Hey single parents! Are you ready to get back out there and date? Finding someone who suits you isn’t a simple feat, but when you feel like it’s time to test the waters, you’ll find there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Dating as a single parent does have its intricacies. You’re not on your own with no obligations or obstacles. That said, you now have the drive and determination to find a special someone who is not only a good fit for you, but for your kids as well.

While you may not be considering what the future may hold on a first date, it is a detail that’s necessary to navigate. Why bother getting involved with someone who won’t fit in with your family? Your kids are your number one priority, so whoever you date must be on board with your commitments. Weeding out the winners could take time but finding “The One” is well worth it.

Before you join a dating site or flip through an app, go to the bar on singles’ night or get set up on a blind date, here are three tips to take into consideration. First and foremost, have fun, but have the presence of mind that your children will be part of the process.

 

Be Clear Upfront

Mention you’re a single parent from the get-go. This is probably the most important thing you need to share, so don’t wait until date two or three to “reveal” this information. If your date is into you, this news will either be a non-issue or a problem. If it’s the latter…see ya later.

You must find a potential partner who is cool with dating a parent. Perhaps they’re one too. Being a single parent shouldn’t scare anyone off, but not everyone is interested in dating someone with children. That’s their prerogative, and it’s yours to move on and meet someone else.

 

Take Time Before the Big Intro

You should be in a committed relationship before bringing the person you’re dating around your kids. This introduction is a big deal, and it will have an impact on your family. Seeing too many dates come in and out of your life can confuse kids, cause resentment, and just make things awkward.

When you’re sure that it’s time to share this aspect of your life with your children, don’t spring it on them with an impromptu intro. Talk first, let them ask questions, and then set up a casual and comfortable meeting where everyone can get to know each other. Things should go smoothly if you’re in a healthy relationship and it feels natural to bring your kids into the mix.

 

Never Settle

As a single parent, you may be eager to marry or move in with your mate so you can have someone to help you raise your family. It’s understandable, but unsettling if you’re not 100% sure the feeling is mutual, or if you’re making unhealthy/unhelpful decisions.

You don’t need a partner to be a good parent. In fact, having a partner that’s not quite right for you can compromise your family stability.

If your dating life isn’t as amazing as you’d hoped it would be, keep at it. Don’t stick with someone just to be in a relationship. You deserve better, and so do your kids. Love at first sight sounds good on paper, but the chances are slim that that’ll be your story.

 

Listen to your heart, your mind, and your gut. Know when to work things out and when to throw in the towel. There are lots of lovely people out there who could be a potential partner. Be open to new experiences and embrace the effort.