Single Parent Dating 101 (special guest post)

Are you a single parent who is dating or is thinking of dating again?

After a divorce, dating eventually protrudes its pretty little head out of the bushes. Like most newly single parents, dating has become completely foreign after a long unhealthy marriage. With so many responsibilities on the shoulders of the single parent, loneliness can easily creep in along with depression. Loneliness and depression are not things that the children should see, so it is important to connect with an encouraging friend or family member after a divorce.

Do not think it strange that these emotions are erupting after a divorce. Regardless as to whether the marriage was good or bad, the reality of not having someone there can definitely take it’s toll on single people. The goal is to keep a stable mind and not allow your emotions to dictate your future. As prospective partners begin to pursue the single parent, there are many things to take into consideration while dating.

First of all, it is best to wait a while before dating again after a divorce. Reason being, although you are over your ex-relationship, your children may not be. Take their feelings into account before accepting that first dinner date. Although, children are not supposed to dictate the relationships of their parents, there is nothing wrong with being sensitive to what they are feeling. Not taking slow steps can set a precedent for hostility towards the new relationship.

Secondly, do not forget you are a parent. Divorce gives people a new sense of freedom that they have not tasted in a long time. For the newly divorced single parent, that new freedom has it’s share of limitations. For example, staying out overnight should not be done by the single parent. Especially if it is just some spontaneous decision. Even if the babysitter can stay overnight, keep in mind that the kids are not use to having their mother or father stay away from home in that sense. So save those pajama parties for the honeymoon.

Third, when introducing your child to the prospective partner, do no try to “sell” your child to him. When I say sell, I mean do not make your child feel as though they have to impress this new person as if the prospective partner is the prize. Although you may want this person in your life, do not force a relationship between him and the children. Keep in mind that your children are just as much as important to the relationship as he is.

Fourth, keep in mind that not only should this new guy be a potentially perfect match for you, but should also be a perfect match for your children. When you are a single parent, there is no point in dating someone that is not ready to be a parent.

Lastly, before the relationship goes too far it is encouraged that you do a background check on them or simply research their name on the internet. Check out all his social networking sites, see what pops up in the various search engines connected to his name. The goal is to simply make sure he is not wanted by the police.

On a more positive note, keep in mind that this new relationship comes with a lot of exciting and new adventures. Just try to include your children with all these new steps towards companionship



Katha Blackwell is a mother, blogger, freelance writer and author of Not Another Victim: A Woman’s Guide to Avoiding A Bad Relationship. Katha Blackwell was raised in an abusive household throughout her childhood, which motivated her to help women obtain wisdom about relationships. Blackwell has provided counseling and direct service to women for 10 years. She currently holds a Masters in Social Work from The University of Chicago. For more information, please visit her website at

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