Finding Time for Love: Tips for Busy Single Parents
Dating is hard enough. But the challenges that come with being a single parent and finding time for dating can be especially difficult.
Are you a single parent who is curious about dating again? In this article, we’ll provide practical tips to help single parents prioritise dating amidst their busy lives.
We’ll also include date ideas for single parents, how to make time for dating as a single parent, and how to meet a potential partner as a single parent.
Dating Tips for Busy Single Parents
Know What You Want
Before you start dating as a single parent, take some time to reflect on what you’re looking for in a relationship. Are you seeking something casual or long-term? Do you want a partner who is also a parent or someone who is child-free?
Knowing your goals and deal-breakers will help you make more informed decisions about who to date and how to approach the relationship. It can also help you communicate your needs and expectations to potential partners more effectively.
Along with finding the time, there are also your kids to consider. You’re looking for a successful, honest partner who is a good match for you, and your kids.
When dating as a single parent, it is important to ask yourself:
- Are you looking for something casual and fun? Or hoping for a relationship with long-term potential?
- Have you thought about when you would introduce a potential partner to your children?
- How do you feel about dating someone who also has a child?
- What kind of characteristics do you want in a role model for your children?
- What characteristics are essential in a romantic partner?
- What characteristics would you consider compromising on?
- What are your deal-breakers in a relationship?
Schedule Dates In Advance
Once you do make a connection with someone, make it a priority to set aside regular date nights. Planning dates in advance keep your children in the loop and ensures you get to enjoy regular date nights. When your child knows ahead of time when a date is coming up, it can make it less disruptive for everyone.
Get Creative with Dates
Dinner and a movie are great. But perhaps you don’t have an entire night to devote to a night. The good news is that successful, fun dates can be half an hour or less!
Here are some fun date ideas that involve almost no planning, can happen spontaneously, and can fit into busy schedules.
- Need to take your dog for a walk anyway? Ask your date to join you
- Meet at a coffee shop for a quick cup of coffee
- Play a few rounds of cards
- Plan a picnic at a park
- Help your date cook dinner and enjoy a homemade meal together
- Meet up for a glass of wine
- Meet at a park and take a stroll together or relax on a bench and spend some time getting to know each other
- Go for a run or hike together
- Meet up to watch an episode of your favourite show
Being a single parent can be overwhelming and isolating, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it alone.
Reach out to family and friends for help with childcare, or consider joining a support group for single parents. Not only will this help ease the burden of parenting, but it can also provide opportunities to meet other single parents who understand the challenges of dating with children.
You can also build a network of single-parent friends who can help you find the time for dating. Offer to swap childcare so you can free up a night for yourself, and then return the favour so your friend can enjoy some dating time as well.
Do you feel guilty when you prioritise your own needs? This can be a common feeling for single parents, and parents in general.
Self-care is important and allows you to give your family and children the best version of yourself. Taking time to partake in your favourite hobby or relax with a book helps increase your stress thresh-hold, promote overall well-being, and give you the energy you need to be a good parent.
Think of it this way: When you take care of yourself, you are taking care of your kids.
Here are some realistic self-care ideas for single parents.
- Start Small — If you aren’t used to prioritising self-care as a single parent, start small. Self-care doesn’t have to be an entire day focused on yourself. Commit to five minutes a day for yourself. These minutes can consist of whatever feels relaxing or fun to you. It could be a quick walk, daily journaling, deep breathing, stretching, or meditation.
- Schedule It Into Your Day — Take your self-care seriously and treat it like an appointment. Set aside time each day and set a reminder on your phone.
- Set Aside Self-Care Time for Everyone — To get alone time as a single parent, work with your kids to make it part of the daily family routine. Set aside 10 or 15 minutes every day and make it ‘alone time’ for everyone. For a young child, you can keep a special bin of toys just for a self-care time. Older kids can read on their own or watch their favourite shows. Talk with your kids about why self-care is important.
- Be Prepared — Keep your journal with you and take a few minutes to jot down your feelings and thoughts when you are waiting to pick up your kids from school. Or, take a book with you to read while waiting at school pick up or appointments.
- Switch Up Your Routine — Take a close look at your daily routine and find easy tweaks that free up self-care time. For instance, set your alarm 20 minutes earlier to fit in a quick workout, a quiet cup of coffee, or a chance to read a book. Or, talk with another parent about taking turns on school pickups to free up a bit of extra time every week. You can also set aside 15 minutes every night after your child goes to bed and take that time to do something you enjoy.
- Make Self-Care Part of Your Daily To-Do List — Fit in time for yourself when your child is at school, busy playing, or napping and take some time to enjoy yourself rather than focusing on your “to-do” list. Spend a few minutes focused on yourself and try yoga, exercising, listening to your favourite podcast, chatting with a friend, or grabbing a coffee.
More Dating Tips for Busy Single Parents
When you start dating again, it will affect you and your children. Here are some tips for making the transition back to dating as smooth as possible for single parents.
- Consider the advice and input of your friends and family closely.
- Make sure you are at a healthy place in your life and ready for a relationship.
- Trust your gut — if something doesn’t feel right, go with your instincts.
- Watch out for dates who constantly talk about their ex-partner or themselves — make sure the conversation is balanced and that your date shows genuine interest in you.
- Don’t rush to introduce potential romantic partners to your child — take some time to get to know someone first and gauge your child’s readiness to meet your partner.
- Let your date know you have children, but keep it simple (just their ages and names are enough information for now).
- Make your expectations clear.
- It’s normal to be nervous or feel awkward when you are getting back into the dating scene, but remember to have fun and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Are You Ready To Find Love As A Single-Parent?
Are you a single parent hoping to find love? Finding love and companionship is possible, even with the demands of parenting.
If you are ready to find a meaningful relationship, it is possible to make dating a priority, even with a busy schedule. Hytch is here to help take the time, uncertainty, and difficulty out of finding a genuine connection.
Our proven matchmaking techniques have been developed through years of successful matchmaking experience. We specialise in helping time-poor individuals, including single parents, find genuine, lasting connections.
We understand time is your most valuable asset, especially as a single parent. We spend the time searching our exclusive network of successful Perth singles to find matches who suit your lifestyle, interests, personality, and relationship goals.
Take the first step today by reaching out to our professional matchmakers. This confidential request is a simple way to move closer to finding the love of your life. We’ve helped hundreds of eligible, successful singles in Perth find love and we’d love to do the same for you. Contact us today with any questions or to get started in your search for love.