Dating as a Single Parent During the Holidays
The holiday season is one that people anticipate and dread in equal measures. It’s a magical time of year, but it can also be very stressful, especially if you’re a single parent. But just because you have that responsibility doesn’t mean you need to hide away and hole-up inside the house.
Instead of spending the season getting drunk on eggnog, watching Friends re-runs, and arguing with your family, consider online dating.
Dating with kids isn’t easy, especially during the madness of the holidays, but it could inject some much-needed spice into the season. At worst, you’ll have a few cozy online chats followed by the occasional evening meal; at best, you’ll have a caring and considerate adult to spend the season with.
You can’t ask for a much better Christmas present than that.
6 Important Tips to Remember
Take a look at these tips for single parent dating during the holiday season.
Don’t Rush Into Things
It’s important not to rush into things when you’re a single parent.
You’re not just introducing your date into your life; you’re also introducing them into the lives of your children.
Imagine how confused they’ll be if they wake-up Christmas morning to discover they have a new “dad/mom”, only for them to be replaced by another one before New Year.
By all means, spend some time with them around the season. There’s no harm in going for a pre or post-Christmas drink, and if you’re confident it will last, you can introduce them to your kids, but Christmas is sacred to families and children.
It’s a day that your kids will remember all year. It’s intimate, it’s special—it’s not the time for major introductions.
Don’t Talk Too Much About Your Kids
If you’re dating someone with kids, it’s okay to talk about your own kids and to share stories.
Single parents spend their days caring for their kids and juggling many different responsibilities.
They watch children’s TV shows, they’re usually asleep before 10, and they’re more familiar with SpongeBob SquarePants than SNL. There’s no shame in talking about this and when you’re dating someone with kids, you definitely should.
But it’s a different story if your date doesn’t have kids, and while they might nod, smile, and feign interest, there’s no way they’ll be agreeing to a second date after that.
Try to avoid talking too much about your kids and start talking about yourself. You have your own interests, your own opinions. There’s no harm in adding the odd child-related story here and there, but don’t venture off course.
They are there to get to know you, to date you. You’re not interviewing them for the role of father or mother.
Don’t Talk Too Much About Your Ex
While it can be acceptable for single parents to talk a lot about their kids, it’s never okay to spend the night moaning about your ex. If they are still on the scene and sharing custody, there’s a good chance they play a major part in your life and an equally good chance you despise them.
They might infuriate you and when that happens, you need someone to moan to. But that’s a job for your friends, not your date.
If they ask about the situation, there’s no harm in telling the truth, but don’t go off on a tangent and spend the rest of the night moaning about your ex.
Do Your Research
The great thing about online dating is that you can filter your searches beforehand and focus only on people you know will be a good match.
You’re busy. You have your own life and your kids’ lives to think about. You don’t have time to spend every night on a random date with someone who turns out to be disappointing and incompatible.
Narrow down your search, chat with them beforehand, and make sure they’re a good match and are looking for the same things as you are.
Give Them a Gift
You don’t need to take a gift with you on a first date. Even if you’re dating around Christmas, no one expects to receive a gift.
However, if you have been on a few dates, you should consider buying something small.
If you want to really impress them, buy something that harks back to a conversion you had or a memory they recalled, something that shows you actually listened and that you really care.
Don’t expect anything in return and whatever you do, don’t ask them what they want you to buy them. It’s acceptable when you’ve been married for 10 years, but when you’re first dating, you need to take the initiative, otherwise, it feels like a chore.
Single parent daters don’t always have time on their side. They have kids to deal with during the day and can’t just drop everything on a whim. It can be hard to arrange evening meals and drinks, as babysitters need to be called, and you don’t want to be nursing a hangover when getting your kids ready for school at 7 AM.
But dates don’t need to be limited to drinking copious amounts of alcohol on Friday or Saturday night, and they definitely don’t need to last for many hours.
Go for a coffee when the kids are at school. Offload the little ones on your parents or friends and go for an afternoon meal or a picnic. The point is to relax, have a good time, and get to know them, and you can do that anywhere.
Summary: Dating with Kids During the Holidays
Single parent dating is tough, and dating during the holidays is chaotic, but it could also be a blessing. It’s a magical time of year and it’s great to have someone with whom you can enjoy those cozy evenings and drunken nights.