Just because you're a single parent (or dating one) doesn't mean you can't have fun.
Even if you can't seem to find a babysitter spur of the moment, there's no reason why you should skip dating. Seeking a connection takes time and we know that single parents are limited in what's free in that department.
Fear not! There are simple, economical and easy ways to meet and socialize with new prospects, even if kids come along.
Now you're not going to want to take your kids to meet a date in a bar or coffee shop. Their boredom would be so distracting that your date might not have a real chance to win points with you.
So here's a list of seven ways to build a connection while entertaining the kiddos on your date with a prospective match.
And here's a few more tips to keep in mind:
- Don't make it too long. Kids need their nap time or to get washed up and in bed by their normal schedule. You might want to skip on long road trips or anything that requires too many "pee breaks."
- Don't refer to your date as "uncle" or "aunt" so-and-so. First meetings for kids and your date may be awkward, so keep the introduction simple by calling him or her your "friend." Some suggest waiting until a more solid relationship develops to meet your kids, but others maintain that it's better to find out right away if there will be conflicts between your kids and a love connection. You can decide when you're ready if you want to have a family day out with a date.
- Don't freak out if your kids don't like him/her right away. Maybe your kids are too sensitive to having their mom or dad replaced. They tend to be irritable upon first meetings. Don't give up too soon on a new prospect just because your kids may not approve. After all, you can be your own judge on how you feel about someone.
- Keep a keen eye on how your date treats your kids. This is the perfect opportunity to see how your new prospect treats kids (namely, yours). If you pick up a Grinch vibe with their lack of interaction, consider it a red flag that he or she isn't comfortable around kids. But even if your date showers your kids with love, continue to watch for consistent behavior. Most people know the way to a single parent's heart is through his or her kids.
Don't forget sunscreen outdoors and bring all the supplies you need for your kids (and yourselves).