Adventures in Single Parent Dating

A love letter to all newly single moms and dads out there.

Dating as a single parent is definitely hard. You not only have your own heart to contend with, you have your children’s too. They’ve already been through so much, and you don’t want to shatter what’s already being patched together with time. And as for your own heart, it’s been transformed into something a bit more sensitive as you search for that person that will fit all your lives. And it’s bound to get broken so much easier than ever before.

I know. I’ve kissed a lot of toads on the way to my prince. I’ve made bad choices, and some ok choices. I’ve chosen guys that I should have walked away from, and I managed to fall hard for them. And as a result, my heart has been crushed and repaired more times than I can count. Along the way, I learned more and more about myself and what I’d put up with, and what was absolutely a deal breaker. And I became stronger in that. I also learned the fine art of being single and loving it. And just when being single became most comfortable, I was swept off my feet by the man I am supposed to be with. He’s wonderful, kind to my kids, responsible, and someone who fits into my life perfectly. We have similar ideals, work well together, and even fight fair – something foreign to me from the past. And even if things don’t work out (doubtful, but let’s be realistic – I can’t say “forever” till there’s a ring on my finger…), I have a true example of what a good man looks like, and what I expect in a relationship.

When you’re ready to date, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll kiss some toads. You might even introduce your kids to someone only to have them say goodbye. You may even compromise your ideals or exhibit behavior you swore you never would. It happens. It can feel shameful. And it’s life, get over it. It’s also a learning experience for growing. So pay attention to what works, and what doesn’t, what feels good and what feels totally uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for red flags…they only become clearer with time. Get to a place where your heart and your head say the same thing. Embrace your singleness whenever you find yourself without a partner. Discover the very things that make YOU tick. And when your Wonderful Someone comes along, and things start progressing towards that very scary space of a relationship with someone who is actually perfect for you – let go. Fall helplessly, hopelessly, exquisitely in love.

And enjoy every minute of it.

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