Raising kids alone is tough, and it can be even harder when trying to find a new partner. But, in this digital age, online dating has made it super easy to connect with someone special.
Whether you’re a mum or a dad, being a single parent looking for love in the capital city means there are plenty of potential partners out there just waiting to get to know you, and we’ve got the tips to help you find them.
Plus, remember that as a single parent, you’re not alone! According to the ONS, in the UK, 15.4% of families are lone-parent families. So your perfect match could be someone in the same boat or a like-minded person who sees you as a human, not just a parent.
With the right mindset and an open heart, you can find someone special to share your journey with.
For single parents living in London, here are some top tips for making the dating scene work for you:
|Our Single Parent Dating Top Tips:|
Embrace online datingMake time for being socialTake your timeHave fun with itBe upfront and honest about your situationDon’t rush to introduce your kidsTry not to compare them to your exDon’t settle for less than what you and your kids deserve
Single Parent Dating Tips: How to Meet Someone in the City
The dating scene is wrought with challenges for everyone; from finding the best place to meet someone to finding a time when your schedules align for a date, it’s a lot harder than it seems. Those challenges get even harder when you’re trying to arrange childcare as well!
We’ve got a few helpful dating tips for single parents to help you get back out there and on the road to a meaningful relationship.
Embrace Online Dating
Time is a scarce resource for single parents. You don’t have the time to get ready and go out for an evening trying to meet someone, not to mention the cost of childcare. Thankfully, online dating has never been so prevalent, with over 366 million online dating users.
Gone are the days of being shamed for trying to find love online. Now, there are plenty of dating apps to help you find the one, and the instant messaging they offer means you can get to know potential dates while going about your everyday life.
Make Time For Being Social
Although online dating has made it easier for single parents to find love, it’s not a complete replacement for in-person socialising. Time is precious, and spending as much time as possible with your kids is often a priority for single parents. But if you want to enrich your life with a partner, you need to make time for being social.
Setting time aside to go out on dates with online matches or to just meet up with friends without your children is a great idea to help you boost your confidence and get used to being away from your children for an evening.
Take Your Time
Whether you’ve been a single mum for six months or a single dad for years, there’s no need to rush into a relationship.
Navigating the world of dating is different when you’re a parent; just ask other single parents! Take your time finding your feet and learn what you’re looking for (And not looking for!) in a relationship. It’s also OK to take a break from dating if you feel you’re not ready yet.
Have Fun With It
This is an extension of taking your time with dating. Although the end goal for most daters is to find a long-term, meaningful relationship, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Go into your dates or conversations on dating sites with an open mind. Enjoy the process of meeting new people and spending some time as you, not as mummy or daddy.
Single Parent Dating Advice: How to Move From Dating to a Long-Term Relationship
Once you’ve got yourself back in the dating saddle, you’ll probably find someone you want to progress from just dating to a meaningful relationship. This can be hard for single mums and dads to navigate, but we have some helpful tips to guide you through the transition.
Be Upfront and Honest About Your Situation
Hopefully, you’ve already told the person you’re dating that you have children. If not, that’s going to be an awkward conversation.
If you’re thinking about getting serious with this person, you need to be completely upfront and honest about your specific situation. Whether or not they’re also a single parent, they need to understand what they’re getting into.
They don’t need to know the ins and outs of your break up with your children’s other parent, but it’s fair to let them know what your co-parenting situation is. We have a helpful checklist of things you should tell a serious partner:
- How often you have custody of your children
- What your co-parenting relationship is like
- How involved your ex is in your life
- How you want to introduce your kids to your partner
Don’t Rush Introducing Your Kids
This is the hardest part of dating for single parents. Introducing your children to a new partner is a delicate situation to navigate. You don’t want to introduce your kids too early, but you don’t want to wait too long and spring it on them.
It’s a good idea to take things slow and get to know the other person before introducing them to your children.
Try Not to Compare Them to Your Ex
We’ve all got history when it comes to dating, and sometimes that history can be traumatic. Whether you have trust or self-esteem issues from your ex, it’s important to avoid projecting them onto a new partner.
If you’re distrustful of them, ask yourself if they’ve done something to warrant those feelings or if you’re just projecting.
Don’t Settle For Less Than What You and Your Kids Deserve
This is something that all single parents need to remember. There are many challenges to be faced when you step into the dating world as a single parent, and things can take a long time to get started. None of that means you should settle for just anyone.
