Don’t Take This Personally: Advice for Single Parent Dating

By Jackie Potts

Dating is challenging enough when you’re a party of one, but imagine adding Mini-Mes to the mix. Still, plenty of funny, charming single parents want to meet and hang out too. This post is for you parents in the dating pool, and also you solo agents interested in dating single parents, but receiving mixed signals.

Parents have countless obligations. Take singlehood, and multiply it by 100. Recognizing these and not taking them personally makes dating a single mom/dad a lot simpler. For example, your single parent date might:

Arrive with spit-up on his shoulder, toys in her purse, or other thoughts on their minds. Don’t jump to the conclusion that he’s a slob, or she has ADD. It’s likely a temporary oversight.

Cancel at the last-minute. Kids are unpredictable. One minute they’re playing, and the next, “you’re standing in a pile of vomit in your stilettos,” says Sarah, divorced mom of 2. Kids also fall down, get in trouble, and, by the way, can’t drive.  All of these can impact your plans.

Not be spontaneous. Let’s say a co-worker gave you tickets to tonight’s Big Game and you invite the sports-fan dad you’ve been seeing. Instead of hugging you, he backs slowly away murmuring, “No, no, NO,” like Van Helsing confronting Dracula. Don’t panic. Single parents need at least a week’s notice, often two weeks, for a night out. They have to reserve a sitter, a back-up sitter, and another vomit-friendly sitter just in case the first two sitters are struck by ebola.

Refrain from inviting you home. Kids get attached more quickly than adults. Enough said!

Not have seen an (R-rated) movie in years:  One pro of dating a single parent is they’re
“easily pleased.” Having a conversation without the word “princess” can be enough to make their day.

Jackie Potts is a blogger at



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Filed under Date Etiquette, Dating Tips

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