Peculiarities of Dating a Single Parent

Happy single mom having a picnic with her cute little son
Happy Single Parenting

Many consider dating a single parent a burden and by any means try avoiding it, not understanding they lose the chances of meeting their true love. Dating a single parent can be quite a rewarding experience, but it definitely has some differences from regular dating you are used to. So, if you have made up your mind to jump into single parent dating, here is what you need to know:

Be Flexible

Generally single parents don’t have a lot of time to work with. Between nurturing their children, attending school, working, or tending to whatever else may be going on in their lives, time is something that most single parents do not have an abundance of. For this reason don’t assume that a response such as, “I am busy that night”, means rejection. If you are shot down a couple times, that does not mean they are completely uninterested. Instead they are probably just that, busy. Advanced scheduling is key when dealing with a parent. This means you will mostly like need to get out the calendar and try to find a date that works for both of the parent and the child.

Do Not Ask to Meet Kids

Meeting  kids is a huge step and should be handled with caution. It is best to not to suggest meeting  kid(s) at any time. This is a decision that should be made by the parent. It is up to the parent to determine when the time is right to introduce their child to someone new. Most parents will opt to get to know someone first and once they feel comfortable with the relationship will make the introduction to the child.  So sit back and wait till the parent brings up the opportunity for you to meet the child or children.

Do not Bash  Ex

Unless the parent is a widow, dealing with the ex is just part of the deal.  Hopefully, ex is nice and the two parents have a good co-parent relationship. If  ex is difficult, this will mostly like cause problems down the road. If you begin getting involved this can create strain on your relationship and even result in a break up. The best choice in this situation is to avoid bad talking or gossiping about  ex all together.  Make sure that conversations about the ex-partner are kept to a minimum. You have to remember no matter how rude or frustrating the ex can be this is still either the mother or father of the child.

Do not Share you Advice on Parenting

You should not share any unsolicited parenting knowledge or advice with your date, especially in the earlier days. Parent-child relationships are extremely complicated and with no back story your opinion could be taken as offensive or completely of the mark. Once your relationship is better established and you feel comfortable with both the parent and the child, it may be okay  sharing some of your thoughts or comments, but be careful not to overdo it. The parent-child relationship will always come first, as it should, and you do not want to get wrapped up in the drama as you will always be the odd person out. When it comes to child parent conflict, think Switzerland.


Most parents, whether they said it out loud or not,

are searching for a partner that will be a good role

model to their children. Parents have more to

consider and more at risk when it comes to dating.


Do not be Scared off by Resistance

No matter how long a child’s parents have been separated the child can still feel resentment towards new partners entering onto the scene. Even though you may be perfectly nice and unassuming, the kid may still treat you like a horrible person who is trying to ruin their life.  Do not be offended or personally insulted by this behavior, the kid would treat anyone regardless of their personality like this. It is best to brush it off and allow the parent to deal with the kids.

Be a Good Role Model

Most parents, whether they said it out loud or not, are searching for a partner that will be a good role model to their children.

Surfing on internet together

Parents have more to consider and more at risk when it comes to dating. When you are dating a parent you can be sure that they will be judging your actions and behavior in order to determine whether you be a role model for their children. So if you are looking to impress your date show your nurturing side is a definite bonus. Additionally you should always be respectful and act responsibly. These characteristic traits can go a long way when trying to impress a parent.

Take Care of the Little Things

Parents are constantly making decisions, cooking meals and tidying up. A sure way to impress a parent is take care of all the little details when it comes to dating. For example if you are going out for dinner, you choose restaurant and make the reservation and this way all your date has to do is show up and be ready for a good time. Or if you are having a night in, you can grab the snacks and refreshments at the store. This shows your date that you understand they are busy and you are willing to help reduce their work load. These small little considerations will mean a lot to a busy parent trying to juggle it all.

Dating a single parent does have its challenges, but it can also be rewarding. Every person has a unique situation and the key is to find the right situation that best fits you.

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1 Comment

  • This is excellent advice! There are plenty of ideas in this article that never occurred to me before. And it’s done in a really non-blaming way that doesn’t accuse either the single parent nor the person wanting to date one. A lot of misunderstandings can happen without these basics.

    The two that popped out for me were (1) it is a reality that the single parent has no time, and you shouldn’t take it personally if the parent is not available for the first few date requests.

    The other is that the single parent is going to be looking for a role model for the children, and that’s something I never would have thought of, but it makes perfect sense.

    But there are lots of other great tips in here. Thank you so much!


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