07 Nov 2016

Six tips for dating a single parent

Category: Advice
Author: Karen
Getting into a relationship with someone who has kids might not be something you thought you'd end up doing, but with around two million single parents in the UK, it's likely that you might end up dating one at some point. Dating a single parent is a different kettle of fish to dating someone who only has themselves to think about, but it doesn't mean that you can't have fun dating them and they may well just end up being The One. Here are six tips things to bear in mind if you want the relationship to be a success.

Their priorities will be different to yours

When you're footloose and fancy free, you can prioritise your own wishes and desires first, but the same isn't true for single parents. As you would expect from a good parent, the kids will come first and you may never feel like their number one priority. If you end up feeling jealous or competitve then problems will arise, as you are likely to end up seeing less of them, rather than more. Be supportive and value your alone time.

Your dates might not be what you're used to

For many people, the idea of a date means an evening (and perhaps a whole night) spent together. However, every time a single parent goes on a date, they have to find a babysitter, which is going to cost them money before they've even left the house. You might end up having a lot of lunch or coffee dates during the day, and only end up going out for a big night every once in a while.

You probably won't be able to see them all the time

If you're footloose and fancy free, you can spend your time however you like, but single parents tend not to have much time to lavish on anyone other than their kids. Make sure that you fully enjoy every moment that you do spend with them and keep in touch every day. Everyone appreciates a nice phone call!

Be clear about your role

It's unlikely that your date will be looking to fill the shoe's of their ex, so don't worry about being expected to suddenly become someone's mum or dad. Your date is primarily looking for someone for themselves, so you don't need to have any sort of parental role, especially not in the early days. Try not to offer advice or opinions on parenting, unless you are asked for your thoughts.

Is there an ex?

Most single parents have an ex-partner who is still very present in their lives, because they share parenting roles. You may feel jealous if your date maintains regular contact with them, but you really have to suck it up, as what is best for the kids will always be the priority. If you feel the green eyed monster approaching, remember that these two people split up for a reason and you have no reason to be concerned.

Always be honest

As with all relationships, honesty is vital. Dating a single person is definitely more challenging than dating a person without kids, but could ultimately end up being very fulfilling. However, you need to be honest about your feelings and tell date if you are finding things hard. You need to be happy too, and communicating effectively is the best way to achieve this.

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