November 19, 2019

Mama Life || Helping Single Parent Friends Find Love

Mama Life || Collaborative Post

Although I'm happily married, I know I'm very lucky to be so. Many of my friends unfortunately haven't had relationships work out or had unplanned children with someone they are no longer with and I'm always hearing about how hard it is to find love when you're a single parent, I can't even imagine how hard it would be. Not having any free time, or the freedom to go out when you need to makes it near enough impossible to meet new people.
As much as I'd imagine myself just becoming a serious cat lady, I'm only in my 30's so it would be a very lonely existence. When it comes to meeting new people though, my friends struggle and one of the biggest struggles is the stigma that still exists for not meeting people 'properly' and finding love online. There is no shame in finding love online or via an app, yet people still feel embarrassed about it, but with the way the world is now - this has to change!

One issue that comes up a lot is people just wanting a brief fling, saying all the right things to them only to let them down after the first date or sending unsolicited pictures that aren't appreciated, ending things before they get started. In a way it's good to filter people out early, but it can be tricky and you do have to put a lot of trust in someone you've never met that you have no idea even exists in reality. My friend met her husband on a Lincolnshire dating site though, so good things do happen, even if you do have to kiss a few frogs along the way.
After talking to my friends, they've helped me come up with some tips for other single parents that can help you in the rocky world of online dating ...

Make a wish list

Before you embark into the weird and wonderful world of  modern dating, create a brief wish list of the things you are looking for in a partner. This doesn't have to be focused on looks, but more looking at them being kind, funny, good with children, whether or not they have kids themselves, where they live in relation to you and something you'd like to have in common. The perfect relationship doesn't have to have a mate that ticks every box, but a few of your boxes ticked is a great start and this can be a good way to create a shortlist if you find yourself inundated with responses.

Be honest

Telling fibs especially when it comes to your appearance does nothing but waste time in the long run. Be open and honest about who you are, never hide that you have children or anything else that could put someone off. We want someone to love us for who we are and if we aren't honest, it will only lead to problems down the line. When picking your profile pictures, select ones that truly represent you, this takes away any doubt that they may not like the way you look when you meet in real life. Although it's tempting to use our favourite filters and clever angles, when it comes to dating, it needs to be a 'what you see is what you get' kind of situation so there are no surprises later on.

Know when to say no or end a conversation

Although most people on dating apps and sites are fine, there are obviously a few odd bods out there and it's good to know when to gently end a conversation or in some cases block another user. If you get anyone saying anything you feel is odd, give them the brush off and move on. It's always best to be extra cautious when speaking to the unknown online, so never give out too many details about yourself or anything that gives away where you live or any private numbers etc.

Go with your gut feelings

Usually, when we get an odd feeling about something or someone, we are right. If you feel someone is asking odd questions, giving odd answers or being very intrusive with their questions, back away and talk to those you feel comfortable with. Although we never really know who we are talking to until we meet them, going with your gut can be a good guide to avoid any unwanted dating dramas. If you meet someone in real life, always make sure it's somewhere public and you tell someone where you're going, when and who with. That way, if you get a bad gut feeling on your date, you can always call for backup.

Be selective with your sites

Although it must be tempting to sign up for every app and site going, don't spread yourself too thin. Instead, stick to your favourites and if you're talking to a lot of people, just stick to one site so that you can have proper conversations with fewer people as opposed to minimal chat with many. Do a bit of research first to see what site is best for you, which have the best success rates and which your friends recommend.

Wait to introduce new 'friends' to your children

Most importantly, when dating as a parent it's important to not introduce your children to your new love for a while. This isn't just for your children's safety, but also their emotional well being. Children get attached quickly and may not quite understand the concept if the relationship doesn't work, so it's best to wait until things feel more established before introducing the kids and starting your new family.

Have you ever used an online dating site?

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