“Maybe I should set up an online dating account to help me get over him,” I said. After a day on the site, I had three dates on the calendar. Asking a man out on a date, or accepting one, wasn’t just 90 minutes over a beer, sharing the anecdotes that would make us attractive enough to make out with each other.At first it was confidence-boosting to see that there were a lot of men who wanted to get to know me. What it really came down to was me finding someone who could take on part of my responsibilities. Taking the time to get to know someone meant pulling from time I spent working or taking care of myself. “You can’t expect to either quit having sex or find a perfect match when you’re 40 years old and have kids,” a male friend said.When you’re a single parent in the US, things just aren’t as simple as they were before children – especially when it comes to dating.When dating with kids it’s so important to be with someone who really understands your role as a parent and appreciates the fact that your child or children will often come first.If you’ve hit your head against the wall as many times as I have, you know how frustrating, depressing, and downright disheartening it can be.Meeting someone new, going on a few great dates, getting excited, having one/both of you sort of stop calling; then repeating the process over and over is enough to make you want to give up for good.Dating became a distraction from my daily life, an escape from my full plate of responsibilities. He didn’t have kids and didn’t understand the sinking devastation I felt. “It’s nice to have someone who will have sex with you and not be a jerk, yet not have any expectations or all the emotional stuff.” He had a point.Even with my friends’ willingness to help out with child care, every night out was a scramble to set up who could watch my kids and when I had to be home by their bedtime. My older daughter was away for a few days after Christmas, and he asked me to go out of town with him. I needed so desperately to get a break from my day-to-day life of working at home. “I gave him an out,” I said to my friend a couple of days later while wallowing through the sixth season of “Parenthood.” “Why did you give him an out? I wanted to escape for an hour or two in between some flirty distractions without worrying about whether he’ll be a supportive, healthy, future partner. I had two very real kids at home who came first, took up most of my time and energy, and I didn’t have much to give.
But if you’re serious about finding it, “you should be like NIKE and ‘Just Do It,’” says celebrity matchmaker and dating strategist Jasmine Diaz, founder of Superhero School: Online School for Daters.
“Whatever time you have to dedicate to dating, make finding love your new priority.” “When you’re a single parent trying to make the best of your time, it’s important that you don’t waste it with people who don’t line up with what you need or want,” declares Jasmine, who advises not to confuse the two.
“What you need is what you require to be happy in a relationship” – not superficial things like height and body type, which fall into the want category.
I have two kids, an 8-year-old and the other just over a year.
The youngest had been kicked out of two child-care centers on account of her screaming the entire time I was gone.