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Don't give up! There is someone out there just looking for you
Shirley & Malcolm, 2014
Single parent dating: find love that fits your lifestyle
by EliteSingles Editorial
At EliteSingles we have many diverse members from all around New Zealand. That said, many of our members are aged between 30 and 55: resulting in many single parents dating and looking for love on our site. If you want to meet other Kiwi parents in your situation, then EliteSingles is right for you. Join us today!
Single parents, dating and ‘typical’ families
Popular culture still gets a lot of mileage out happily-ever-after fairytales: couple meets, marries, has babies – roll credits.1 Of course, the truth is that there are many paths to true love, from those that settle down right away to those who find love later in life. This diversity means there is no ‘normal’ when it comes to family life: instead there are a raft of different ways to live happily ever after.
Single parent dating in New Zealand
In New Zealand this is particularly true – we come from a country where the traditional nuclear family is officially no longer a majority and where a quarter of Kiwi kids are growing up in single-parent households.2 If you are one of these single parents, it can be comforting to know that you are not alone, that you are part of a growing New Zealand demographic.3 If you are a single parent and dating, it is extra comforting to know that this means there are others out there who can understand your situation. Whether they are single parents themselves or just happy to be seeing someone with children, the changing demographics mean that dating for parents in New Zealand is more popular now than it has ever been.
EliteSingles: a dating website that offers more
Yet, it can still be tricky to be a romantically-minded single parent. Dating can involve a significant commitment – not so easy when you are also juggling a schedule of school runs, sports practices, music recitals and visitations with the ex, not to mention your own work and social activities. As a result, it is imperative that the dates you go on as a single parent be worth your precious time.
The good news is you can find such dates on EliteSingles. When you join our site, you tell us about what you are looking for in a partner and we help you find someone who fits the bill. To achieve this we take your personality into account, along with your relationship goals and your location in New Zealand; a three-step process that we believe gives you the best chance of finding someone wonderful. If you are looking for love that is both truly like-minded and truly in harmony with your single parent lifestyle then you are in the right place.
Expert advice on dating for parents
In real life, unlike the movies, the credits don’t start rolling once you have found someone special and begun dating. For parents in particular, this is merely the start of a whole new family adventure – and it can help to have a few guidelines. To that end, EliteSingles talked to expert Relationships Coach Sam Owen, to find out the top three rules of single parent dating.
Reassure your kids and take it slow
It is vital that children don’t feel like they have to compete with a new person for Mum’s or Dad’s attention. Naturally, you can tell your kid(s) that you’ve been spending time with a friend, but you want to stress (more than once) that this does not make your children any less important to you. As Sam Owen says ‘’Children feel secure when there is stability and stability leads to healthy self-esteem in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.‘’4
This also means that dating for parents can be more complicated than childless dating, as there are more opinions involved! As well as you and your partner’s input, you need your children’s. It’s only natural for children to be wary of change, so you may need to take things slowly until everyone feels comfortable. Your kids need to know, deep down, that this person is an addition to your family rather than a replacement for them.
Date as a partner, not a parent
In the early days of dating it is quite alright to keep your children and your potential partner separate. It is of course important to let your date know about your kids but it is also essential for any potential partner to get to know you as a single adult, to see if you two have the same spark in real life as you do online. This means making sure to give your new relationship time to flourish, preferably on dates with just the two of you involved.
There will, however, come a time when you do want your family and your partner to meet. There is no one right time for this stage to happen – but, when children are involved, it is best to wait until you feel like your relationship really has a chance of going the distance. Owen points out that this ‘’doesn’t mean when and if moving in together but it does mean when you’re seriously committed to the relationship.’’5
Relax and enjoy the ride!
If you are relaxed and calm about your single parent dating activities, chances are your child will be too. After all, kids look to their parents as a guide for how they react to situations: if they see you tense and stressed about a partner they will pick up similar feelings towards them and even resent them for hurting Mum or Dad. Conversley, if they are introduced to this new person as a positive force in their lives they will react accordingly.
You’ll benefit from a relaxed attitude, too. After all, there is really only one reason to try single parent dating, and that is to find lasting happiness. Therefore, as you re-enter the dating world it is important to remember that this new adventure should, above all, be fun. The easiest way to find this? Date someone truly compatible from the start: a feat made easier with help from EliteSingles. Ready to find it? Join today.