My dating life was so much easier before I had my daughter. I went on dates whenever I wanted to, my standards weren’t that great, I let my dates come to my house, and if I being honest at times I dated multiple people at the same time sometimes out of sheer boredom. Post child dating is completely different. I don’t bring people I date to my house, I can't just go on dates whenever I want and I don't date out of boredom anymore. Dating as a single parent in the digital age can be extremely difficult so here are just a few tips that may help your dating life.
Let Him Know Upfront You Have Children at the Beginning
I personally went back and forth with this before the first date I went on post my Ex, and after realizing how silly it was I decided to tell him before our first date. Most people are accepting of the fact that we have kids mainly for the fact they know that most of us are more or less responsible and caring. On the downside to that, they know your time is limited. If they are not understanding the fact that we have children, move on to the next they were not worth your time.
I can have the best conversations and have a great connection with someone than with no explanation, they ghost me. The first few times I felt confused, hurt, and frustrated, but it's so common these days that if they actually stuck around it would be a surprise. I cannot think of a single person that hasn't been ghosted, and when this happens, having thick skin can be extremely beneficial. Having children gives us an upper hand on being mentally stronger than most so if this happens to you, do not blame yourself. If they were not brave enough to tell us why then we will take no blame in their faults.
Children Come First
This one is a no brainer for most of us parents but there are people out there that do not like that idea of coming second in a relationship. I had a friend (who is also a mother) get upset because the man she once dated constantly put his daughter before anyone. I distinctly recall her confessing that she was jealous of her boyfriend's 2-year-old. Although that relationship was doomed from the start, letting the person your dating know from the start that they will always come second to our children will set their expectations at the beginning.
Discuss Meeting The Children When Both Parties are Ready
I know people who let their kids meet every single person they give their number to. Personally, I do not like the idea of me having multiple men in and out of my daughter’s life, but to each their own. We just need to ask ourselves; why the rush? Why are we in such a rush for our kids to meet the new love interest? Take your time, enjoy each other's company before taking on the kids. If both parties are in agreeance and discuss what you both are ready to meet the kids then you make that decision to do what you feel is best for them.
Talk To Your Kids Before They Meet Your New Partner
Whether this is the first time bringing a new love interest around your kids or 10th time bringing someone new around your kids, talk to them first. Prepare them for the upcoming change. When I and an ex-boyfriend became serious, and after our meeting, each other's kids talk, I had a long talk with my daughter who was 5 at the time. It was the first time she had realized Mommy and Daddy were not getting back together even though her father was engaged to be married. She wasn’t sad or upset she was more excited, and when she met him she was prepared.
Dating is no easy task with children or without. The difference is with us single parents our decisions not only affect ourselves but our kids as well. Our children will be there for the rest of our lives, people come and go.