Dating with Kids – The Date Mix Dating and Relationship Advice for Today's Daters Sun, 18 Mar 2018 08:00:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What You Need to Know About Dating Someone With Kids Sat, 19 Aug 2017 08:00:24 +0000 If you're not sure what you're in for, here are a few things that are helpful to know.

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If you’ve just met someone who also happens to be a single parent, you might feel a bit apprehensive moving things forward, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with kids. Dating a single parent is a unique situation. Kids take a lot of time and responsibility. Plus, there’s bound to be an ex in the picture somewhere, which can make things even more awkward.

Dating a parent, from all outward appearances, does seem pretty complicated. But it can also be a deeply rewarding and pleasurable experience. If you can get in tune with what it means to date a single parent, then you have a better chance of accepting, understanding, and enjoying your new relationship.

Here are the most important things you need to know about dating someone with kids.

1. The kids will always come first. Always.
Like it or not, your date’s kids will always come first. That means if your date’s kids want mommy or daddy time, then that special date night you’ve had planned will have to be postponed. Try not to take it personally. They probably want to see you as much as you want to see them, but until the kids are full-sized adults, their needs will always be a top priority. Use that free night to catch up with your friends or your Netflix queue.

2. You’ll need to take things slow.
A single parent isn’t likely to be a big fan of an instant relationship. Not only do they not have nearly enough time to readily commit to a full-blown relationship (remember they have work and other commitments in addition to tending to their kids), but they also have to consider their children before ‘going all in’ with someone. They won’t take this lightly. If you need more of a guarantee, be prepared to walk away. On the positive side, your limited time together will leave each of you wanting something more, which can be incredibly passionate and fun.

3. They might seem emotionally distant at times.
It’s important to remember your single parent date has been through a lot emotionally, experiencing a wide range of feelings from anger and frustration to sadness and disappointment. Depending on how recent the divorce isor if they are still in the middle of legal proceedingsthere might be some immediate need for them to heal. This could either mean they need space from time-to-time in order to deal with their feelings, or it could mean they aren’t capable of meeting your emotional needs yet. It will be up to you to decide whether you can deal with the emotional ups-and-downs.

4. You’ll need to be flexible.
Be prepared to be flexible and spontaneous with your schedule. Whether there was a last minute softball cancellation so your date can see you tonight after all, or there’s a sick kid, so now they can’t, you will be playing a lot of things by ear. In fact, don’t be surprised if planning something more than two weeks ahead is a near-impossible feat. If you’re someone who thrives on planning, this might be a problem. However, you could embrace going with the flow and the freedom that it allows you.

5. Their ex is still in their life.
With kids involved, your date will have regular contact with his or her ex and may vent about their frustrations with their ex. Although this is perfectly normal, try not hate on the ex yourself. You might meet their ex at some point, and those negative vibes are never a good idea. You can be supportive and hear them out, but refrain from giving advice. At the end of the day, your date’s relationship with their ex is really none of your business until it directly relates to your relationship. If knowing that your date is dealing with their ex on a regular basis makes you uncomfortable then maybe the relationship is not the right fit for you.

6. You’ll have to like their kids. 
Contrary to popular belief, your single parent is not looking for a new mom or dad for their kids. So panicking about taking their kids on as your responsibility is moot. However, if you want your relationship to develop, you will have to like them. And they will have to like you. It’s kind of a package deal. The upside is, if you do like each other, you might be able to cultivate a meaningful relationship with each other, which is sure to be a great gift in both of your lives.

When dating a single parent, like in any relationship, it’s important to be honest with yourself and know what you can and cannot handle. If you’re able to be patient and understand that you’re in a relationship with someone who prioritizes another (little) person, then you could find yourself in an incredibly rewarding relationship.

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Dating Tips for Single Moms Getting Back In the Game Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Relationship expert Jasmine Diaz shares her top dating tips for single moms who are getting back into dating after taking a break.

