Big Issues: Online dating as a separated parent
You’ve been through a separation and have spent what has felt like an eternity adjusting to life as a single parent. Now that your heart has mended, you’re thinking of moving on and finding a new partner. But where do you start?
The Parent Connection spoke to Matt Connolly, founder of myLovelyParent.com a dating site where adult children can help find partners for their single parent, to find out how online dating can help separated parents get back in the game.
Single and ready to mingle
As a parent, many of the people in your social circle are probably parents themselves or are in relationships, so meeting new single people may seem hard.
‘Online dating can be a very safe and enjoyable way of dipping a toe back into the dating scene,’ says Matt. ‘It gives an opportunity to meet new people who you know are also single and looking for that someone special. You're able to quickly get a sense of the person, any shared interests and the type of person they're looking for.’
Honesty is the best policy
When setting up your online profile, you may feel wary about disclosing your past, you may think that mentioning that you’re a separated parent will repel potential love interests. The best practice is to be open and honest: ‘The more information you provide, the more chance of meeting the right person,’ says Matt.
However, you shouldn’t feel pressured to disclose all of your past on your profile. ‘What information is disclosed in one’s profile is a very personal matter and you should do what feels right,’ says Matt.
To stay safe and make the most of online dating, Matt advises the following:
- Keep personal information personal.
- Make sure your first meeting is somewhere public and you tell people where and when you're going.
- Make sure you have a friend or loved one to confide in. Someone whose opinion you respect and listen to.
- Finally, trust your instincts. If it doesn't feel right it probably isn't.
Above all, enjoy!
Starting to date again can be an incredibly exciting time. You may want to dive straight in and start chatting to as many people as you can on online dating sites. However, Matt offers this final piece of advice: ‘Relationships take a while to develop. Go slow and enjoy your journey.’
When you start a new relationship, it’s important to consider your child’s feelings as well. To find out how to best handle this, read our article New Partners – Different Perspectives.