Are you considering dating a single parent? If you are not a parent looking for love yourself, you might have difficulty putting yourself into the shoes of a single parent dating. So, we are here to teach you a thing or two about dating a single mum or dad.
First off, imagine managing a full time job, child (or children), and a household all by yourself, and trying to have some resemblance of a social life, too. Most single parents feel like the day does not have enough hours, so their everyday life is tightly organized as they carry the burden of professional and educational responsibility completely alone: You might be working all day as a florist in London, then commuting home to help your children do their homework, preparing dinner, getting the kids to bed, falling asleep, and doing it all again the next day. There is often simply no room left for finding a partner.
So how can you make things work when you meet or have already fallen in love with a single mum or dad? Find out everything you need to know about dating a single parent – from the misconceptions about single parents to the dating tips:
Myths to avoid when dating a single parent
Single parenthood brings many challenges – worst of all prejudice from other members of society. Despite managing so much in everyday life, single parents have to fight preconception and stereotyping about their personal situation when they are looking for a partner:
Myth: Single mums are scroungers
The common accusation that single parents, in particular single mums, are looking for someone to provide for them and their children is an archaic and frustrating myth. Single parents are not looking for someone to take care of them or their kids financially and otherwise. Single parent statistics show that most single parents are in fixed employment and have managed on their own for a good while, before deciding to date again. A single parent dating is more likely looking for a partner to spend time with – someone to chat to about everyday life, to relax with over a glass of wine or watching a movie, someone who gets them and who understands that they are not always available and that they may often have to put their children first.
Myth: Single parents are relationship-incompetent
Many single parents have had a bad, if not traumatic, relationship experience. Yet, society views all single parents as makers of their own fortune, at least partly to blame for lacking a partner. Whatever weakness you might display, be it becoming angry, anxious, or impatient, society is quick to blame those attributes to your marital status. “No wonder he (or she) left her (or him)” is a common theme. Few spare a thought to those single parents that are victims of abuse, cheating, addiction, or bereavement. Rather, the view is that they must have been the cheaters, addicts, abusers, etc.
When you meet a single parent, you will soon find that their life experience means they are, in fact, more relationship competent than most. They had to master many challenges and upheavals in their life which taught them a thing or two about human nature and relationships. This is not to say, that single parents won’t make mistakes, too. They are as human as the next person.
Myth: Single parents are desperate
Yes, many single mums and dads long for a partnership. But equally as many are content with focusing on raising their children, with little interest in meeting someone new. The view that single parents, and women in particular, are desperate and “easy” is frustrating and ill-perceived. If anything, single parents are more wary, and – rightly so – more careful in choosing a new partner. So, beware when you date a single parent, that you might need to earn their trust by respecting their situation, their values, and giving them time to get to know you.
10 Benefits of dating a single parent
Dating a single parent is different to dating someone who has no commitments. But have you considered the benefits of dating a single parent? These are just some of the ones that instantly spring to mind:
1. Your date is mature and independent.
2. He or she has qualities young and/or single people possess much less of, such as being selfless, caring, and able to put others first.
3. He or she will take dating seriously because otherwise they would not start dating again as a single parent.
4. Your date will be honest and is unlikely to mess you around: They don’t have the time and don’t want the drama.
5. Single parents are fighters: They have survived heartbreak and worse and won’t bail if things get rocky.
6. Single parents have high standards, so should be proud they want to date you.
7. Single mums are powerhouses. If you like ambitions, no nonsense women, date a single mum!
8. Single parents appreciate those small gestures and acts of kindness. They won’t take you or what you do for them for granted.
9. You know she is capable of loving as she will show that in her relationship with her children.
10. He or she is self-sufficient and financially responsible.
10 Tips for dating a single parent
Whether you are looking to date a single parent, or have already fallen in love with one, here are our top 10 tips for the getting-to-know-you phase of dating a single parent:
1. Don’t expect spontaneity but give plenty of notice when arranging a date.
2. Be patient. Don’t try to win your date over too quickly. They might have trust issues so don’t push too hard.
3. Avoid taboo topics like the child’s other parent, at least in the initial stages of dating.
4. Listen attentively and find topics you are both interested in.
5. Do not hide your fears, your date might be able to clear some of them out.
6. Most single parents find it difficult to know when to introduce your child/ren to a new parter, but do offer to take the kids on outings together. The thought will be much appreciated.
7. Show interest in your date’s child/ren. They are the centre of any single parents’ life and should be paid attention to from the beginning.
8. Don’t make assumptions. Discuss what you are both looking for in a relationship.
9. Don’t worry about the child/ren. Making their parent happy is the first step towards conquering children’s hearts and paving the way to a good relationship with them.
10. Stay yourself – authenticity is extremely attractive.
We are not saying dating a single parent is for everyone. It will depend on your own life situation, goals, and dreams. But if you managed to read all about the myths, tips, and benefits of dating a single parent, then you must be serious about dating one, or maybe looking to meet a single parent for dating. Whatever your situation, we hope that our article helped understand a little about what you to expect, what to avoid, and how to approach dating a single mum or dad.
About the author:
Single Parents on Holiday offer group holidays for single parent families in the UK and abroad, including holidays with teenagers, ski holidays, beach holidays, and farm holidays.