How Single Parents Meet: Tips for Dating Online and Off

Two singles parents meet on a first date.

As a single parent, your schedule is crazy busy. Between dropping your oldest off at hockey practice and whipping up two dozen cupcakes for the school bake sale, finding the time to date can be tough. But if you’re ready to meet someone, don’t let that stop you. Single parents meet each other in a variety of ways. Though it may sound like a daunting task, it is possible to make dating as a single parent a priority in your life. This time around, you might just have to call the babysitter first.

Where Single Parents Meet Each Other
If the idea of meeting somebody out in the world seems impossible, remember there are more opportunities than you might think. Where does your daily life take you? Places you frequent regularly, like the coffee shop and the gym, are great spots to strike up a conversation with somebody you’ve had your eye on. Meeting your match can be more convenient than you think.

If you’re ready for a different approach, online dating can save you a lot of time and energy. The beauty of online dating is that you can be explicitly clear about being a single parent. This way, when it’s time for the date, they’ll already know that you have kids. Use your profile to explain that you’re looking for a match who loves to be around kids. If someone shies away, you can just click onto somebody new—which is much easier than going on a bad date. You can even set your search parameters to meet other single parents in similar situations. The online dating world is your oyster, and you never know who you’ll meet!

Where Single Parents Go on Dates
This is your chance to do something that you want to do. How do you want to spend a day or night away from kids? There are no limitations to where single parents can date. Dinner, drinks, and coffee dates are classics for a reason. A date with an activity, like bowling or going to a brewery, gives you something to talk about and keep the conversation flowing. Our only advice is depending on how old your kids are, consider going somewhere you can answer the phone in case of an emergency.

What Single Parents Talk About
Once you make a date, don’t let the word “date” throw you for a loop; a date is simply a long conversation that helps two people get to know each other better. See how the conversation flows. Talk about the things you would normally talk about: your work, your hobbies, your interests. If you want to brag about your kids, don’t be shy. If they’re a big part of your life that help someone get to know you better, don’t be afraid to bring them up.

That said, don’t feel pressured to disclose personal information about your kids or your family. Remember, you’re on a date, not an interview about your parenting skills and status with your ex. If you’re not sure what to talk about, this list of dating questions to ask on a first (or second, or third!) date will give you plenty of ideas.

The bottom line is, try not to let having kids deter you from dating. Frustrated because you have to plan a date around your kids’ schedules? Worried having kids will be a turnoff to potential matches? Unsure of whether to mention your kids at all? These feelings are completely natural. But don’t be afraid to wear your single parent status as a badge of honor, because you’re doing a great job! The right match will love and adore your kids just as much as you do.

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