By Coach Amy Shoen
Here you are single again. Now, you have a child or several to juggle with a career. What are the challenges and considerations you will have to think about as you venture into the dating world? The more you think ahead about how you want to be for your kids and yourself the better dating experiences you will have overall. Here are seven things to consider:
1. How much time and attention do you have to give to a relationship?You have a busy life with your kids, work, personal activities and commitments. Who has time for dating? It’s important to use your precious free time wisely.
- Try internet dating. It is a good way to meet quality people, especially other single parents. You can go online late at night and fit it in between your other responsibilities.
- Develop a good support system of caregivers that can give you time to get out to meet potential people to date, as well as, time for the actual dates.
- Use your time without the children to your advantage to engage in activities that you enjoy and give you a good chance to meet men to date such as dancing, sports, and classes.
- Join groups like Parents without Partners that have both adult only activities as well as those that include the kids. You will most likely have lots in common with these single Moms or Dads!
2. What is your marital status?
Are you divorced or are you separated? If you are not yet divorced, you will have difficulty meeting people who want to date you for more than just sex! (Separated women have a reputation of being easy prey by predator-type men). Also, how will this look to your children?
I suggest you go out and meet “friends” and keep it low key until you are officially divorced and truly available. I know many people who won’t date someone unless they are divorced. If you are at the tail end of your separation with a solid separation agreement with your ex, and have a non-contentious relationship, then you have a better chance of meeting women or men who would be open to dating you.
3. For what reasons are you dating?
Different people date for different reasons. Are you looking to just get out and have fun or do you want to find a new romantic long-term partner?
You need to think about why you want to date and be honest and upfront with others about what you are looking for.
One of my clients felt like she didn’t feel whole with out a soulmate. She was a romantic person who craved love and adoration from a man. Other people cite companionship as a major reason for dating. One other single parent client didn’t want to feel left out among her married friends. Another client wanted a helpmate with the kids and around the house. What is your true reason for dating?
4. Who are you dating and are they cut out to date a someone with children?
Not everyone is comfortable stepping into a parent role, especially if they don’t have kids of their own. Can they be flexible enough to roll with the punches? Since you cannot control everything, there are times you will have to cancel a date because of your kids. How will your date handle it? Can your date be able to take a back seat to the needs of your children? Unfortunately, only time will tell!
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