It's an unfortunate part of life that some relationships don't work out. Whether that's through a breakdown in the relationship for whatever reason, or through berevement it can prove to be a difficult time for all concerned. That is also true for any children that were a result of that relationship. However, most people want to move on at some point and hope to find happiness again. Moving on is never easy, but even when the time is right dating for parents can seem very difficult.
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Logistically, there are a few things to think through first. The first is to decide how you might want to find someone to date. Dating for parents is a little more complicated than for someone who doesn't have one or more children to think about and care for. It's not so easy to pop out to your local for an impromptu drink or start dance classes etc. That means baby sitters or relying on friends and family. We think that the internet is a great place to start dating for parents. Firstly, it means that you can stay at home in the early stages and get to know someone online before you have to worry about who is going to look after the kids. Basically, you get to choose who you spend time on rather than going out to meet a string of potentially unsuitable people - and that takes a lot more of your precious time. Secondly, once you've spend a few weeks getting to know someone online you know there is a much greater chance of a successful face-to-face meeting so it's worth making a big effort of the first date. We would recommend that you don't use a baby sitter at all. Not only are they expensive, if you can get hold of one, but they also normally expect to be given a lift home at the end. They also usually turn into pumpkins at 11 or midnight - so that puts you under pressure to get home - and of course if you have to drive them home then it would be very unwise to drink during your date. All in all it means that you're less likely to enjoy your date and you won't be able to extend into the small hours if things are going really well. For this reason it's best to maybe arrange a sleep-over or rely on family or close friends that you trust to look after the children overnight. You can then relax and hopefully enjoy your date.
Some parents are tempted say that they don't have any children if their children don't live with them thinking that fewer potential partners will want to start a relationship with them. It's true - some people will not want to start a relationship with you knowing that but there are also plenty of people who actively look for someone who already has children. There can be plenty of reasons for this ranging from not being able to have children of their own, through already having their own and not wanting any more, and on to just having a genuine love of children and the joy and wealth of experience they can bring to your lives. At the end of the day, if you are still tempted to try to hide the fact that you have children then you are only fooling yourself. If any relationship is going to go anywhere the other party will have to know sooner or later and will have to take a full and active part in their lives for you to be happy. So choose your moment and make them aware of the fact. If they can't handle it - there are plenty more people who would be only too glad to have you and your children in their lives!
It's better to get things out in the open before a relationship goes too far otherwise you may end up hurting both yourself and someone else but only you can decide when.
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