Dating is never easy. It’s hard for people to put themselves out there, open their hearts, and give someone a chance to potentially hurt them. This becomes a larger problem for single parents. While casual relationships before having kids may be annoying or frustrating, pursuing a relationship as a single parent is often frightening.
At Cuppls, we want to see you succeed in finding a new partner who makes you happy. Below are some tips from our relationship professionals that could help you when you’re ready to re-enter the challenging and rewarding world of dating as a single parent.
Don’t let your divorce make you gun shy
If there’s one thing that holds single parents back when looking for new partners, it’s wounded pride. Many people end up convincing themselves that they’re better off alone after a divorce. The few who are ready to get back out there are typically only willing to get their feet wet to minimize their fear of being rejected.
While it can be scary to open yourself back up to another person after being hurt, it’s good for you emotionally to get back out there. It’s also good for your kids. Watching your mother or father be emotionally distant or depressed takes a big toll on a child’s well-being.
Avoid being reckless
While it’s important to get back out there and find another person to start building a relationship with, don’t force it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a romantic relationship won’t be, either. Rushing into one relationship after relationship won’t fill the void that you feel.
Instead, focus on a healthy relationship that you feel can work. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid going out on dates, because then you won’t know if a person is right for you. However, if you don’t feel a spark with someone, don’t try to force it.
Rebuild your self-esteem
One important step in putting yourself back into the dating world is rebuilding your self-esteem. A divorce can leave your self-esteem wounded for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re left feeling unattractive or unsuccessful. Maybe you feel as if you have let your kids down. These are all fears that you have to push aside. Not all relationships are meant to be, and you can’t blame yourself when yours didn’t go as planned. Instead, use your past relationship as a stepping stone that leads you toward a healthier, more successful relationship.
When looking for a new partner, full disclosure is very important. You need to make it known that you’re divorced and have kids. While this is a lot to throw at someone on the first date, there’s no point in hiding it and wasting anyone’s time. If they can’t handle the information, then you’ll know this upfront and can avoid going on a slew of dates with one wrong person after another.
Full disclosure also needs to be given to your kids. While they can’t be the deciding factor, it’s important that your kids are aware of what’s going on so that they aren’t surprised or shocked later on. This will make introducing your kids to a potential partner far easier and much less awkward.
Just because you’re keeping your kids informed, however, doesn’t mean that you should date in front of them. Getting to know a new person that could potentially be a father figure can be rough on a kid. Keep your dates out of sight until you’re sure that the relationship you’re in is going somewhere.
The single-most important thing for you to do is be yourself. When meeting new people, an important focus will be in making a good impression. While first impressions are important, you want to make sure that you’re sending the right message. Don’t be someone you’re not, as your dates won’t be getting to know the real you. While it can be scary to let someone see the real you, it’s important that you find someone who loves you for you rather than for who you’re pretending to be.