Date or devote 100% to kids?

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  • #29422 Report


    Hi, I’m new to this forum and this is my first post.

    My kids’ dad is not around anymore and I have no family nearby. This is a recent change in circumstances and I’m struggling to be optimistic for the future as I’ve been single for a few years already and love the idea of being in a happy ‘family’ relationship one day.

    How do you date when money is tight and freedom is almost non existent?!

    Or have you decided to focus on bringing up your kids alone and put your personal life to the side?

    #29423 Report


    I’m in a somewhat similar situation: Split from my wife in February and look after my young daughter full time along with a full time job.

    No family nearby to help with childcare so logistically just going on a date is difficult (and adds babysitter cost to any night out). It’s also so long since I was single that dating is a little scary!

    I’d relish being a part of a loving family unit again, but right now can’t picture it so I’m focusing 100% on my little girl and putting personal life to the side.

    I figure I may end up meeting someone through day to day life but in the meantime I’ll give being a dad my all.  Worst case I can wait 10 years until my then teenage daughter will want nothing to do with me and be out with her friends – Plenty of time for dates then!

    #29424 Report


    Hi. It’s a difficult situation. I split from my partner 18 months ago after he had an affair. I look after my 3 teenage boys. The youngest goes to his dad’s while I’m at work but the older two don’t want to go. I can leave them on their own but I don’t like to late at night so it’s difficult to have any social life. All of my friends are married and sometimes I feel so lonely. Part of me would like to start dating bit it’s nearly 20 years since I’ve been on a first date and the thought is terrifying. And also how do you meet anyone when the only place you go is work? I’ve thought about online but I guess I’m scared that I couldn’t cope with more rejection. So for now my priority is my children.

    #29447 Report


    I only did dating when they had weekends at their dad’s, but now he’s not around anymore it’s going to be much more difficult.

    My children are old enough to know that mum works hard doing it alone and they’d actually like to have a ‘family’ life, especially my son who misses male company.

    It’s so difficult isn’t it.

    My kids have met one of my boyfriends who ended up being harsh and strict towards my son. Like a lion who wants to get rid of the other lions cubs! It’s their insecurities I guess. I’ve heard similar stories from others about mum’s boyfriend being unpleasant to the children.

    That puts me off, so I suppose it’s best to hang in there until they’re almost grown up.

    #29464 Report



    it’s such a personal choice, and I think it will be normal for your feelings to fluctuate a little.

    I had a very tiny window of opportunity for dating, it was fun to actually date for the first time in a decade- I ended up with a new friend whose company I really enjoy, but not some husband-figure as I’d somehow imagined.

    Right now I feel better spending my limited free time and money on socialising and culture with people I already know and like, who already know and like me (so important!!!), though I might switch back to dating again in a while.

    I think your lion description is so accurate! I would be really cautious about introducing anyone ‘as a partner’. Even if he was great with them, what if the kids got attached and then you broke up?

    #29522 Report



    I have been on my own 10 years with 2 children, no input from Ex. Have had no life outside children as no break from them which is exhausting. The youngest was not 1 when Ex left.

    Embarked on relationship about year ago, tired of having no-one. It has been disaster, children have felt incredibly threatened and fearful of change. He has been utterly unable to connect with them or appreciate their viewpoint and has seen them very much as rivals. Relationship has now ended and whilst I am disappointed & the rejection hurts my overwhelming feeling is relief that I will no longer be stuck in the middle between him and them trying and failing to keep the peace. Whilst their behaviour has been difficult his attitude has scared me recently, jealous and petty behaviour. It takes a very special person to take on a ready made family and he clearly isn’t special.

    Whilst circumstances have limited the opportunity for dating I have also chosen not to whilst the children were younger, making them my priority but I now feel that I have left it too late. The children are past the “cute” stage, they know no other life but 3 of us and it is now feels impossible to ever try again. I really think that if you want to date it is better to do it when younger before they become too used to having you to themselves.


    #29528 Report


    I’m in a similar position, my daughter’s father isn’t involved and she’s 15months old. I went back to work a few months ago and it’s difficult trying to juggle that and being a mum so not sure I would have time to date at the moment! I know some mums that have partners come to their house for “dates” once the children are in bed but I don’t feel comfortable with this, unless it was someone I already knew well.

