Single parent dating tips

Whether you are recently single or looking to get back out there after spending the last few years focusing on your children here are our top single parent dating tips

Being a single parent is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Not only do we have to bear the burden of normal adult responsibilities – bill-paying, home cooking, juggling work and a social life – we also have to do our best to raise a child who is healthy and happy without the daily support of a loving partner. For many single parents, money is a key issue, but for the vast majority of us, it’s the limitations of a 24-hour day that make single parenting so hard. Once we’ve made a packed lunch, done the school run, been to work, come home to clean up and cook dinner, and carried out the bedtime ritual of bribing our little ones into a bath, clean pyjamas and bed, how many of us have time to do anything for ourselves? This lack of time is particularly problematic when it comes to dating. If we have limited hours in the week to dedicate to our own needs – whether it’s a drink with friends, a trip to the gym, or simply an hour-long bath with a good book – dating can quickly shoot to the bottom of the list.

As a single parent, dating can also be associated with feelings of guilt, anxiety, and even embarrassment. For any person returning to dating after some time away, it’s normal to feel nervous about striking up a new romance – but for single parents, the feelings surrounding dating can be even more conflicted. Should I be spending time away from my child? What if no one wants to be in a relationship with a single parent? Have my looks changed since I became a parent? Will people judge me for going on dates and having casual sex? If you’re a single parent who has had these kinds of thoughts since re-entering the dating scene, you’re not alone! Ultimately, these kinds of anxieties are not going to go away overnight. All you have to remember is that wanting some sex and romance in your life is perfectly normal and acceptable, no matter what your age, dating history or parental responsibilities. That being said, dating as a single parent comes with its own challenges. If you’re feeling nervous about getting back on the scene, don’t panic – we’ve put together a list of our top 4 single parent dating tips to help you find love and romance.

Single parent dating tip 1: Use online dating sites

Where online dating was once seen as a last resort for the desperately single and socially awkward, it is now the go-to method for single people of all ages seeking everything from a quick fling to marriage. As a single parent, online dating sites and apps can be a lifesaver. Forget getting dressed to the nines and heading out to a bar to make eyes at strangers – with online dating you can chat, make plans and send flirtatious emojis to as many people as you want, all from the comfort of your own sofa. After you’ve put the kids to bed you can relax in front of the TV with a glass of wine, scrolling through potential matches and making conversation at your leisure. Another benefit of using apps and websites when it comes to single parent dating is that many services do all the heavy lifting for you – which again, saves you time and energy. Telegraph Dating utilises a two-way match system that creates a curated list of potential dates for you to browse. When you create your profile, you have to fill out criteria for your “ideal match”. The Telegraph Dating matching engine uses these criteria to find potential dates; if their criteria match your profile, bingo, they’ll appear on your list of matches. Telegraph Dating is also a great site to try if you’re a regular reader of the newspaper seeking someone likeminded. Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more casual, a free app such as Tinder or Bumble can be ideal. Tinder displays single people in your area, allowing you to quickly swipe left if you aren’t feeling their vibe, or swipe right if you’d like to chat – if they also swipe right, your conversation can begin. The USP of Bumble is that, in opposite sex pairings, women have to make the first move by initiating a conversation. If you’re a single mother tired of receiving cheesy one-liners or unsolicited photos from strange men, this could be the app for you.

Single parent dating tip 2: Create the perfect profile

Most online dating sites require a fleshed out profile, complete with photos, a short biography, and a list of things you’re searching for in a partner. Essentially, the rule with these profiles is that the more you put in, the more you get out. If you can find a free hour during the week, get to work on writing that perfect profile. A good dating profile keeps things to the point, is positive and upbeat, and offers a balance between what you’re like as a person, and what you’re looking for in a partner. Most importantly, it is honest and upfront. If you’re a single parent it’s usually a good idea to indicate this on your profile. You don’t have to talk about your kids at length, or include them in any of your photos, but making it clear that they are your top priority will help potential dates understand your lifestyle and commitments. Not everyone is looking for a relationship with someone who has children, and it’s ultimately better for you if you can weed out these people early on. Remember that you should never feel the need to apologise or make excuses for having children. Resist the urge to say write things like I have children but… and instead spend some time bragging about your brilliant kids. Any potential match who isn’t excited about the prospect of joining your special little family simply isn’t worth your time. As a last tip for your dating profile – remember to post some up-to-date (and flattering) photos!