Single Parent Online Dating

I posted on our Single Parents FB closed group asking for single parents experiences around online dating, and oh my god, the responses were both funny and concerning. I myself haven’t had any bad experiences with online dating, but I have only been on 3 dates in 5 years, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask. Which is why I reached out to gain some more understanding of this online dating world.

Some corkers from online dating experience include:

I had a guy message me asking to pay for my time 🙉 I reminded him it was a dating site not an escort agency.

One guy emailed me to say “he wouldn’t go down in history but he’d go down on me” like seriously did he think that’d work. Others that go on and on at you and you never reply but they just won’t leave you alone even after you’ve blocked them.

Whilst there are horror stories, there were also lovely messages about how parents regained confidence through online dating and have met their current partners. Or how they have met lovely people, but they just haven’t been right. This got me comparing it to how we meet people IRL. Say we met someone in a bar, we have to expect that there will be some weirdos in there, and some nice people. By the law of averages!

Average age of a single parent is 38, and although sometimes in the online world having children is seen as a bonus, because it means that they won’t want kids anymore, or might have an understanding of the logistics and pressures of being a single parent, it also comes with it’s downfalls of dating again at around 38 years old. As we can presume that people have been in long term relations, and have been through difficult breakups, even traumatic in some cases. Those experiences and heart break inevitably gets carried over to our next relationships. Let alone thinking that people are only dating you because they are phedophiles or will my children even like them, what will happen if I bring them into my children’s lives?

My mum says that if they’re right for me they’re right for my kids. No they have to be right for my kids then they’ll be right for me. My son needs a male role model in his life someone he can look up to and learn from.

Meeting URL instead of meeting IRL means that you can scrutinise photos, see what they have put in their profile details and also means that you get to have a bit of online chit chat before you decide to meet. The etiquette seems to be that you meet for a day date, which is usually a cuppa to figure out of they are weirdos in real life, or who they appear to be on their profile. That you haven’t been catfished or deceived.

Filters are terrible things, it's basically a lie before dating is even a consideration.

There is a cloak of doubt about online dating. Which for a single parent might be a logistical nightmare to organise babysitters etc in order to be able to find this out. However, it is a gentle, distant way of getting back into dating. You know a bit of background about them, can ask important questions before meeting up, rather than spending a few dates trying to find out all of this important information, and perhaps wasting your time and their’s.

Ghosting.

This is a big deal in online dating world. This is where someone doesn’t reply or respond to you, even if you have been texting/ messaging for a while, or even after dating for a while. It seems that in the online dating world people take, what they see, as the easy way out. Because they aren’t feeling the same or have lost interest. It used to be that you would have to give the curtesy of letting someone know about your thoughts and feelings. But this now doesn’t seem to be the case.

There is another side to ghosting where the other person thinks that this a kinder approach than having a conversation that may be awkward of unkind to the other person. Some expressed that in some cases it felt a bit much to have a full on convo with someone when you’d only messaged a few times, and just realised that person wasn’t for you. There have also been abusive responses when people have tried to back out of let the other person down gently.

As well as ghosting is being stood up without warning, or cancelled on at the last minute. Which we all agreed was rude and should be, at the very least, be met with an apology or curtesy conversation to explain. Even for the other person left waiting not thinking that you are dead, or something awful has happened.

A single dad nails it on the head by saying:

I think many people have lost their self respect and happy to play around. Maybe it's due to bad past experiences and are somehow protecting themselves from being hurt.

It seems less common that your eyes meet across a crowded room, and you make a connection with a stranger in real life. But then that got me thinking, did that ever happen? It seems people meet through friends or mutual people in common. Who actually meets anyone on a night out?

Dating seemed a lot simpler before. Online dating feels like a practical and pragmatic way to approach dating. But the thing that jumped out for me was that people can be at any stage of their journey, right at the start of heart break, 10 years on etc. But it is very simple to quickly log on and have a flirt and even arrange dates. But you may not be emotionally ready to start dating again, and everything that goes with this. We need to make sure we have a responsibility to make sure that we have gone on our own journey and detangled our heart break and demons before we get out there again. We can also make sure that we have clear boundaries and see red flags about what we do and don’t want from a future partner, based on what we have learnt from our previous experiences. We can also stand up and make our voices heard, letting it be known that it is not cool to ghost someone or be abusive online.

Amy HollandComment