My divorce was finalized in January 2010, but I didn’t consider myself a single parent until the end of a serious long distance relationship in July 2011. My heart was crushed and I scared of dating until last year.
You would think that someone like me, who spends half of my waking hours writing posts, tweeting, posting on Facebook, sharing on Instagram and pinning, would jump on the online dating bandwagon. Just the opposite. I wanted my dating experience to be offline … organic. In my imagination I pictured being in Whole Foods and reaching for a bottle of green juice at the same time as a handsome businessman who surfs and practices yoga. Our eyes would meet and after an awkward apology he would ask me out. In reality, I rarely go into Whole Foods and spend most of my time between dropping my daughter off at school, the yoga studio, taking my daughter to the dance studio and at home.
At some point I realized that online dating could only help my odds of getting asked out. For some reason creating that online profile and “putting myself out there” was really stressful for me, and over and over again I was getting disenchanted with the men I was getting matched with. After some failed dates I would hide my profile until a few months later a friend (who married someone they met online) would convince me to try again. This happened three times with three different friends. Then I discovered that I needed to approach dating differently …
Going on a date with a man is just a date. That first date does not determine if I am going to marry him. Even a second date does not mean I will have a serious relationship with him. Dating is the opportunity to meet new people. Maybe a date will turn into a great new friend or trying a new experience with someone.
Have a wingman (or in my case a wingwoman). You should be very comfortable sharing all of your dating experiences with this one person at any hour of the day. She (or he) will help screen profiles, approve your date outfits, coach you on flirting (if you are rusty on it like I was), agree on a safeword and be on standby, laugh with you about your bad dates and celebrate the good ones.
Remember that my life is not just about being a single parent. I have interests, hobbies, goals that I might share with many different men. I am an interesting person and it isn’t my kid who makes me interesting.
These 3 simple things have made a tremendous difference in my attitude towards dating in general. There is really no difference between what I thought was “organic dating” and online dating. In fact here are a few interesting things about online dating …
- Over 1/3 of Match.com members are single parents
- 67% of men are willing to date a single parent while 59% of women are willing to date a single parent
- Saturday mornings are the most popular time for single parents to check their Match.com accounts
I had the opportunity to do a satellite interview with Match.com’s relationship expert Whitney Casey.
If my tips and the interview have peeked your interest, maybe you could try one of Match.com’s offline Stir events. You can attend an event that interests you and bring your wingman/woman. It is a great way to meet people more “organically”. And, next month Match is launching a series of Stir event happy hours JUST for single parents!
So what are you waiting for? Get online and start meeting people!
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Match.com. While I did receive compensation, all statements are my opinion and my opinion only.