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For single moms, jumping back into the dating scene can seem overwhelming especially when thinking about actually making the time to date. But it’s important for single moms to allow themselves to feel the excitement of meeting someone new. While the timing may never seem right and it varies for everyone, relationship expert and celebrity matchmaker, Jasmine Diaz, says one of her top dating tips for single moms is that they shouldn’t wait to get back into the dating scene.

“You’ll never find the right day, time, or opportunity to start dating again, so if you’re waiting for something magical to spark or a window to open, I’m afraid it will never happen. You must seize the moment and put yourself on the market before you’ve been priced out of the game,” says Diaz.

To be successful at dating again, Diaz says it’s important to stay current on the latest dating trends. Even just two years out of the dating game can put you at a disadvantage.

“Try new dating apps and engage with users who show interest. Being a parent shouldn’t equate to being uninformed. You may not be able to date quite as easily as someone without children, but you can still be current on trends.”

Here are six important tips for single mothers to keep in mind, according to Diaz:

1. Prioritize dating.
“As a parent, it’s hard to prioritize anything other than your child. Getting an hour to yourself is usually very difficult to come by, but if you’re serious about being in a relationship, you must commit,” she says. So, take advantage of the time you do have alone or even schedule playdates or drop them off at a parents to allow yourself the extra time you need to go on dates.

2. Date with intention.
“When you’re a single parent trying to make the best of your time, it’s important that you don’t waste it with people who don’t line up with what you need or want,” says Diaz. In other words, if you’re not feeling this new person, you’re not doing anyone any favors by continuing to go out with them because you feel bad. Worry about your time and your feelings.

3. Move at the right pace.
You can’t try to expedite a relationship because you’re afraid of being alone. Relationships need time to grow. “This is the absolute worst thing you can do for yourself and your child. Take your time and pace yourself. Finding the right partner is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” says Diaz.

4. Don’t let fear guide you.
Dating is scary once you have children, and there are simply too many pitfalls to count. “All of this is an unnecessary mind game. You still have to get past the first date!” says Diaz. “Don’t let fear control your love life, because if you do, it may not be the life you want.”

5. Have a plan.
Dating with children is far too important to go at it without a plan. Don’t think you can just pick up dating and it will just work out. Consider your needs, wants, and goals for your relationship, then be strategic.

6. Consider hiring help.
“Moms never wear less than 10 hats, which means being many things to many people. But the reality of being a parent is realizing that you don’t have all the answers. Many of us are just winging it, but when you don’t have time to date or simply don’t know how to, hiring an expert is the most logical next step,” she adds. This can be in the form of a professional matchmaker, a dating coach, and online dating services.

If you’re ready to get back out there, go for it. Dating as a single parent can seem daunting, but it can also be rewarding, fun, and a way to invest in yourself.

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How Dating as a Single Parent Affects Your Kids Fri, 14 Jul 2017 08:00:13 +0000 Despite what many think, some of the affects can be extremely positive.

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Getting back into the dating scene after a split or years of not dating can be overwhelming yet exciting (and even scary) for some. And this experience can be even harder for people dating as a single parent because you’re not just worrying about your own feelings, but also about your children’s.

“One of the tough things about dating as a single parent (especially if you are recently split up from or divorced from your child’s parent) is that children often hold onto hope that their parents will get back together,” says Bethany Raab, a licensed clinical social worker who works specifically with teens and families who have experienced divorce. “This is usually an unrealistic expectation, but one that children need guidance with no matter what.”

Regardless of the child’s age, seeing a parent with another partner can stir up all sorts of emotions, but not all of them are negative.

Here are some specific ways dating as a single parent affects your kids. We promise, they’re not all bad.

Children may get resentful. 
Expect there to be some level of resentment from your kids even if they seem OK with the idea of you dating. “It’s extremely difficult to see your parent with someone new, especially if they’re showing affection. Remember that your children are most likely only used to you being with their father or mother and this is all new to them,” says Justin Lavelle, Chief Communications Officer of PeopleLooker, an online background check platform. “Your kids may feel like their safe haven is being violated by the new person.”

