Dating in general can be a tricky situation. But dating as a single parent brings up some new challenges. You’ve put your children first for a long time, but you’ve probably been giving some thought into dating again. Don’t let the thought of it get down, it’s completely normal. Plus, it should be a fun process. So get your dancing shoes on and follow these tips for dating as a single parent. You won’t regret it!

Be optimistic about dating.
A lot of single parents avoid getting back into the dating scene simply because they feel guilty. They put their kids first and foremost and don’t want to take any time or attention away from them. But at the end of the day, you have to be happy and feel complete, too. It’s healthy for you to go out on dates and have a good time. Go into it with a positive attitude.

Remember your purpose is family.
The dating process as you knew it pre-children has changed a bit. It’s no longer just about your connection with your date, but also how you see them fitting in with your children and anyone else that forms your day-to-day support system. You’re potentially adding someone new to your family.

Don’t hide the topic of your children.
It doesn’t have to be the first thing you talk about, but you may find that your kids come up a lot. Don’t avoid conversations that include them. They form a huge part of who you are. They make you a better person and you should be proud of being a parent. Know that they are a bonus that comes with a new relationship and should never be considered any form of baggage.

Don’t ever feel ashamed.
You are a super parent and you should be proud of your accomplishments. If you feel like you’ve been put in a situation where you need to defend your children or apologize for past decisions, excuse yourself from the date. You should never feel ashamed of being a single parent or of your children.

Delegate your time.
Time is precious and even more so when you have children. Make sure they still feel important and get to spend quality time with you. On the other hand, don’t leave someone your dating waiting around dates.

Introduce your new partner to your children when the time is right.
There is no rush whatsoever. You will now when the time is right but be sure that it is love and not infatuation. If you have older children, consider discussing with them the situation and having them let you know when they are ready.

Be patient.
You have to be patient when it comes to dating with or without children. But when your dating as a single parent, expect everything to progress at a much slower pace. And embrace it. Take the time to live in the present and enjoy the dating process. Really consider if they will fit in. And when you are sure things are right, you will feel it in the depths of your heart.

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