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Single parent dating tips: find the perfect partner

EliteSingles is a site where all kinds of Irish singles meet their long-term match. That said, the majority of our members are between the ages of 30-55, meaning that many are of an age when they want their lives to involve kids. In fact, 1 in 4 users already have children - resulting in many parents looking for love on our site. If you're ready for a single parent dating site that works, then get started with EliteSingles today. After all, your next great love might be just around the corner.
Single parent blended family off for a walk

Single parent dating in Ireland

Irish family stereotypes normally revolve around the idea of the bigger the better but, in fact, many Irish households don't live up to this model. Indeed, the 2011 Census showed that over half-a-million people in Ireland live in one-parent families, meaning that almost 20% of Irish children live with a single parent.1 Dating for these parents would be easy (one would think), what with so many options to choose from, yet for many single parents in Ireland, this just isn't the case.

In fact, many feel like ‘single parent’ and ‘dating’ are incompatible. For parents trying to balance work, children and dating, it can be frustrating to even find a date, let alone a compatible one! You'll arrange a date with a woman you’ve met at the school gates - only to find out you have nothing in common but the kids. You'll meet a wonderful man at work - but then discover he never wants children. It's tricky! Happily, there is another way for single parents in Ireland to find a long-term partner: using a dating website.

Single parent? Dating online has some key benefits

Indeed, if you are serious about having love in your life, online dating is the sensible choice, as you can easily find others who feel the same. What's more, you can take the opportunity to be refreshingly frank about your single parent lifestyle, your wishes for the future and your priorities - meaning you can find the perfect partner without spending energy on people without long-term potential.

Furthermore, with dating sites like EliteSingles, you can find the ideal mix of support and independence. We want you to find love that fits your lifestyle- not the other way around. That's why we take personality, location in Ireland and relationship plans into account: we want to ensure that we only suggest people who are right for you. Ultimately, though, you have the reigns when it comes to romance. You choose who can view your profile or contact you, you decide the speed at which your relationships develop and you can get to know people on your own terms via our messaging system before you meet – ensuring that your first date will be worth your precious time.

Expert tips on dating for parents

Dating for parents is certianly made easier online - but meeting someone great is just the start of the adventure. With that in mind, EliteSingles talked to Relationship Coach Sam Owen2 and Psychologist Dr. Leah Klungness3 to discover the top three tips you need to succeed at single parent dating.

Whether you're single parent dating in Donegal, Cork, Sligo etc, EliteSingles is here to help you with the process of finding that special someone.

Further advice:

Affectionate child and mother
1. Slow and steady wins the race

Single parent dating is different from the time before children, in part because this time there are more people to please! Sam Owen says that children particularly need stabilty and reassurement and, as such, the most important thing is that you wait to introduce them to a new partner until you are sure that he or she will stick around. She notes ''this doesn’t mean... moving in together but it does mean when you’re seriously committed to the relationship.’’ 

Dr. Leah Klungness agrees, saying that ''it’s important that you’re exclusive and both see a potential commitment” before you think about introducing your partner to your children. “A good rule of thumb is to keep your children’s involvement with a boyfriend or girlfriend a step or two behind your relationship status.” By taking things slowly, you are more likely to end up with kids who see this new person as an addition rather than anyone's replacement.

Irish couple enjoying time alone
2. It's ok to take time out from kids

Your children are the most important thing in your life - but they don't have to be the only thing! Indeed, many single parents will find that romance is often easier when viewed as a separate entity from family life (at least at first). To give a new relationship the best chance at blossoming into more, you must date as a partner, not a parent. This means really making an effort to have time alone together, where you're free to be you, not just Aoife's mum or James' dad.

Keeping your family and your love life apart in the early days is also a good way to ensure that you aren't overloading your kids with too much information. Again, this important because children really do need stability. Dr Leah says ''your children are not appropriate sounding boards on how your relationship is progressing - or not.'' While you could - and should! - tell your kids about your new friend, that's all they need until you're sure you want more.

Man and his child playing outside
3. Relax and enjoy the adventure

The best tip for single parent dating is this: don't forget to relax. Children are very adept at reflecting ourselves back to us so it stands to reason that if you are relaxed and happy about the person you are dating, your kids will be too. Conversely, if let nerves or dating dramas get the better of you, any littlies will pick up those signals - and they may end up resenting the new person who has caused Mum or Dad to be upset. It is up to you to set the tone of things to come.

For, with the right person by your side, single parent dating can be a source of true happiness - for you, your partner, and your children. Of course, although you may be excited for the happy ending, it stands a better chance of coming true if you remember not to rush things. As Dr Leah says, ''healthy relationships need time and space to grow.'' If a relationship is right, it enables you to relax, sit back and enjoy the ride. Find that relationship with EliteSingles.