If you follow my Instagram, you may have seen my mini rant on my stories about my recent solo mum dating experiences. I thought I’d elaborate slightly in a blog post and explore the world of dating as a solo mum.
I’ve been internet dating for longer than I care to remember. I’ve tried a variety of different sites over the years, Plenty of Fish, Tinder, Match, Hinge and Bumble to name but a few. I’ve had mixed success with them. I’ve been on the most dates from Tinder, but met the best matches on Match.
Anyway, since becoming a mum, I decided I was ready to start dating again. I started using Tinder as it’s quick and easy to set up an account (and free) and I went on a few successful dates. Successful in that I had a lovely time and the men were nice. They did not result in any romance however.
I’d love to meet someone in real life, but most of my new friends are new mums, so very rarely do I meet single people. I decided that if I was serious about meeting someone that I would pay to join Match.com. I presumed that the guys that had signed up to this site rather than using the free sites might be more keen to meet someone due to the fact that they had parted with their hard earned cash for access to the site.
In my mind, the fact you have to pay for Match means that the people on there should make a bit more of an effort. If you’re using a free service, you might not be that invested in it, but if you’ve paid, maybe a little more commitment would go into it. I was also quite honestly seduced by the offer of 3 hours free babysitting for single parents that Match were running!
Anyway, how wrong I was! The people on Match are showing no more signs of being committed to the process than those using Tinder, in fact, in some ways I’ve found quite the opposite. Let me explain my thoughts.
I am a mum to a 6 month old. I have limited free time to go out. As I am a solo mum, if I want to go out, I have to get someone to babysit. This basically involves just sitting in my house, as my daughter will likely be asleep for the entire time I would be out of the house, but still, I need to ensure someone is free to do this. Due to this, I have limited opportunities for evenings out and those I do organise, need to be well spent. I don’t want to feel like I have wasted a precious evening meeting someone I have no connection with.
Before I was a mum, I would say yes to anyone who looked half decent and give them a chance and go on a date. I was always amazed how long it took to turn a mutual match into a meet up in person. If I managed to turn endless chatting into a real life date, the likelihood would be that I would go. At this point I had endless evenings available to me, so it was no problem.
These days I need to be much more selective. If I am going to have a night out, I need to be really hopeful that it is going to be well spent. That means if I am meeting an internet date I need to be as sure as I can be that I will enjoy the evening.
I’ll leave you with my 3 top tips on dating as a solo mum:
- Be very open and upfront about your situation. I have stated very clearly on my profile that I have a young baby. I am sure that filters out many potential matches, which is positive. There is no point starting to converse with someone who would not be interested if they find out you have a baby, it’s wasting everyones time. I’ve found the more honest you are about yourself and your circumstances, the less people may contact you but those who do are a better match for you.
- Time is precious use it wisely. Only meet with the people that you honestly believe there may be a chance you could connect with. I recently got contacted by a really cool sounding guy who loves steak (I am a veggie), listens to funky house (I like pop music!) and stays up until the early hours DJ’ing (i’m a morning person). In times gone by I would have met up with him anyway as he seemed interesting, but in reality it is highly unlikely that we would get on to the point of dating, so this time I messaged him to say that although he seemed great, I highly doubted we were a good match.
- Be clear on the sort of person you want to meet. I want to meet an adventurous, ambitious for life, interesting, slightly quirky guy. If someone cannot even be bothered to write me a message, they are not worth meeting up with in my eyes. I have coined the phrase Lazy Winkers. I just don’t understand the functionality of the wink. If you are at the point of meeting someone online, the minimum criteria surely is sending a vaguely interesting message to them. My view is if I want to meet someone who is interesting, I’m not going to find a match in a lazy winker. I feel so strongly about the pointlessness of this functionality that I wrote to Match to suggest they removed it, as it’s allowing the service to be worse than Tinder. At time of writing this blog post, I have not received a response! My advice to others is don’t bother with a lazy wink, write a quick message to show your interest.
I’m still finding my feet with dating as a solo mum. I’d love to hear about your dating experiences if you have dated as a single parent and how it went. Any positive stories out there? Any tips and advice?