Home Life & Style Single parents wait six months before introducing new partner to their kids

Single parents wait six months before introducing new partner to their kids


A poll, of 800 mums and dads with children under 18, found this is a month longer than they wait to say ‘I love you’ to their potential other half. Other milestones couples would usually achieve before kids are introduced to a new flame include becoming exclusive (39%), meeting each other’s friends (31%) and other family members (29%).

While a third said meeting a prospective partner’s children is more important than meeting their parents. It’s also a bigger relationship milestone than the likes of going on a first holiday together (42%) and celebrating a one-year anniversary (36%).

Sarah Louise Ryan, dating and relationship expert for Even, a dating app for single parents, which commissioned the study, said: “We encourage single parents to approach dating with a sense of knowing their priorities so they can have clarity, honesty and enjoyment throughout their dating journey.

“We understand that individuals are so much more than just a parent, and we don’t want anyone to feel as if they have to hide the fact that they have children. Single parents should embrace their whole-selves in dating. 

“Even aims to create a welcoming and accepting space, so when it comes to meeting a potential partner’s kids, it’s a smooth interaction for everyone involved.”

The research also found getting on with their children is the number one quality parents look for in a romantic partner (60%), above a sense of humour (60%) and loyalty (59%). Exactly half also want someone who understands that the kids come first and respects the dedicated days they have with them (19%). 

On average, single parents date four prospective partners before finding someone they want to introduce to their children, going on at least 10 dates with the same person before setting up a meet. When dating someone new, the topic of kids comes up before talking about hobbies and interests (53%) and their job (52%).

Those polled, via OnePoll.com, also disclosed the red flags they watch out for on a first meeting, including discussing their ex (62%) and being asked to prioritise a date over their children (53%). But 27% have even experienced a love interest asking whether they can meet their children after only one date.

It also emerged a quarter of those polled would prefer to date someone who has children of their own, due to the fact they’ll be more family orientated (68%) and have a better understanding of their lifestyle (66%).  

Despite this, 65% are willing to meet someone who isn’t a parent themselves, with 56% of them admitting they are more open about this than five years ago.

However, 12% admitted they have avoided mentioning their kids on a date for fear they might lose interest (37%) and because they simply didn’t feel ready to discuss it (34%).

One single parent juggling the demands of raising a child while dating is Holly Smith, 32, from Cambridge, she said: “As a single parent, my child’s needs will always come first and any potential partner must understand the priority I place on their wellbeing. Honesty is key in any relationship, but especially when it comes to blending parenthood and dating. 

“Since dating as a parent, I have been upfront about my commitments as a mum, which allows for mutual understanding from the get-go. My child learns by example, so I want them to see it’s possible to pursue happiness and fulfilment in all aspects of my life by fostering meaningful relationships.”

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