I have written a few articles about dating as a single parent–skewed toward maneuvering the dating scene when you are the only one with kids. I thought, in the interest of fairness, and because divorce is so common, we should talk a bit about the complications and realities of dating another single parent. Since this CAN be such a complicated subject, it will probably take us a while to really explore it!
There are some real pluses to dating another single parent–first and foremost, this person “gets it” and understands many of the realities of dating with children that those who do not have kids just can’t empathize with. In a perfect world, this other parent would understand if you have to cancel a date last minute or get a phone call from your kids in the middle of the date. Additionally, you can see how well the person interacts with his or her own children as well as your own and talk over expectations about family life with each other.
On the down side, it can be downright complicated trying to figure out when you both have the time to get together. With two busy single-parent schedules, it can be hard to find time when you both are kid-free and able to devote time to establishing and building a relationship. Additionally, you might have very different ideas about parenting or about how to co-parent with the “other parent.” How your arrangement works and how you interact with your child’s other parent might be very different from how your girlfriend or boyfriend does.
You might also have different levels of comfort about when to meet the children, dating as a group or family, sleepovers, etc. Your date might be eager to have you meet his or her children and you want to wait until you are sure the relationship is “going somewhere” or vice versa. Managing the logistics of dating another parent can be a full time job–but it can also be an amazing experience and lead to something lasting.