Children can get sad, and withdraw from you.
“Children need to grieve about the reality that their parents will never be together again. The presence of a new boyfriend or girlfriend in their parent’s life can intensify this grief for children and teens,” says Raab. “It can open up feelings of sadness and anger in some children. These are typical responses and will pass in time and with compassionate support from parents,” says Raab.

Your children may attach themselves to your new partner.
Some kids, especially younger ones, sometimes become overly attached with those you date at a rapid rate, says Lavelle. “Kids don’t fully comprehend what’s ahead for them and sometimes still feel the burn of the separation and are looking for attention wherever they can get it. Although it’s awkward, it may be your child’s coping mechanism in a very new experience.”

A new partner can improve a child’s life.
Celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert, Susan Trombetti, says, “Lots of times the reason they divorced is because the spouse is a less than an ideal person or parent. The person the divorced parent picks can be a real role model and have a huge influence on the children for the better.”

Kids can feed off of how a relationship impacts you.
“It can stress the kids if there is a constant slew of dates or new relationships that never last. Kids can also feel committed and attached to these new people and then these attachments are broken over and over as long as you keep up the pattern of compulsive dating,” says Trombetti.

Children can see their parent healing and moving on.
“One positive impact of single or divorced parents starting to date is that children can witness their parent’s healing and growth. Starting to date after a long hiatus or a difficult break up takes courage. Children learn a great deal from watching their parent be a part of a healthy relationship. Plus, step-parents can enhance a child’s life with time, attention, and affection,” says Raab.

While it’s important for single parents to still pursue love and a new partnership, it’s just as—if not more—important to continue to validate and acknowledge their children’s feelings.

“Whether the new relationship is received well or poorly by the children, it is important to be mindful about how you introduce a new partner,” advises Raab.  “My suggestion is for parents to date in the way that suits them, but to only introduce their children to serious partners who are dedicated to the relationship and willing and able to warmly receive introductions to the children.”

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Single Parents Dating: 5 Tips to Get You Started Tue, 23 May 2017 00:42:33 +0000 Tip #1: Embrace your anxiety.

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Single parents dating these days can have a hard time jumping back into the single life. For many, online dating is completely new. For others, the tough part is meeting in person. International dating expert Hunt Ethridge outlines the five tips single parents dating today should know to get started the right way. Check out his video or read the transcript below.

Video Transcript:

Hello, my name is Hunt Ethridge. I’m an international dating and relationship expert based here in New York City.

Now, did you know that there are over 12 million single parent families in the U.S.? So, if you’re a single parent looking to date, understand that you’re not alone. There are millions of others just like you looking to find someone special. But I know that it can be extra difficult as a single parent dating, so I wanted to put together this video with some tips on how to make it easier for you to date as a single parent.

#1: Embrace your anxiety and fear.
Re-entering the dating world after a long break or divorce can be complicated and difficult. But when you feel that way, think about all the things you do for your kid on a daily basis. Whether it’s baking hundreds of cookies for a bake sale, nursing a sick kid back to health again, or making a volcano for that awesome science fair project. After thinking about that, grabbing a coffee with a cute stranger and some conversation doesn’t seem so daunting now, does it? So take a deep breathe, tell yourself you got this. Because you do.

#2: Put yourself first when it comes to dating.
In the every day world, you put yourself second and your kids first, which is the way it should be. But in the dating world, you need to put yourself first. Talk about your passions, your ideas, and your beliefs. Your date wants to learn about you and who you are. Not the type of parent you’re going to be. That comes later. So if they ask you about the latest movie you saw, even if it was a Disney or Pixar movie, don’t mention it. Instead, talk about a movie you saw after you put your kids to bed. Having more adult-themed conversations lets them know more about you, which is crucial in the early stages of dating.

