Does the thought of dating again as a single parent excite you or scare you? Or both? How do you know if you're ready to date again? Here are 5 signs to spot to help you know if you’re ready to get back back out there.
By Dating and Relationship Coach Brian Dunn
How do you know you’re ready to jump back into the dating pool and date again? First and foremost, make sure you’re mentally and emotionally ready.
Dating as a single parent can be rough sometimes, especially if you are not mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the rejection, ghosting, and the other not-so-fun parts of dating.
Only you can know how healed you are and if you’re mentally and emotionally ready to date again. But here are some questions you can ask yourself to get a better idea of where you are in your recovery process:
The next sign you are ready to date again is that you are able to be honest with yourself about what happened in your last relationship, what the underlying issues were, and accept the role you played in the relationship.
Placing 100% of the blame for everything bad that happened on the other person, without acknowledging how you may have contributed to the issues within the relationship, is not conducive to healing or growth.
Without self-awareness and growth, without taking ownership and accountability for our own actions, tendencies, insecurities, areas for improvement, and even our own “partner picker” attraction radar, it’s very easy to fall into the same patterns that led you to where you were before.
Reflection and self-awareness are the keys to growth, change, and breaking old habits and patterns.
We can learn many things from every relationship, such as a deeper understanding of ourselves, what healthy/unhealthy communication looks like, how to be in a (healthy) relationship, what we want and don’t want in a partner and a relationship, what we will and won’t tolerate, and how to be a better partner to the person we choose to be with.
In other words, relationships are a great tool for learning how to do better next time.
What do you want to be different next time, and what can you do differently next time around?
If you can articulate the lessons you learned in a positive way, that’s a fantastic sign that you’re probably ready to date again.
Do you want to date again because you’re feeling lonely as a single parent and looking to fill a void? Or to distract yourself from the pain of the breakup so you don’t have to deal with it?
Do you want to date because you feel like you “should” be dating, because adults are “supposed to be” in relationships? Or are you actually ready to move on and meet new people? And do you actually want to make new connections, and let someone new into your heart, and your life?
It can take time to learn to be comfortable being on your own again when you become a single parent after being “with” someone for months or years. If you’re lonely, or anxious and uncomfortable being alone, you may become desperate and settle for anything that cures you of your loneliness.
People who jump from relationship to relationship without taking the time to grieve, heal the pain, or address past relationship issues are prone to falling into old patterns and adding onto the pain of the past. Which, it goes without saying is not going to be doing your children any favours.
If you just got out of a long term relationship or marriage, you don’t necessarily need to try to jump back into another serious relationship immediately.
It’s perfectly okay to date with goals other than seeking a serious long-term relationship.
In fact, it can be healthy to date around a little.
Have some new experiences, get to know yourself a little better, get your “sea legs” back, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Play the field and enjoy being single for a while – it’s one of the unexpected bonuses of being a single parent!
The most important thing is to be honest with yourself, and the people you meet, about where you’re at and what you’re looking for.
There’s no shame in not being ready for something serious and just wanting to meet new people and date casually, as long as you’re honest about it and not misleading others, or especially yourself.
There’s no shame in being single. There’s no shame in giving yourself time to heal and process your feelings after a breakup.
You’re in control, and you get to decide when to start dating again. You get to set your own pace. Do what feels right to you and what fits with your family.
Want to know more about single parent dating with Frolo? Head over to our blog Everything you need to know about Frolo Dating!
To join Frolo Dating, simply download the Frolo app.