Are you a single parent in London who hasn’t started dating yet? But would like to? Thinking about it on the sidelines before getting ready to take the plunge in the sometimes uncertain waters of the pool?
We are here to help!
The professional matchmakers at Drawing Down the Moon (DDM) have spent decades helping brilliant singles find love and we have some really easy to follow dating advice that helps single parents get into a relationship.
We LOVE helping single parents date, and we know that singletons who are dating with kids are some of the most eligible single people out there.
Whether you are dating in London or elsewhere in the UK, read on for some brilliant matchmaker advice on dating when you have children.
Single and Dating, Confidence is Key
Confidence is always important when you want to meet someone new. When you are a single parent who thinks they might be ready to start a new relationship it is even more important. Whether you are a single mum or single dad who is feeling a bit rusty when it comes to dating, confidence can be one of the trickiest things to muster.
This really is a mindset. You might not be feeling it yet, but you need to get into a position where you can at least fake it ’till you make it!
You might not have the confidence yet, but think through all the things that you could offer a partner. What are or were (!) your hobbies, interests, or views on the world?
Sometimes when we have been focusing on our children, it can be hard to remember all the wonderful things we have to offer a partner.
You might even be worried that your child or children might not be happy you want to date. After all, they have been used to one on one time with you. However they might surprise you and be delighted that you are going find someone. It really does depend on each child, so only you will know how they will respond.
If you have older children, it is a really good idea to let them know your plans (maybe not before you start, but definitely if you have a date!). Feeling included can make a big difference to their perception.
Children can sometimes get upset when their parent decides to date, but often it is just a case of them needing a little reassurance that they will continue to remain a priority and that you will not love them any less.
Dating after some time? Take your time!
With the first few steps you take, jumping in head first is key.
After that, take your time.
Dating when you are a single parent means taking your time. A bit like deciding when to have a child, there is never a perfect moment. It is the same with the decision to find someone new. There is never a perfect time.
Sure – it would be wonderful if your child was ready and open to it. You will always see your children as your primary responsibility.
Meeting Someone New
Whether you are dating online utilising dating sites, dating through friends, or utilising the services of London’s best matchmaker, you need to decide at what point you are going to discuss your children with a potential partner.
In online dating profiles, you are easily mention that you have children, however, you want to make sure that you are not being targeted because you have children. The sad reality is that the person most likely to abuse your child is not a stranger, but someone you have invited into your home.
Pictures of your children on your profile is a definite no, for privacy and security reasons. Discussing them at length on a first date is also a definite no, but for different reasons. You don’t want a potential partner to think you have nothing else going on in your life (even if that is currently true!).
In our experience as matchmakers, men tend to be extremely open about dating a single mother, irrespective of the child’s age. It tends to be women who put it on their no-no list. If you find yourself even contemplating adding to your list of wants and desires in a partner, then you need to discover why Love is not a List.
First Date Plans
As the arbiters of first date etiquette, our matchmakers have compiled the ultimate first date advice pack, so make sure you download it and take the time to read through our timeless advice.
As a single parent, it is not always easy to be flexible with your time. You often have to schedule dates around when your children have other plans or when you arrange for a babysitter or friend to look after them. The cost of dating can add up.
There are a few ways you can date and still be with your children. One suggestion is having an initial Skype date. This gives the two of you the chance to talk, without the need for a babysitter. If all goes well you can commit to a longer date next time.
If your children are very young, there is no reason they can’t be involved (especially at nap time!). There are multiple places you can take a date and children, though only you will know if you are able to keep one eye on your child while also trying to be witty and entertaining with your date.
By introducing someone as a friend, you are letting the child/children be a part of the meeting, without putting pressure on the child or your date. If things progress, your children will be more accepting of them.
Sex On a Third Date?
If it has been quite some time since you last dated, you might think the outmoded sex on a third date “rule” still existed. Thankfully for most of us, it most definitely doesn’t.
Three dates are not enough to establish whether or not someone can be entrusted with the keys to your house, or to look after your child for an hour or two, never mind have sex with them.
And whether it is trust, personal values, a moral duty, a religious faith or something else that means you wait longer, science is behind you on this one, with statistics showing us that waiting just over 30 days before sleeping with someone (with multiple dates each week before then) is most likely to end in a long term relationship rather than heartbreak.
When to Introduce the New Partner
The 1000 dollar question. When to introduce a new partner to your children. Again, a lot depends on the age of your child. Toddler and younger are pretty relaxed about friends coming round, the major issue you are likely to face is childcare.
At the same time, some single parents worry about how other people might view them dating (don’t consider this, this is your life), or worry that their children might be introduced to a revolving door of people. It doesn’t need to be that way.
Only you will know the best time to make an introduction, though I would advise that the dating element should be moving very closely to the commitment/relationship time point before the introduction happens. Making sure this is a budding relationship rather than a situationship is also important. Introducing as a friend is usually the best way to start.
Oh and don’t worry too much about whether a melt-down or bad behaviour is likely to happen (on your childs rather than new partners part!). As that is almost guaranteed.
You are simply looking for someone who is going to enhance your life, and they yours.
A Friend on your Dating Journey?
If the idea of going it alone on this journey is just too much, then you should seriously consider hiring Drawing Down the Moon matchmakers to assist you in finding love. With tens of thousands of long term relationships, engagements, marriages and babies, we are London’s premier matchmaking firm. Our team of friendly matchmakers are ready to advise and support you in your path to love.
If you are ready to meet someone special, contact the friendly award winning matchmakers at Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking.