Let’s be completely honest here: dating when you have kids can be intimidating whether you have ended a marriage or long-term relationship or not. It’s easy to disregard yourself and start to believe that people who are younger than you or those who have a different past with more free time have a better chance at finding the one than you do.
It’s important to realize there’s someone out there looking for exactly what you have to offer so, if love (or casual fun) is what you are looking for, don’t be afraid to make it be known.
Stop putting it off
If you are ready to start dating again, just make time for it already – even if it’s one night every two weeks. Life is busy with work and kids and it’s easier to think we are busier than everyone else. But the truth is, we all have tight schedules. One day I realized the time was going to go by anyway, whether I was dating or alone, and my kids would one day leave the nest. That was a game changer for me. It was then I decided to invest more time in my dating life. Put it on your to-do list, make a point to talk about it with friends more, once your put it out into The Universe, opportunities will unfold for you—take it from someone who has been there.
Your kids want a happy parent
No, you don’t need someone to complete you, but we are all happier when we find that someone who adds to our life. And if you are looking for some casual conversation and sexy time, that can certainly boost your mood as well. In the end, all your kids want is for you to be happy. That doesn’t mean putting off trying to find love again for their sake because you think it’s the right thing to do. There’s no rush and you don’t have to get into anything serious, or have your kids meet anyone until you are ready.
You know what you want
This isn’t your first rodeo. Your skills are honed, remember that. And while what you looked for in a partner before you had kids has probably changed because you and your life have changed, you know what you will and won’t tolerate. You know who you are comparable with. You know yourself better. You can use these valuable tools while deciding who is right for you. Our past experiences help guide us through future choices.
You’ve had lots of practice
You know yourself better than ever and have gotten good at being upfront, knowing what you are comfortable with, what clothes look best on you and how you like to wear your hair. You’ve had more practice figuring this out than someone younger than you. You’ve gotten through some tough things. After 4 decades on this earth, you know what settling feels like and it’s not an option any longer.
After all, you aren’t just dating for you, there may come a time when you are dating for them too, when you are whole as a person and love yourself, you make a fantastic, empathetic, and understanding partner. Not to mention how attractive it is to own what you were given and not focus on the things you don’t like about yourself. Confidence is always sexy.
Don’t let the fact you are a parent hold you back and keep you from finding the one if that’s what you are looking for. And please don’t think because you are a parent and still crave intimacy and sex there is something wrong with you and you should be focused solely on your children. I’ve been in this place many times and keep coming back to something: humans are social, sexual creatures, and there are logical reasons why you crave to attention and affection – it’s completely normal.
It may take a little additional work to make the time to date, but anything you truly want is worth it in the end.