"They are fun, flirty, and super ego boosters," says Zane.For the timid or busy, it's a great way to get used to the idea of looking for love without the pressure.Though you may be excited about a new relationship, be extra cautious about sharing this information with your kids.
Programs for single dating parents
If you want to date, you'll have to make time in your life for it.
"It's important to engage your village, friends, family who can support you with time-sharing and babysitting," Zane says.
"Perhaps a better question than when is why," says Christine Baumgartner, relationship coach at The Perfect Catch. Expecting dating to fulfill all your needs is unrealistic and might attract (or cause you to accept) people who aren't right for you.
"In my coaching practice, I suggest that single moms do the inside work to get really clear about their wants, needs, values and beliefs and get in touch with their intuition," says Kerri Zane, single-mom lifestyle expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the Real One.
Look for people who like to do the same things as you do. They offer a casual group setting and regularly scheduled meet-ups, and allow you to do something while you're getting to know the other person.
If activities seem too hard on your schedule or psyche right now, Zane says to look into the Internet dating scene."A good rule of thumb is to do a 'morning after' gut check," Boykin says."How would you feel if your kids came into your bedroom in the middle of the night with this person sleeping over? It's also important to consider the age and personality of your children."As kids get older, you may choose to share more casual details about your new boyfriend," says Esther Boykin, a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship coach outside of Washington, D. "But for younger kids it's often best to start by introducing the idea that you have a new friend who you like to spend time with." When you're finally ready for the first meeting, start with a casual group activity your kids enjoy, like a picnic at a park with friends who have kids.Other than that, she says, save the details about your children, your custody arrangements, your divorce, and your ex for when you know the person better.