dating profile or someone your friends think is perfect for you – be upfront about the fact you have kids. I don’t mean announce it when you first meet, but having it on your profile somewhere or having friends drop it in to conversation means there’s no surprise or awkwardness. Anyone who doesn’t want a partner that already has kids (and this doesn’t make them a bad person, everyone has their own reasons) is not the right person for you, so if they know before they even meet you then you’re not wasting your time on a dead end date.

I am a firm believer that a partner has to be invested in the whole package – you AND your kids. But they’re not dating them, they’re dating you. So at least at first try not to let them dominate the conversation. Take the chance for grown up conversations and leave potty training and report cards for another day.

Image from the shoulders down of a man and a woman standing on a road holding hands
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Don’t Settle

You don’t have to go on every date just because you were asked. If you don’t think the person is right then just say thank you but no. Your time is precious (and let’s be honest – a date costs twice as much these days when you’ve got a babysitter to pay too) and you don’t need to waste your time. Gut feelings are usually right, so go with your gut!

This post was sponsored by We Love Dates.

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