For most singles looking for love, dating can be challenging terrain but for single parents there’s an even bigger set of obstacles to encounter. When children are involved, it can often feel like the dating world is too difficult to maneuver through and many parents opt out. Hiring a babysitter, time away from the kids, finding a place to meet other singles, and the ramifications of the child’s emotional involvement if the relationship doesn’t work out are more than enough reasons why single parents say, “no” to dating.
Fortunately, there are millions of success stories about single parents finding love again. If you’re ready to join the lucky ones by the end of the decade, say “so long,” to any past excuses and give yourself a chance to meet someone new this coming year.
Vices to Break
Not Enough Love to Go Around
Lily, 35, stopped dating for several years after she and her husband divorced. She feared that meeting someone new would take away time from her three young girls. Like many single parents, Lily felt guilty about her failed marriage. What she didn’t realize was that by avoiding dating it made her lonelier inside. Finally, after years of coaxing from family and friends, Lily began dating again and met her husband about a year later. What she didn’t realize during all of those years alone is that although spending quality time with her kids is wonderful, it’s much more effective with a happy mother and home. In 2010, break the vice of being alone and give yourself permission to date.
“I’m too busy to date,” said Ted an electrical engineer who was running his own company while simultaneously raising his nine-year-old son. “I would love to meet someone new,” but there isn’t enough time,” became his mantra. Making time to date isn’t as impossible as Ted makes it out to be. Shift your focus if you want to meet someone new and start penciling in every Tuesday for date night. Once you have a consistent routine established it won’t feel so overwhelming.
The Hidden List
There are so many reasons (excuses) why single parents don’t date. We’ve heard about being too busy and devoted to the children but others include being too old, not physical appealing, or not having enough money. Let go of the noise in your head. Find a quiet room with no distractions and spend ten minutes writing down every reason why you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t date. Take the list and store it in a secret box for sixty days. Now give yourself permission over the next two months to go crazy dating despite the limitations you feel. After two months, you may just want to rip up that list of excuses for good.
Vows to Make
You’ve thrown away those vices that kept you home playing Candy Land in your pajamas for the past five years, so what’s next? Make a commitment to change your situation and let love in your front door. It is possible to have balance between your home, children and within yourself in 2010. Following are a few vows to get you started.
Search for Singles
The most obvious way to start dating if you’re a busy parent is to join a website devoted to singles and/or single parents. You can do this from the comfort of your home while the children are in school or in bed.
If you’re children are old enough to understand. Be truthful and have a conversation with them about dating. It will allow them to feel involved, respected, and less apt to get upset if you meet someone.
Just like we mentioned to Ted above, pencil in one night a week for you. Find a steady babysitter, family or friend and spend the evening doing whatever it is you want to do; whether it’s a date or out to dinner with friends. Getting some “me” time is healthy and if you’re doing it the same day each week, it will create a consistent routine for your children.
Now that you’ve made the choice to date again, don’t feel pressured to have a romantic date with everyone you meet. When children are involved, getting to know someone as a slowly can lead to a stronger partnership. Unless you are sure about the chemistry and attraction, take the time to cultivate some solid friendships too.
By Lori Bizocco for SingleEdition.com