There is no doubt in the fact that single parent dating can have its share of challenges. Along with trying to strike a balance between your professional and parenting responsibilities, you need to squeeze in time for your romantic life as well. While you may crave the companionship, your other responsibilities may weigh in and make you feel overwhelmed in dating as a single parent.
Know when to begin dating: If you have had a divorce or breakup, you need to know when you are emotionally prepared to date. Never date on the rebound because it can only lead to complications. You need to heal and get over the emotional pain and stress you have been through with the ending of the previous relationship. Before you date, you need to be sure as to why you want to date, if you want companionship, physical intimacy, or what else. Once you feel that you have truly moved on and healed emotionally and are open to the idea of getting into a new relationship, move ahead. If there still is any lingering hostility towards your ex, it is best to wait until you heal, as you still are not emotionally prepared to begin dating. If you carry emotional baggage from your previous relationship, it will be very challenging to navigate any new relationship you might get involved in successfully. Remember the saying, slow and steady wins the race, so take it slow and gradual before getting back on the dating scene.
Time management is a must: Probably the biggest challenge for single parents wanting to date is to find the time. With kids at home and juggling work responsibilities, you will find very little time for anything else. That is where time management and prioritizing come in handy. While kids are always number one, if you are emotionally lonely, being able to focus successfully on the kids will not be that easy. At the end of the day, as humans, we all need love and caring. While you consolidate your relationship with your children, you cannot neglect your own needs for companionship and an emotional anchor in your life. The key is to learn to strike a balance between time for the kids, your job, and your love life.
While you may be keen to introduce the kids to your partner, you need to be sure if the relationship is headed towards spending your lives together as a couple. Just dating someone with no intention of settling down and changing partners will leave the kids confused. At the same time, once you feel you have a good thing going, it is okay to introduce your kids to your partner. It will help them to develop a rapport, which does not happen overnight. This is especially the case with teens that tend to take longer to warm up to a new partner in their parent's life. Once both of you are sure of commitment towards each other, it is time to get your partner to meet and know the kids.
Explore dating a single parent: While love is not something that can be planned, you could consider the option of dating someone that is of the same status. The benefit of dating another single parent is they are familiar with the stress and strains of dating with kids. They will be more empathetic and understanding when it comes to issues that are unique to single parents when they get back into the dating game.
Being in a relationship when you have kids can be very challenging. Since kids are always our top priority, the relationship tends to get neglected.
A few ways to have a healthy relationship while having kids are:
Occasionally let the kids take a backseat: Wile loving and caring for kids is always number one. It is okay on occasions to let them play second fiddle. Get a babysitter over or leave them with your parents so that you and your partner could spend quality time together. This could be done every week so that both partners get to be together without interruptions.
Plan surprises: As mentioned above, when you can leave the kids under adult supervision, plan something impromptu for your partner and surprise them. From getting tickets for the basketball game to enjoying a romantic dinner at an excellent restaurant, do unplanned things. It will rekindle the charm and excitement that are necessary to have a happy relationship.
Remain focused on each other: When we get caught with our daily routines, it becomes a second habit to ignore or neglect our partners. That will be detrimental for the relationship as having constant communication is an absolute must. Stay in the loop and discuss things with each other and take time out whenever possible to have long conversations. Having responsibilities does not mean we lose focus on our partners. If you have any concerns, make it known to your partner and choose some quiet downtime away for the kids to have a discussion and resolve any underlying issues that could cause a problem in the relationship later.
Overall, when you date as a single parent, there are difficulties to endure, but none of these is insurmountable. If you want to love and companionship to fill the void in your life, you must work a way out for the relationship. That does not mean you change your priorities as the kids will always be the most important responsibility. All you need is to get better at time management and be innovative so that you strike the right balance between your family duties and your fulfillment. All it takes is some adjustment and an understanding partner to enjoy a satisfying relationship while being a good parent too. Remember, as much as the kids need love, so do you!