#3: Maximize your time by online dating.
As a single parent, you don’t have the time or inclination to be going out to the bars every weekend to look for singles. With online dating, you can chat and meet other singles in the convenience of your own home. Plus you also don’t have to commit to meeting someone unless you guys have already hit it off online first. So if you’re not online, go ahead and try it. And if you are online, remember that you’ve got to put some time and effort in to get the best results. Just having an online dating profile alone isn’t going to help you find love.

#4: For your first date, keep it somewhere easy and in an accessible location.
For my clients, especially the single parents, I caution them to keep it simple. Try to avoid the fancy five course restaurants, the movies, the shows, etc. for another time. Choosing a great, normal, everyday activity is an easy way to help you relax and take it easy. Plus if it’s not going well, it’s much easier for you to leave the date. Going to a great local coffee shop like this one is a perfect first date spot. Or grab a quick lunch on your lunch break. Or grab a glass of wine right after work at a wine bar. Save the time-consuming fancy restaurants, movies, and other stuff for your second or third date.

#5: Avoid bringing your kids into the mix until it starts getting serious.
While it’s totally okay to mention that you have kids on or before the first date, you should try to avoid introducing your kids to your date until you’re sure it’s getting serious. 63% of members from the online dating site Zoosk surveyed also felt the same way, saying that you should only introduce your kids to your date after a few months of dating, or when it starts getting serious. By doing this, you’re not putting yourself first; you’re just trying to avoid a situation where your kids could get attached to your date if they decide not to stick around.

There you have it. Those are the 5 tips to keep in mind if you want to get yourself back out there and meet someone special that you can eventually introduce your kids to.

If you’ve got any other questions about dating as a single parent, leave a comment below. If you found this video to be helpful, please share it with a friend. If you’re interested in any more advice or interested in coaching, go check out my site, and contact me through there.

This is Hunt Ethridge signing off and reminding you, if you change nothing, nothing will change.

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Single Moms Dating with Kids Share Their Stories Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Make your day with these stories of how they found love.

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When you’re single on your own meeting people isn’t something you spend much time worrying about—somehow it just always happens. You go out and other singles are just there—you meet, you talk. Simple. But when you have kids, things get a little trickier. Your schedule is busier, you may not have other single friends to go out with, and when you do go out the bars are often filled with daters who may not understand and appreciate your lifestyle. So where do today’s single moms and dads go to date?

The answer is pretty simple: Online.

A few of the single moms at the popular dating site Zoosk, that has over 38 million members worldwide, shed some light on how they’re using the site to meet men online. Read on to get a better idea of how single moms use Zoosk to date.

Meeting People on Your Own Time
When you’re trying to have a social life while raising kids at home, it can be difficult to find the time to go out to bars or to meet men in the traditional ways. Some of the single moms on Zoosk said they decided to date online for the pure convenience of being able to meet other singles from home.

“Taking a proactive approach to meet people through online dating was a must due to my busy schedule and the fact that I don’t hang out at bars,” said one single mom Brenda.

“Both of us were looking for something serious and weren’t into the bar scene,” said another member Ashley. “We were single parents, with bad luck in love, and we were talking to people with hopes of finding something meaningful. Now we’ve found our best friend in each other and feel almost like soul mates.”

An Easy Way to Get Some Adult Conversation
Another Zoosk member, Magen, started online dating just as a way to have some much needed grownup time before she found it was a way to make a real connection with someone special.

“I was a single mom and wasn’t able to get out a lot, so I used Zoosk to talk to people and it was kind of my escape from the hustle of my daily life,” she explained. “I would just talk to guys for fun, hoping that one day I would meet the one. Once I started talking to Jourdaine it was instant connection.”

Getting Back Into Dating After Taking a Break
Some Zoosk members said they used the site as a way to get back into the dating scene after taking a long break. Whether getting over a divorce or getting back into the swing of things, online dating can offer a way to meet people that is easy and unintimidating.

