Dating for single parents can be complicated and nerve-wracking. You have so much more responsibilities than you did before you had children. It’s not just about you anymore. When you are considering dating, you not only need to choose someone right for you but someone right for your children.In the good old days before the Internet, single parents had to rely on hiring a babysitter and going out to mingle and meet people. Nowadays, with online dating such a big thing, it is much more convenient for single parents to find someone.
However, when you put your profile out there for the public to see, it opens you up to some risk such as online predators, identity thieves, and the like. The question: is online dating appropriate for single parents? The answer: Yes, as long as you are careful and responsible about exposing your children to the public. Single parents should not be restricted from dating. They have as much right to try to find romance as anyone who doesn’t have children. But if single parents want to try online dating, here are some things to keep in mind.
Why Online Dating Is Good For Single Parents
One of the main reasons why online dating is appropriate for single parents is because of convenience. You don’t have to go through the hassle of finding the right babysitter and scheduling in order to meet other single adults. Also, babysitters charge for their time so if you want to go out a lot, it’s going to cost you. Being gone every weekend night also takes you away from your children on the best nights to be doing something with them. Online dating can eliminate much of this because you can meet people from the comfort of your home without ever having to go out. Eventually, of course, you will want to go out and meet someone but you will also be more available to your kids.
Online Dating Is Full Of Other Single Parents
Another good point about online dating is that it is full of other single parents. Once you become a parent, dating is difficult and there are plenty of other single parents out there who know exactly how you feel. Online dating is just a good option as many single parents have discovered. Having children while dating can often be seen as baggage by people without children. It really limits the number of possible matches a single parent can find. When browsing profiles single parents will often look for other single parents. Online dating sites will include whether or not you have any children. It just cuts through a lot of dating’s ‘red tape’.
Be Open About Yourself As A Parent
Honesty and openness are the best options when dating online as a single parent. You don’t want to hide the fact that you have children. The other person needs to know and you need to know if they are okay with that. You definitely don’t want to get involved in an online romance and then lose the person because you lied to them about having children.
As a single parent, you should also be honest and straightforward about how you parent your kids. You should let the other person know how much television you let your kids watch, what you let them eat, discipline methods, how you like to spend time with your kids, and so on. If you let your kids eat a lot of sweets, then a dentist may not be your perfect someone. You are looking for a good match, after all.
How To Protect Your Kids
Online dating does have its own risks and if you are a single parent, then it is not just you that could be in danger. Online dating provides a natural hunting ground for predators so you need to be careful. Protecting your children should be your number one priority. One of the most important things you can do is not include details about your children in your online profile. It is okay to indicate that you have children and how many but do not give names and ages on a publicly-viewed profile. And never, ever, post photos of your kids on an online profile.
Another important thing to remember is don’t introduce your kids to someone you met online until after a few dates. You should be very comfortable with the person first before you start revealing too many details about your kids. Never mention what school they go to, what park they play at, or if they go to any extra activities such as dance or karate.
You should make sure the person you meet online is more interested in you than your children. If they keep asking too many questions about your kids or they seem overly anxious to meet them, then get out of that relationship immediately.
Also, you should never put yourself and dating first. Your first responsibility should be as a parent. Your kids need you more than another adult does. Yes, you should still take care of your own needs but do it in moderation and in a responsible way. And listen to your kids. If they don’t like someone that you met online, there might be a reason why. Kids can sometimes be more observant than adults.
And lastly about protecting your kids while dating online, listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right or you are getting strange vibes from a person you met online, then trust your feelings.