6 dating truths only single parents will understand.

Dating is always a bit of a gamble – especially when you are a single parent.

After my breakup, I had no intention of ever dating again.

I resolved to find happiness alone, and just raise my daughter, work and live out my days peacefully.

Yeah, that lasted all of six months. Then I decided I was ready to put myself out there again.

And you know what? It’s been a rollercoaster ever since that moment.

There was the guy who told me he was married and “looking for a fling on the side” mid-date.

Then there was the guy who thought acceptable date banter involved showing me endless naked selfies from other women on his phone.

Oh, and THEN there was the charming guy who told me that single mums were a drain on the economy and that it was our own fault that we “couldn’t keep a husband”.

You’ve got to laugh, right?

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by eHarmony. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

Here are six things that only a single parent who is dating again will understand.

1. Dating by stealth.

I didn’t want my daughter to know I was dating again so when I was getting ready for my first date, I made sure to do it after she’d fallen asleep. But my daughter seemed to know something was up and she refused to go to bed. My mum arrived and eventually told her that I was going out with friends. I left the house to the sound of my daughter wailing, “Muuuuummmmmy”.

"My daughter seemed to know something was up."

2. Money is tight.

I don’t have much money to spare now that I have so many bills to pay and finding money for clothes and to spend while I’m out is tough. Luckily, I have a generous friend who lets me raid her wardrobe…and you know what? It’s way more fun than shopping. I go over to her place, have a few wines, try on her clothes, and basically just have a great time.

3. Getting a night off.

My babysitters are my mum, my sister and one professional babysitter I use when I’m desperate. When I’m trying to organise a date I have to text my ‘trio of angels’ as I think of them, to find out if they are available. I love my daughter dearly but sometimes it just feels so good to have a night off from “mummy duties”. And the best part is that it’s totally guilt-free – I can’t be expected to bring a kid on a date now, can I?

4. Emotional energy.

Sometimes I just can’t be bothered going through this dating lark all over again. It takes up so much emotional energy, trying to keep up with all the games. At first I would yawn my way through dates but then sometimes I’d find a gem of a guy who was so much fun and I’d really look forward to our time together. It’s worth the effort when you hit it off with someone.

"Sometimes I just can’t be bothered going through this dating lark all over again."

5. The conversation about kids.

Sure, there are some guys who will never feel comfortable dating a single mum. But I’ve found it’s easier to date someone I’ve met online because I have put down the fact I am a single mum in my dating profile. It helps me to connect with men who are parents themselves or who are at least open to the idea of kids. (It’s also a time-saver – I’m a single working mum, so I can meet people online from home after my daughter is in bed).

Plus, there’s just something attractive about single dads…

6. Bad dates = good stories.

I’m not in any rush to settle down again, and at the moment it’s nice just to have company and meet new people. Plus, bad dates make for the best stories.

The worst (but most hilarious) date I’ve been on so far has been a blind date organised by a workmate. I turned up at the restaurant – and found myself face-to-face with an old high school boyfriend. It was painfully awkward, and the only way I could bring myself to stay was the thought of the chocolate mousse cake I had ordered for dessert (which, by the way, was totally worth staying for).

"I’m not in any rush to settle down again, and at the moment it’s nice just to have company and meet new people. Plus, bad dates make for the best stories."

When you are a single parent, it can be hard to find people who are a good fit (particularly when you're trying to squeeze all your dating into the rare minutes you're not busy being a parent...) but it's definitely worth it. Just remember that you don’t have to get serious right away - it’s important to take the time to find someone you can actually trust, who offers fun and companionship, and who doesn't run a mile the minute you have the 'I've got kids' conversation.

Sure, you will probably meet some losers along the way (like that guy with the 245,000 naked selfies). But when you meet someone great, it is just so much fun.

And when you don’t, there’s always chocolate mousse cake.

Are you a single parent braving the dating world again? Have you had any…er…interesting experiences?

Want more? Try these: 

The awkward dating adventures of a single mum.

Michelle Williams admits being a single mum is exhausting.

Australia’s most trusted dating site.
Kids might not make dating easy for the time-poor single parent, but that doesn’t have to mean solitary confinement for you. Thousands of single parents are dating and have found meaningful relationships through eHarmony. Our Relationship Questionnaire gets to know you and what you want, and matches you with like-minded, compatible people. We know you’re time is precious, so trust eHarmony to find you better matches, and go on better dates!
Check out the Relationship Advice blog for more tips on dating as a single parent.

00:00 / ???