Dating with children…

I think dating can be a minefield even when you don’t have children. I can count on one hand how many dates I’ve been on in my life so it’s not as though things were incredibly successful before having Isabella. The kinds of people you meet in bars and clubs generally aren’t relationship material. Things like tinder and bumble tend to be used for more casual hook ups, however more serious dating websites seem a bit intense and forced. With photo based swiping I find myself being picky about looks just because it’s so easy to (not because I think I’m Beyoncé or something). I’d easily fancy someone for their charm and humour if they weren’t the best looking but do you swipe right for every 5/10 just in case they’re hilarious? Probably not. No one has that kind of time. Then you have to spend a while messaging them before meeting up to make sure you’re going to get on and they’re not a complete nutter. You want to have interesting and exciting conversations instead of the standard ‘how are you? And ‘What do you do? Which makes me want to stick pins in my eyes. Half of them just send you pictures of the family jewels and the other half take days to reply. I don’t know if this is everyone or if I’m just unlucky.

The fact I was unlucky before, doesn’t fill me with much hope this time around. Having a child makes things so much more complicated. For starters, do you tell them straight away you have a child? Do you include a picture of them on your profile or leave them out like they don’t exist? Then when you do eventually get a date, can you get a babysitter? Everyone says they’ll babysit until it actually comes down to it and they’re not so keen. There’s so many questions you ask yourself. Is it the right time or is it too soon? When is the right time for them to meet your child/children if it goes well?

On one hand, Isabella is 8 months old so she’s still really young but on the other hand, taking pregnancy into account, that’s nearly a year and a half I haven’t even spoken to a human male (excluding family members of course). My last relationship was nearly 4 years ago and I’m still young wanting to have a life. At the moment, the highlight of my week is coronation street and that’s not even a joke. It’s not easy for me to get a babysitter, I only have my mum so I’m definitely not interested in wasting a baby free night on someone that isn’t going to be cool with me having a child. I need them to know beforehand and I think if anything, it’s a really useful tool to work out what kind of a person they are. Isabella is the most amazing little girl ever so there’s no way I’m going to keep her a secret or treat her like she’s baggage because she’s not. Even if she was, she’d be a Louis suitcase full of diamonds and gold. If anyone has a problem with Isabella or acts like it’s fine but tries to pretend she doesn’t exist, that would be it for me. I’d rather be single than waste time on someone like that.

It’s nice to think ‘oh it’ll just happen’ but then you realise well when will it happen? If i’m not going out anymore and my social life consists of baby groups and mum meet ups, where am I going to meet this guy? Even if you see someone fit in Sainsbury’s it’s not like they’re going to ask for your number because no one has that kind of confidence, right? Unless they’re a womanising prick of course. I think it’s even harder when you’ve got a child with you as well because people generally assume you’ve got a partner.

It can be hard for someone without kids to understand how difficult it is to get a night off and sometimes even when you do get a night off, they’ll be poorly and you’ll have to leave. They will never be the centre of your world because your kids will always come first and it’s not going to work unless they show them genuine love and affection. I know people find themselves in this situation at all different times, whether it’s with a baby, young children or older children after a divorce or separation. I know it’s exactly the same for single dads as well, please don’t think I’m being biased with all my men chat. I’m still very new to all of this but if anyone could share their experiences or give me some pointers on where all the hot single dads hang out, that would be useful!

Olivia xx

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