I’m no professional dater, but I am a single parent and I have gone out on the occasional date. As with all dates, there are winners and there are losers. Keep these tips in mind, and make sure you come out a winner.
Single Parent Dating Tip #1: Stick to Adult Conversation
There is a good chance you haven’t had an adult conversation in a while and no, I don’t mean that kind of “adult” conversation, a first date is probably too soon for that. Try to refrain from monopolizing the conversation with the cute things Johnny says and does, and above all do not share with your date your favorite Sponge Bob episode (even if your date is a single parent also). If you’re conversation consists of kids, play time and cartoons, you won’t learn much about each other. This also applies to randomly wiping food from your date’s face and asking him/her if they need to use the bathroom.
Single Parent Dating Tip #2: Give Yourself Ample Time for the Date
If you’re trying to squeeze your date in between soccer practice and piano lessons, you may give them the impression that they’re either not worth your time, or you don’t have time for them. Usually adults know from the start that you’re a busy parent and the children come first, they also want to believe that there is still room for a significant other. Unless this is your intention, then you don’t need these tips anyway.
Single Parent Dating Tip #3: Don’t Go on Guaranteed Bad Dates
Sure, sometimes it’s nice to just get out and do something. Sometimes it’s tempting to go on a date just because you haven’t in a while. If you know from the start that the person hates kids or if you know there’s no way in hell you’re ever going to want a relationship with them, then skip the date. It’s better and healthier to wait for a real date and not just a brief escape from singledom.
Single Parent Dating Tip #4: Keep Great Babysitters on Hand
It’s a good idea to have a couple great, reliable babysitters on hand that can be called at any time. In the event of the “surprise” date, you don’t want to be freaking out trying to find someone to watch your children. Make sure you pay your babysitters well (no trying to barter with parties or pizzas) and make sure that they can rely on you as well (be home when you say you will). Great babysitters will make your dating experience a lot more relaxing and enjoyable.
Single Parent Dating Tip #5: Pay for Your Part
Okay, so you’re a single parent. You’re broke. Everyone knows that, but pay your part of the bill or at least try. There is a myth that single parents are looking for a free ride or desperately want someone to take care of them and their children. You don’t want your date to be burdened with this before you even get the chance to get know each other. Suggest going places or doing things that are within your budget, and even if it isn’t, don’t be afraid to treat yourself.
There are tons of tips available from a number of reliable sources, these are certainly not guaranteeing a perfect date. But, keep these simple single parent dating tips in mind when you go out and you may have a chance at a second or third date. Most of all, relax, have fun and enjoy yourself.
(And if you happen to be going on a date with a single mom, read this article on Tips for Dating a Single Mother.)