Take your time on that dating app, find someone who matches your lifestyle and personality, and work to create something beautiful with them.
|Michelle Dempsey-Multack, a certified divorce coach and mum, says: “You deserve all of the love and more and a wonderful partner who gives that to you, but that love should never come at the expense of your children’s emotional well-being. What works for you should work for them.”|
Single Parent Date Ideas in London
Now you’re feeling motivated about being a single parent dating in London, we’ve got some great ideas for your dates to impress them and move your relationship along.
Get the Kids Involved With a Trip to an Amusement Park
This is a great date option if you’re at the stage of introducing your kids to your new partner. It provides a low-pressure environment for your kids and date to bond with each other. It also gives you time to hang out and chat with your date while the kids are fully entertained.
Keep it Adults Only at a Fancy Restaurant
Spending time away from your kids is just as important as spending time with them. Taking the evening off for a meal at a high-end restaurant with your date is a great way to relax, unwind, and get to know each other better.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of wonderful restaurants to choose from in London. Book a table, sort out childcare, and indulge in a child-free evening to help you recharge and find love.
Dive in With a London Duck Tour
This is a great London date option whether you have the kids with you or not. The London Duck Tour is a great way to see some London sights while enjoying each other’s company.
This is also a great date to bring your kids on, as they’ll easily be entertained by the amphibious vehicle and the sights along the river, giving you plenty of time to talk with your date.
Steal the Show With a Trip to the West End
If you really want to push the boat out and impress your date, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the west end. There’s always a huge variety of shows available, and it can be a great excuse to get dressed up and have a grown-up evening out.
This is a date that takes a little bit of planning. Make sure you have the evening booked out in advance, book your tickets, and have childcare sorted.
Picnic in a Royal London Park
Sometimes, it’s hard to plan a fancy date when you’re a single parent or dating a single parent. Childcare falls through, or a child is sick at the last minute, so it’s a good idea to keep things low-key and simple sometimes.
Of course, low-key and simple doesn’t have to mean low effort or boring. Packing a picnic of your favourite snacks and drinks and taking a blanket to one of the many royal parks in London can be a truly romantic and special date.
Don’t Underestimate a Classic Museum Date
Museums are a great choice for a date, not least of all because they’re free! Spending an afternoon strolling around a museum provides plenty of opportunities to chat and helps you get to know each other‘s interests better.
London has plenty of museums to choose from, and apart from a few special exhibitions, they’re mostly free, which is great for keeping things budget-friendly.
Show Them the World With a Trip Up the Shard
Of course, budget-friendly doesn’t have to mean museums or picnics. You can take a trip up the Shard for free. This can be a great way to spend some time together, taking in an incredible view of your shared city.
If you want to make things extra special, you can visit the viewing platform for less than £30. If you’re feeling generous, the restaurant on the 31st floor is free to visit, but you can always grab a bite to eat or a drink while you’re there.
From Play Dates to Date Nights
Getting back into dating as a single parent can be daunting, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With a bit of patience and the right dating app, you can find love again with someone who appreciates you for all that you are. Take our advice for great single-parent dates in London to bring the spark back to your love life. If you’re not ready to start dating, why not check out our blog to learn more about dating in London and as a single parent?
Take the plunge and switch from play dates to date nights by signing up for early access to the Finding The One dating app. Strike up a conversation and Spark some romance with like-minded users.
How Do I Know It’s the Right Time to Start Dating As A Single Parent?
There are so many factors to consider that are unique to you and your situation. Ultimately, you’re ready when you feel ready. If you want to go out and find love again, go for it! If you’re unsure, a dating app is a great way to ease into it. Remember that you can take a break from dating if you feel you aren’t quite ready yet.
What Important Things Do I Need to Remember When Planning a Date in London As A Single Parent?
Planning a date in London is great because there are so many things to do, but there are a few things you need to remember to make sure things go smoothly. The main thing to consider is how you’ll get around the city with your date and the time of day. A daytime date can be fun until you have to get on the tube at rush hour. If you’re going for an outdoor date, always have a backup plan in case the British weather tries to sabotage you.
Can You Plan a Budget-Friendly Date in London?
Absolutely! Cities are expensive, but there’s always something cheap or free to do. Finances can be tight for anyone, but especially single parents. Luckily, London is a city filled with free and budget-friendly treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. Check out this list of free things to do in London to help give you some inspiration.
Should I Bring My Kids On a Date in London?
If it’s a first date, we’d probably advise against it because there’s no guarantee that your date will be in your life for a long time. With that said, if you’re getting serious with someone you’ve been dating for a while, taking your kids on a child-friendly date in London can be a great way to introduce them to each other with very little pressure.