Being a single parent is no easy feat, especially if you add dating into the mix.
If you manage your expectations, lead with honesty, and acknowledge your kids’ fears, it can make entering the dating world as a mom or dad much easier and fun.
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When you first become a single parent, either through the birth of a child or a relationship separation, dating is likely the last thing on your mind as you do your best to balance work and parenting without a live-in partner. But after you get a handle on things, you may be interested in getting into, or back into, the dating game.
Read more: ‘Slow dating’ could be the key to finding better relationship matches on dating apps
And while that interest can also come with a bit of anxiety or fear over how to juggle it all, it’s definitely possible and good for you and your kids too, according to Andi Forness, an online dating coach and divorced single mom of two high-school-aged boys.
“Part of being human is wanting to go out, have fun, and be treated well,” Forness told Business Insider. She added that it’s important for your kids to see the whole dating process unfold because “it gives them guidance on what to expect going forward” from you as a single parent. It can also offer an example of what healthy dating and relationships should look like as your kids get older.
If you’re ready to jump into the dating world as a single parent, follow these four tips to have the best experience possible.
Have realistic expectations about the dating process
Before you even start dating with your new identity, Forness said it’s important to set realistic expectations for the experience.
As a single parent, it’s likely your schedule is already packed with work, taking your kids to school and after-school activities, making meals, and much more. So when you set aside your precious time for a date, it can feel like it has to be a great experience in order for it to be worth prioritizing over other things in your life.
But viewing it that way isn’t helpful. Instead, Forness suggested carving out the time to explore that part of yourself without such high expectations. “Allow yourself an hour or so to date each week, even if you don’t have a date lined up, just to make you less attached to the idea each date has to be ‘worth it,'” Forness said.
She recommended setting aside time in your calendar since people, especially single parents, often find themselves overbooked and are then too burned out to date. If you make it part of your schedule, though, it becomes a part of your life rather than a sacrifice for something else and also lowers the stakes of the whole experience.
Be upfront with your dates about what you want from the experience
Once you start going on dates, lead with honesty. For newly single parents, dating is often about …read more
Source:: Business Insider