Single Parent Dating Checklist
If you are a single parent that is ready to begin dating, use the following checklist to make sure that you are ready for that first date.
- Determine your dating goals
Do you want companionship or attention? Do you want to make new friends or are you looking for a life partner? Spend your limited dating time with people who share the same goals.
- Line up childcare for your kids
Do you have a relative that can watch the kids for you? If not, find some babysitters through referrals from other moms or your church, if you attend one.
- Decide on an emergency contact person
You may think that if you have a cell phone with you, then you can be reached at any time. Remember that reception can be spotty even in large cities, your phone may run out of charge, or you may not hear it ring. Always supply your sitter with at least one other responsible adult that could be contacted in an emergency, and if your kids are old enough to be home alone, make sure they have that contact number, too.
- Figure out what you will tell the kids
While you do not want to lie about where you are going, too many details are not necessary either. Until you are ready to introduce your date to your kids, you probably don’t need to even supply your date’s name. Kids have remarkable memories and will be sure to recount the fact that you have dated James, John, Bob, and Billy this month at the worst possible time.
- Pick a place to meet your date
To avoid encounters with your kids, you will need to meet your dates outside of your home. Is there a convenient place that you can safely park your car and then ride together for the evening? Or, do you just want to drive separately?
- Set a budget
If you are a female dating a man, often the male will pay the first date or two. At some point, you will be expected to chip in. Or if you are a guy, you don’t need to keep covering all expenses after the first few dates. Be honest about what you can afford so that you don’t rack up debt trying to live beyond your means. You can find creative ways to treat your significant other that don’t cost a lot such as cooking a nice dinner.
- Have a game plan for when you will introduce a date to your kids
Although you can always reserve the right to change your mind, you should have an idea of the best time to bring someone new into your children’s lives. This might be when you are considering a permanent arrangement or just when you have decided to be exclusive. Bear in mind that your kids will often become attached, so you don’t want to introduce them to everyone that you date.
- Check your calendar
As a single parent, you probably have many responsibilities. Even though you may want to spend all of your free time with your new significant other, you will still have the same obligations to your children, the same mountain of housework, and the need for time for yourself. Make sure that you don’t shortchange your kids or yourself.
You can have an active social life as a single parent. By following the checklist above, you should be well-prepared to venture into the dating scene.
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