We get it: dating with kids at home is not easy. Between homework, after-school activities, grocery shopping, and cooking dinner, kid-free dating time is a luxury for most single parents.
So, if you feel like you have no time left to meet new people with kids at home, we’ve got you. We’ve helped many singles with children meet their special person and create strong bonds - without having to scroll through the internet. And this is what we’ve learned from the process: you can balance being a great parent and enjoying your dating life!
With a little foresight and planning, dating with kids at home is possible. In this blog post, we will be sharing our 8 tips on how to balance dating with kids at home. Let’s dive right in.
Make sure you’re ready
We’re so happy to see that you’re ready to find someone special again! And yes, we know how dating with kids at home is a huge commitment, both emotionally and physically. That’s why you don’t want to rush into dating to end up feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
Here’s our advice: take your time and think about what dating again means to you. Dating can be a beautiful time to find someone amazing and add romance to your life, but it also comes with risks of rejection and disappointment. So, don’t feel pressured into going on a date because you’re “supposed to be” in a relationship. Do it because you genuinely feel ready to connect with someone new again. Let your intuition guide you, that little voice inside knows what’s best!
Remember, you’re in control, and you get to decide when to start dating again. You get to set your own pace. Do what feels right to you and what fits with your family.
Take your time to find the right one
It’s a given, everybody wants to find the right one. But when you’re a single parent, you want to be extra careful about finding the right person. Why? Because, this time, you’re not just starting a relationship, you’re starting a family. Your date might one day become an important person in your children’s lives if all goes well. That’s why you want to do your due diligence and ask the right questions so you know you are making the best choice for yourself and your children.
Wouldn't it be magical if they were the perfect fit for you and your kids? You can make that happen by finding someone who shares your interests and values. At It’s Just Lunch, we do exactly that. And you don’t have to waste time going over dozens of profiles online. Our professional matchmakers match you with someone based on similar likes, lifestyles, and goals to give you the best chances of success. We then plan your first date so you just have to show up and be yourself on the day.
Establish boundaries with your date
When’s the best time to call you? Establishing your boundaries with your date from the very beginning will help you manage each other’s expectations and avoid future disappointments. Maybe calling you on a weekday after dinner is a no-go because you prefer to spend that time with your kids. Or maybe you cannot go on a weekend getaway just yet.
Whatever it may be, let your date know as soon as you can. And since we’re talking about boundaries, you definitely want to set clear ones when it comes to your kids as well. Check-in with your children and determine what level of interaction and involvement you want your date to have with them, based on what they feel comfortable with. As we all know, those first impressions stick - especially with kids so let’s make it count!
Communicate openly with your kids
Here’s a question that’s probably on your mind: when is it the right time to tell your kids that you’re dating? As a parent, it’s normal to feel anxious about how your children will react to you having a dating life.
If your kids are small, you might prefer to keep your dating life to yourself until you feel you’ve met the right one. They might not be ready to accept that you’re single again and looking for a romance. For older kids, you might want to have an honest conversation and let them know how you’re feeling and what you’d love to see in your future, as a family. When talking with them, acknowledge their emotions and feelings towards the topic. And remind them how important they are to you. Ultimately, you want your kids to know that they can talk to you about what they think and feel and that you’re always there for them, no matter what. Reassure them that dating will not change your relationship or bond.
Plan dates ahead of time
When dating with kids at home, you don’t always have the luxury of spontaneous dates. Instead, you’ll have to plan your dates in advance. When dating someone new, communicate what your schedules are like to find what works best. Planning ahead may not sound as romantic as spontaneous dates, but it will make your dating life much easier and avoid disappointments on both sides.
If you are single and dating with kids at home, It’s Just Lunch is right for you. Our dating professionals work with you and plan your first dates. Check for important dates when you’ll want to prioritize your children, like school events, games or school meetings, and communicate this with your matchmaker. Then, make sure to block off some time for your own needs too, so that you can begin your dating journey.
Find a babysitter you can trust
Trust us when we tell you this: your dating life will be so much better once you find the right babysitter! A trustworthy, reliable babysitter or caregiver helps you relax and enjoy your date fully. Because, let’s be honest: worrying about whether your children have had dinner, brushed their teeth and are in bed at the right time will distract you from living in the moment with your new friend. And we all know that if you really want to connect with someone and show them you’re interested, you have to be present and give them your full attention - and ideally put that phone away!
So, instead of calling home every fifteen minutes to check in, look for someone you know will bond with your kids and follow your instructions. Remember, a great babysitter is a long-term investment. If your kids love them, you’ve found the perfect person to turn to when you’re working late, needing some me-time, having an emergency, and of course, planning your next date.
Introduce them when it feels right
When it comes to introducing your children to your date, you might be finding yourself second-guessing every decision. And for good reason. Too early, and your children might be bonding with someone that you might not find is the right fit for you. So, when is the right time? There’s no definite timeframe, but here are a few tips that can guide you:
- Consider how long you’ve known and dated this person
- Assess if you share common views on where this relationship is heading
- Ask your partner if they are ready to meet your kids
- Assess if your kids are ready to meet this person
If the answers to the above feel promising, then move forward, gradually. Start with casual introductions and, as your relationship grows, start planning family activities, paying attention to how your kids are feeling. Remember to address any concerns or fears they might be having. And, if everything goes well, you’ll be having some exciting times together!
Ready to start dating again?
The professional matchmakers at It’s Just Lunch use intuition and your preferences, not algorithms, to curate high-quality matches and arrange fun first dates for singles worldwide. For over 30 years, they’ve set up more than two million first dates and counting. Get in touch with a matchmaker to learn more.
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We get it: dating with kids at home is not easy.