“After years of bad relationships I had given up on dating in general. I was determined to be a single mom and to do the best I could with just my two kids and myself,” explained single mom Billie. “I bought a one month subscription to Zoosk thinking that I would give it one month before I gave up for good and settled in to being single. Little did I know that there was a man thinking the exact same thing as I was who had two little girls.”

Connecting with Other Single Parents
Though you don’t have to date another single parent, it can be nice to be with someone who understands the challenges you face. Some of the single moms on Zoosk liked meeting other single parents who they could relate to.

“He was the first person I talked to that seemed real, down to earth, responsible, and serious about a long-term relationship,” Billie went on to explain. “We’ve been together for a year and three months now and our family could not be happier! Alex and his two daughters, me and my son and daughter, on his ten acre plot of land in the country. I could never have imagined a more perfect life. None of it would have been possible if we hadn’t met on Zoosk.”

When you’re looking to date as a single mom, the one for you may not be as hard to find as you think. Online dating sites like Zoosk can provide a way to meet a larger pool of men your age, without having to sacrifice so much of your time.

“Always keep the faith,” said Ashley. “Have fun talking to people and see where it goes!”

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6 Pieces of Advice on Dating With Kids Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:00:31 +0000 Remember to put yourself first sometimes.

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Dating is hard enough with two people. When one or both of you has kids, things can get downright complicated. There are extra emotions and opinions to consider, and a whole lot of “what if?” scenarios to ponder. But if you’re ready to meet someone, don’t let having kids stop you. In fact, being a parent can actually make you a better dater: You’re strong, you’re capable, and you don’t have time for playing games (unless that game is Candy Land). Dating with kids is possible, and here are some ways to make it less scary.

1. Be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for in someone.
Consider your motivations for dating. Are you afraid of being alone? Are you worried your kids won’t have a second parent? Do you just want to have a little fun, or are you ready to settle down? Knowing what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it will help you make smarter dating decisions that better protect you and your family.

2. Take your time.
Regardless of how your last relationship ended, it’s best to take things slow for a while. Jumping into another relationship too quickly can be tricky; the sooner you start dating, the more resistant your kids will likely be to your new date. Only you will know how much time is the right amount for you, but the key is to make sure both you and your kids are at peace with how your last relationship ended. You’ll know you’re ready to start dating when you don’t need to do it, but simply want to do it.

3. But don’t waste your time.
Dating with kids involves making a schedule and sticking to it. You’re already juggling parent/teacher conferences, play dates, and carpool duty. If someone can’t commit to drinks or keeps canceling on dinner, it’s ok to move on to the next match. Your time is precious, and there’s someone out there who is worthy of having it.

4. Check in with your kids.
Depending on how old your kids are they’ll have a range of reactions to you dating. If your kids are in elementary or middle school, they might feel insecure or scared of how your relationship with them could change. If your kids are teenagers or adults, they’ll likely be more aware of the possibilities and might be extra protective of you. The best thing you can do is check in with them and ensure you have solid family relationships before pursuing a romantic one.

5. Be honest about your situation.
Maybe you mention your kids right away in your online dating profile, or maybe you wait a few dates to see if things get serious before bringing them up. There’s no one correct way to have “the kids” talk. Just know that when things start to get serious with somebody, it affects more than just you—it also affects your children, so honesty is the best policy. Of course, how much information you share is up to you. If your kids are a big part of your life, don’t be afraid to bring them up and brag about them! But if you’re still getting to know somebody and would rather not share too much personal information about your family, that’s ok too.

6. Put yourself first sometimes.
There’s no escaping it—if you’re dating with kids, at some point you’re going to feel guilty. You might feel guilty for spending time away from your children, or for spending money on yourself. Put the guilt aside and put yourself first for a change. Remember, you’re a parent, but you’re also a person! It’s wonderful that you usually put your kids first, but it’s your turn. Wanting to date is natural, and if you let your feelings of guilt win every time, sooner or later you’ll resent that you never tried dating again.

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