Inspirational Parent ambassador Claire Young is a single mum to daughter Eva, born in 2012. Here she shares her top tips for navigating the dating circuit (successfully, we might add! Claire is now dating new bf Martin and is very, VERY happy!)
1. Be honest about having a kid/kids and honest about what you’re looking for. Saves no end of time/hassle!
2. Always be upfront about having a child/children but don’t talk about them constantly. You have to remember the date is about you as a woman not a mother and until that date falls for you, they won’t want to hear about little Johnny’s toilet habits or what he had for tea! Enjoy the time of being a woman and feeling like one.
3. Keep it to one date a week – anymore and I would struggle to fit it in time wise. Plus it’s nice to ‘proper’ date and be taken out and look forward to it. Weekly dating gives you the chance to take it slow.
4. Don’t put photos of your children on dating websites with you, protect them.
5. Find a regular babysitter which you can trust to give you peace of mind for when you’re out. Nothing worse than worrying! Ask friends for the going rate and agree clear times with your sitter to avoid any potential awkwardness.
6. Do some research on your date – some friends said check the internet for their social media profiles, think of some conversation topics.
7. I always make sure we go somewhere on common ground, preferable a restaurant purely because I’m stomach led!
8. Don’t get drunk – hangovers are a killer the next morning with little people!
9. I guess my tip is to decide what it is you want. If it’s just fun and dates and sex then never introduce dates to your children. If it’s a family environment you’re heading for then take things slowly and introduce meals/bowling etc for all of you. Children are adaptable and will be happy if their mums are happy.
10. Don’t leave babies and children alone with a new boyfriend. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people have said “oh Dan/Mark/Fred is babysitting for my child tonight.” Whaaaaaat??! The guy you met last month on Plenty Of Fish is at home with your 2 year old…. no way…. yes way….
11. Don’t get stressed by it all – dating should be fun. Make the effort (even if you are exhausted and would rather go to bed!) to get dressed up and go. As they say – nothing ventured, nothing gained.
12. Invest in one killer outfit, paint your nails, do your hair, shave your legs – whatever it is which makes you feel sassy do it. I probably enjoy date prep as much as the date itself!
13. Confidence is key, despite having a baby – with new lumps and bumps – I’m happy with myself. The best accessory to an outfit is a smile. If you’re confident it will shine through.