Picture the scene: you’re at a beautiful home with the person you are growing to love. An open fire is burning with the occasional snap, while an Etta James record crackles seductively in the background. The first bottle of wine is almost gone. You feel complete. Happy. Sexy. You catch each other’s gaze and move closer to kiss. From another room, a toddler’s voice screams “DADDY!!! I’VE DONE A POO AND NEED TO WIPE!!!”
To some, that scene is almost perfect. They may change Etta James to Sade, change wine to rum, or change an open fire to an electric one (you weirdo); those things are negotiable.
Some, however, would change the one thing that isn’t negotiable: the child. I mean, maybe we’d all want to lock them in a cupboard or get them to sleep a little earlier so you could enjoy some grown-up time together, but the fact that they exist at all would be a step too far for a surprisingly large number of people. In a recent survey, 41% of respondents said they would never date somebody who has children. That’s getting on to half the people out there who are ruling out a huge percentage of the dating pool because they have progeny.
This author has fallen foul of that more times than he cares to admit, even to himself. Matches who have been super keen until the big reveal, where I share that not only am I a dad but I’m an active one who has 50% custody of his children and can’t imagine not having them. Those who see children as a time sink, a money pit, an emotional black hole that sucks everything good into it, or who see a single parent and think that they are only looking for someone to act as a step-parent and help share the load. Those people usually insta-ghost, or make some excuse about not having time to meet up, or claim only to be free on those times where childcare clashes exist.
Don’t get me wrong – they’re not entirely wide of the mark. Being a single parent really is a time commitment and takes a lot of balancing to get right. Kids do cost a fortune (how many pairs of shoes can they get through in a single school term?!), and we will be emotionally tied to them in a way that those without children will never, ever truly understand. Yes, even those who have pets. You might love your dog, but it’s not the same.
They are totally wrong about the rest, though. We’ve nailed single parenting. We know what we’re doing and, while an extra pair of hands, eyes and ears would be helpful from time to time, we actually don’t need anyone at all to step in and take over. We see our kids as positives in our lives, things which make us who we are and who we wouldn’t change for the world.
This isn’t to say that all people who don’t have kids won’t understand – far from it. There are all sorts of reasons people don’t have kids, and a lack of empathy is not one of the prerequisites. And it’s not to say that all people who do have kids are perfect examples of sainthood – some of us are pretty rubbish ourselves.
However, it is saying that people who already have kids get it. They understand why you might get extra annoyed if you make plans with someone and sort out all the childcare, only to have them changed at the last minute due to something trivial or foreseeable. They’ll understand when you’re a little distracted as your child wasn’t feeling well, or why you’re stressed as you’ve got to sort out yet another costume for yet another random day the school has declared fancy-dress-for-charity. And they’ll understand when you need to interrupt your fireside clinch to wipe poo off the backside of someone else.
Single parents are, in their own way, the very best possible people to date for other reasons too. Their planning and preparation skills are on point as it’s the only way they make it through life. When they make commitments you know they’re keeping them unless something bloody serious comes up, so you also know if they do have problems then they’re not trivial excuses. And they value their adult-time more than any other person on the planet.
We spend our parental time being a parent. Making all the decisions. Being responsible, mature, thoughtful and grown-up. Which means when we’re not actively being a parent we want to have ALL THE FUN. Just look around you on any night out – if you can see someone having the best time then there’s a good chance they have little ones somewhere and are living the dream by having a break from them, no matter how much they love them.
Does dating a single parent present challenges? Sure. Does it mean you will have to realise that, if things go well, you’re also going to be involved in the lives of someone’s children?? Of course. Is it for everyone? No.
Does it make it easier for single parents to know that the other person they are dating also gets it? Absolutely. Which is why the launch of Frolo Dating couldn’t be more welcome.
Frolo Dating is the new dating app from the people who brought you their eponymous community for single parents. It’s always been the go-to place for support and advice from other single parents, and now it’s the go-to place to find a potential love interest who isn’t going to run a mile when they find out you’ve got children in orbit. Everyone there knows the deal, and everyone sees your single parenthood as the positive it is rather than something to be feared and avoided, as can all-too-often happen elsewhere.
Signing up is free, and you get a free trial period to see if it’s for you (early members will get twice as long as normal to test it out, too). All users are verified (it’s a prerequisite to make sure everyone stays safe there), and is only open to parents so you’ll never have to wonder when the right time is to bring up what some see as an awkward conversation. In fact, the only difficult conversation you’ll need to have is whether Etta James or Sade is a sexier choice of music for a fireside snuggle. For the record, the correct answer is both.
Just download the Frolo app at https://cms.frolo.co.uk/froloapp and give it a go.
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