Many people find dating as a single parent tough, but it can also be a daunting prospect dating a single parent! However, by following a few simple guidelines, you can make the relationship with your new partner and their kids a fulfilling and successful one.

By appreciating that as a single parent, your partners kids will always come first, you will be able to understand that the odd cancellation of plans is inevitable. It is important not to take this personally as unwell children and childcare problems are beyond your partners control and try to understand that you will both be disappointed.

If your partner no longer lives with their children, youll probably find that you are not included in access visits to start with. This is no reflection on you or your relationship. Its just that these times are very precious both to the children and their parent. Avoid putting any pressure on your partner and let them decide when the time is right to include you.

Never ask your partner to cancel or rearrange access visits as they are very precious to an absent parent and their kids. Also, try not to call or drop in during these visits. By respecting the privacy of your partner and their children, you will avoid some of the problems of jealously for the attention your partner gives you from their children.

Dating as single parent is a delicate balancing act and if your partner is living with the kids alone for most of the time, feelings of guilt and exhaustion can sometimes take over. So dont be surprised if sometimes, your partner is simply too tired to go out after a long week or has been unable to find a babysitter. If the children visit the other parent at weekends, make arrangements to go out for the time they are away when you are both able to relax.

Single parent dating is a big step for anyone so be sensitive to your new partners potential reluctance to let you know too many personal details initially. They may seem overly cautious and you could consider this to be a personal insult as you see no reason for it but it is almost certainly their protective nature coming to the fore and making sure their kids are not exposed in anyway. Instead of being upset by this try to be understanding and make a conscious effort to be open and build their trust from the start. Your new partner will appreciate your understanding and it will help build a much stronger long term relationship.