Dating when you’re a single parent is generally scarier (and less convenient) than dating when you’re completely unattached. You’ve got to worry about finding someone to accept (and hopefully love) both you and your children. You’ve got to worry about finding someone stable, someone safe. And, many times, you’ve got to worry about babysitting. The good news is that online dating is a great way to connect with people at a time that’s convenient for your hectic life. The bad news is that meeting others online always comes with additional security concerns, which are often compounded when there are children in the picture.
If you’re looking for some guidance before you enter the world of single parent online dating, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these tips for a safe and successful single parent online dating experience.
- Never post pictures of your children on your profile pages. For many parents (both single and in committed relationships), children are the apple of your eye, your pride and joy, the air you breathe…you get the idea. But although online dating sites are designed to be safe, you never really know who will stumble across your profile. Why expose your children to strangers unnecessarily? When posting your profile on any online dating site, make sure to keep your children out of the snapshot.
- Consider using sites that aren’t specifically for single parents. This may sound counterintuitive, but many single parents feel more secure safeguarding this information until they’ve established that their potential suitor is a safe person. Match.com, for example, is extremely popular as an outlet for single parent online dating. Likewise, you can also try unconventional options like meeting people through Craigslist or other community websites.
- Try dating sites that are specifically for single parents. If the previous suggestion doesn’t appeal to you, try the other extreme. Sites like Single Parents Mingle make it easy to find other singles that have gone through similarly difficult times, which may make them more appropriate matches for you. You should still be wary of giving out personal information (especially as it pertains to your kids) so that you’ll ensure your family’s security.
- Do a background check. You don’t need to hire a private investigator to get the full scoop about your potential suitor(s) – you can do it simply with services that specialize in quick background checks starting at $15 and up.
- Dress appropriately. In the world of single parent online dating you’ll find many people who are desperate to leave the world of single parenthood behind. Even if you’re one of those people, you wouldn’t want to transmit that message to a potential partner on the first day. You’ll want to stay reserved, cautious and somewhat conservative until you’ve confirmed that the ‘coast is clear’. Save your mini-skirts and low-cut tops for the second or third date so that the partner sitting across from you won’t mark you as an easy target which can leave you and your children vulnerable and open to heartbreak.
- Stay tuned for more online dating safety tips and feel free to share your own stories so that nobody else finds themselves in the same uncomfortable situation!