    I’m quite open minded and if I met someone in day to day life then I would consider dating but they would have to be pretty special to accept my daughter will always come first. Good luck with whatever you decide xx

    #29537 Report


    Hi Cami_H I’m new here too. I’ve been on my own for a year now after being married 21 years! I’ve got 3 wonderful teenagers who live with me full time so I never get any privacy!! My daughters tease me about finding a new man but I’m not sure how I’d ever be able to dedicate any time to a new man! Once my girls go back to uni I’d have to leave my son alone to go out in the evening and he’s suffered terribly due to his father’s betrayal that I don’t want to give him any more pain! I also don’t want to grow old alone!!! No idea what path to take.

    #29648 Report


    After reading your posts about your stories, I think we need to stay open to finding our own happiness. Be that in a relationship or whatever. As long as we are mindful that our actions are not hurting our children.

    Sure it’s going to be harder to meet someone when you have the kids 100% of the time, but to give up on the idea or set a time when you’re ’allowed’ seems like being a little unfair to ourselves.

    I think as long as you are careful to not involve anyone in your son’s life, maybe a few dates out wouldn’t hurt. Sometimes we need to feel like ourselves as an individual, not just mum and of course feel a little special and loved 🙂

    #29653 Report


    Hi all,

    I split with my boys mum 10 or 11 years ago and been a full time dad ever since. I’ve had a few relationships in that time, each have been very different.

    Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

    1, you are more than a parent, you are a being in your own right so it’s perfectly normal to have needs that have nothing to do with the children.

    2, children will grow up and leave home one day so don’t put your life on hold until one day you realise that the kids have flown and you’ve ended up alone.

    3, the wellbeing and happiness of your kids should always come first but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your own needs and wants.

    4, money is worthless when you find the right person to have a relationship with, if the bills are getting paid and you’ve food on the table then having the right person in your life means you have everything. Meals out and lovely holidays are a bonus.

    5, if you meet someone you really like you’ll find a way to make it work just as the right one will do the same for you.

    6, Having children doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own happiness, in fact the happier you are the better relationship you’ll have with your kids. Nobody needs to loose out.

    7, last but not least is that none of us know what’s around the next corner in our lives so don’t rule anything out, you may well regret it if you do.

    I hope what I’ve said will give pause for thought and I wish you all luck in whatever you decide to do 🙂


    #29659 Report


    @Ramblinjon that’s a really nice list of points to remember… very kind and comforting.

    We need to be kinder and more forgiving to ourselves. We give up so much of ourselves as parents already.

    #29821 Report


    This is an interesting chat – and I have read others’ perspectives.    I’ve personally been trying to establish a new relationship over the past 3 months, and also had a previous one (with a wonderful guy) lasting 3 years.   I think I find initial dating OK as fortunately I get some weekends to myself, but trying to set the foundations for something meaningful and successful after that is hard.   You either date someone else with a child(ren) and then there’s loads of juggling, so time for the two of you is very hard – and fusing all the needs/wants is clunky.   Or you date someone who doesn’t have kids and he doesn’t necessarily understand the strains and demands of being a parent.   So I’ve found it quite difficult (and deeply isolating) once you get beyond those first few dates.   I am a wedding photographer, though, and come across couples who are doing it second time around, have children from first marriages, and they’ve all ‘merged lives’ successfully.   This gives me hope!

    #29826 Report


    I was quite surprised when my eldest two said they’d like a fused family as it would be fun to have more of us! I’m not sure I’m ready to date but I do know plenty of people who’ve succeeded in finding happiness creating a “Brady Bunch!” I like the idea that I’ll one day have a fused/ blended family rather than a broken one!

    #29827 Report


    Yes – broken family here too (and my parents before me)!    Very best of luck in your quest!

    #29839 Report


    New to site, agree so difficult.

    been on my own for 5 years after partner had affair. Sometimes have a weekend to myself depending of children want to see their dad.

    felt very broken for a long time after break up and worked hard to get myself back on track with life in general lol.

    had to sell family home and buy a new place and bring up two very you g children.


    5 years down the line, still often feel sad, loneliness can be tough to deal with , I feel resentful that I struggle financially with one income and trying to be mum, dad, nurse, doctor, social worker and best friend in my role as mum, then go to work and try and be great there to.

    dabbled in dating recently, but oldest son didn’t like the idea of someone coming into our lives, ( just entering stroppy teenage years) and I constantly felt defensive or guilty that some of my time was being given to someone else.

    he did not have children, which I think made the situation harder as he could not relate to my situation.

    i ended the relationship after a couple of months as just wasn’t happy and struggled with the balance of both.

    i keep hoping if I meet someone I really like things may work better and situation will gel better.

    i worry when the children move out in years to come it will be me and the dog! And a very lonely time.


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)

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