Happy Mother’s Day to all the single mums out there! If you’re a single mum who’s looking to reconnect with offline or online dating then I want to share with you 5 ways you can date more effectively as a single parent.
2019 is a great time to date as a single parent; thankfully we have shaken the stigma around what it means to be a single mother, and have an evolving idea around what a modern family is. Your goal today is if you’d like to meet someone you’ll be looking to date people who see the strength, dedication and extreme levels of multi-tasking that come with the territory!
Single Mum Dating Tip 1: Everything In Our Lives Is A Filter To Finding The Best People To Date
We ALL have parts of our life which will turn some people off and others on: and that’s okay, because if there’s one thing that is a certainty about dating it is that we do not have to please everybody!
As a single parent dating your relationship with your children can act as a fantastic filter to all the right people in your life. If someone can’t understand your time commitments, or doesn’t see themselves dating a single parent, that’s just fine – because there are many people who will.
It can be tough to remember this at times, but the best people (because there’s more than one!) for you will make you feel accepted and supported. If someone doesn’t – kick ‘em to the curb girlfriend!
Single Mum Dating Tip 2: Go For Slow Burn Dating
Having children is a great way to manage your dating time better. A classic “mistake” people might make when they meet someone new is to suddenly jump to seeing this person every night of the week. And I get how that’s tempting when you meet someone new and exciting, but it often means you might rush into something without giving yourself time to really grow to trust someone.
What helps with this is having a strong sense of other priorities in your life. Your relationship with your children coming first and foremost can really help you to manage your time, and the pace of the relationship.
I’m actually a huge fan of the one date a week for the first month “slow burn” approach to dating! Remember, getting to know people takes time, so give yourself that opportunity by gradually growing a relationship, instead of jumping in.
As a dating coach I always find that if you can take your time getting to know someone it will help you to create more respectful precedents in the relationships. One of the bare minimum things we all need to have a respectful, supportive relationship is that the other person understands your other commitments, and doesn’t immediately expect all your time. Plus having to get to know you more, and gradually building things up, will help you to make great choices in who you continue to invest your time into.
Being honest, not many of us are great at judging on a first date where things might lead, but after a few months of building the dating experience up, piece by piece, you will have a much stronger foundation for anything that is to follow.
Single Mum Dating Tip 3: Get To Know Your Priorities
Dating as a single parent is also likely to shift your priorities in who you’re looking to date – and again this can be an amazing positive.
Very few of us in the past have made “perfect” choices with who we’ve chosen to date (to put it lightly!) Whilst that unreliable but charismatic person (with a really cute smile) seemed attractive a few years back, now your “filter” for someone’s personal qualities has probably shifted very positively. If you are looking for someone who is understanding of your other commitments, respects how you spend your time, is caring and compassionate, then you are in a much better ballpark!
Also for everyone (single parent or not) focusing on how a person treats you, rather than how many boxes they tick, is usually a very smart move.
If you’re single today take some time to work out what qualities you’re looking for in a new partner – it’s much more powerful to date from this mindset that you’re choosing someone great for you, rather than that you need to have a relationship.
Single Mum Dating Tip 4: Create Dates That Work With Your Schedule
First dates don’t actually have to be limited to drinks or dinner. Especially if you’re looking for a life partner, you want someone who will be happy to share the activities you love. I understand that at the best of times it can be hard to fit in seeing someone new, so to keep your motivation levels high I would choose to go on dates that will be fun, energising and convenient to you.
An example of this could be that you like to take a walk through the local park on your lunch hour, or you love your weekly yoga class, or that cute café that’s a short drive from you. Don’t be afraid to suggest a date that’s easy for you, and don’t feel bad if it starts as a quick coffee for an hour. The people out there who are most open to getting to know you, and who will show the most understanding, will be happy to work around you.
This doesn’t mean knocking someone else’s date suggestion – simply saying, “I’d like to meet but Friday night is tricky for me, how about a hot chocolate Monday?” will let the other person know you’re open, interested and engaged. Plus you get to date, in fact you HAVE to date, in a way that keeps you energised.
Single Mum Dating Tip 5: Talk About Your Kids Early On
I’m a big fan of dating in a way that is upfront, values your existing life, and is all about meeting people who care for you as you are.
Whether it’s having a picture in your online dating profile, or casually mentioning it on your first date; bring your children up early and be relaxed and casual in how you talk about it. The right people won’t see dating a single parent as a big deal (or they may have children themselves) so make sure you communicate that you expect them to respond positively by being nonchalant.
Remember to always enter dates with the attitude of the “interviewer” and not the “interviewee”! You are not here to try too hard to impress anyone.
Whilst “be yourself” as dating advice may be a little simplistic, there’s real value in understanding that there’s an abundance of people to date, and the more you bring out what makes you unique, the better choices it will lead you to in who you spend your time with.
Register today to start your single parent dating journey! See our dating advice for more dating guidance, including things you can learn from a bad first date and how to create an authentic online dating profile.