Online Dating for the Single Parent

With the new age of technology and the plethora of dating sites, even some catered to single parents, it seems almost possible to date once again without cutting too much into your regular jam-packed single parent schedule.

It is not easy to be a dating single parent. Aside from the standard process of trying to find someone with whom you share a common ground and mutual attraction to, there are additional challenges like finding someone who has empathy for your situation and understands the level of responsibility you have for your family. So it’s not surprising that you can probably remain single for quite sometime.

Online dating has revolutionized the traditional courting process. It has eliminated the amount of time it takes to get to know someone. Their posted profile (assuming it is honest), will give you the quick snapshot of who they are. It takes a few minutes to filter through the site. It seems so ideal for those of us “on the go”.

Online dating provides you with the resources so you can begin your search for a potential mate without having to leave your home. Instead of spending money on caregivers and on countless hours outside of the home, you can speed up the process through online dating without so much at stake. But eventually, you still have to spend some time to converse on the phone and to meet off line to get beyond the acquaintance level.

I am speaking from experience when I say it is one of the greatest inventions in the twenty-first century, but do take it with caution, especially when you have children to consider. Not everyone on there is honest and some look to it as a form of entertainment.

To avoid the pitfalls of online dating, here are some basic do’s and don’ts when dating online as a precursor to offline dating:

Instead of spending money on caregivers and on countless hours outside of the home, you can speed up the process through online dating without so much at stake.

  1. Do be honest on the profile. State that you are single with children and whether the children live with you or not. This way, only people who are still interested in you will contact you with the full knowledge that you have those responsibilities and live that kind of lifestyle. Telling someone your situation immediately will save both of you time and it is the unselfish thing to do.
  2. Do keep your online dating activities away from the children’s knowledge. It is safer to keep it to yourself and your friends only. Some children may feel anxious about the potential of losing you to someone else through the dating process and may make them feel inadequate because you are seeking affection outside of the home. They may not have the maturity to understand adult needs.
  3. Do converse with someone over messenger or the phone before deciding to meet with them. You have to be careful about the type of person you will be meeting so use your intuition to guide you and ask a lot of questions.
  4. Do meet in a safe, public place with people around. If you don’t have access to a criminal background check, then it’s best to take caution and postpone a meeting until you feel comfortable about this person. Take a friend and let the person know if this is what makes you comfortable on the first meeting.
  5. Do tell your friends about the people you are meeting and when so that someone has knowledge about your online activities. It’s easy to develop a relationship online without other people’s knowledge and it may be to your advantage that people do know for safety reasons. After all, anything you do has an impact on the kids.
  6. Don’t allow the online dating to draw your attention away from your primary caregiving responsibility. It’s easy to be drawn in and the computer has the potential to become an addiction for some. So, spend your time wisely and log in only when you can give it undivided attention.
  7. Don’t believe everything everyone says. Some people are out to impress others and will say anything to catch the attention of a woman.
  8. Don’t have unreasonable expectations. You will be disappointed if you enter into the online dating world expecting to find Mr. Right immediately. You will have some bad experiences as well as good ones that don’t necessarily develop into romance.
  9. Don’t give out personal information such as where you work and live. You may want to get to know this person through the telephone conversation for quite some time first before you exchange any other personal information.
  10. Don’t limit yourself to meeting people only on the internet. Online dating is only one of the many ways to meet a mate. You can potentially meet him or her walking down the street, in a grocery store or at your children’s school play. Be open to the many forms of encounter.

The best way to experience online dating is to be open and honest with little or no expectation. At the very least, you will develop some friendships or good connections for business or otherwise. If you don’t find someone by Valentine’s day, don’t sweat it. Valentine’s day is a celebration of love so spend it with friends, family, yourself and your kids – the people you love.

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