There are great many factors that do conspire to keep a single parent single. The most central of these is an unwillingness to date. There are infinite reasons--we will call them excuses--to support and perpetuate this unwillingness. This edition of the Single Parent Dating Guide focuses on understanding common causes of dating trepidation, with an emphasis on its cure.
No matter how long you have been out of the dating game, you likely will not have forgotten the joys--we will call it horror--of trying to meet someone new. Throw in that you haven't dated in however long, and that you now have children, and more than a few single parents give up before they've even begun. It is important to remember at this early phase, and forever, that your children are a blessing and a reason to live, not the end all excuse for shutting yourself off from the world and the splendor it has to offer.
You have kids. Okay, wonderful. Having kids tends to limit one's free time. This too is okay. Were this not true it would mean you are a lousy parent, are probably dating freely, and I hope my cousin does not wind up with you. For the rest of you, there are acceptable means of balancing a family and a social life. The first step is often as simple as giving yourself a break.
You don't deserve to be single. Your relationship with your co-parent didn't work out. It happens. Relationships are tricky. Just because you have kids together does not mean you are automatically going to spend the rest of your lives together. It probably would have been nice and would make your world a lot less complicated, but there are issues and circumstances and situations, indeed lots of them, that condemn even the most practical pairing.
You did not fail. Unless you and a penchant for remorseless infidelity are 100% of the cause of your marriage dissolution, you are not unforgivably responsible and thus doomed to a life of singledom. Nowhere is it written that you only get one shot at happiness. Yes, it will probably serve you well to come to terms with what happened between you and your former life partner, but self imposed eternal damnation is not the answer. And know this, this is very important, what is best for your kids does not lie within a horrible relationship with their father/mother, nor in mournful, repentant solitude. There is a third option, though it will be hard see or consider if you are occupied with blame and pity.
You have not let your children down. They do not need to see you suffer. Harmony and family well being lie down a different path. Forgive yourself, unless of course you have done something unforgivable, then get on with your life. The best example you can set for your kids is to face adversity, overcome it and emerge whole out the other side.