Dating with Children: 5 Red Flags for Single Parents by Professional Matchmakers

By Sherri Murphy and Chantal Kubela

dating with children 5 red flags for single parents

Dating has never been easy, but once you have kids, there are a lot more things to consider before setting up a first date. While meeting new people and going out on dates seems the same as before you had kids, you now are constantly thinking about how your kids are even when they are not in the room. You must hire a babysitter to go out and check up on them while you are out. Elite Connections complaints heard most from single parents is that it is difficult to have spontaneous dates and most of the time it is out of the question. When you have your kids and if the babysitter cancels or a child gets sick, there is no way you will be able to leave the house. For some people, having children means they go home earlier or drink less while they are out. Our professional matchmakers say, “It puts a little damper on the date, but you must learn to go with that. It is always best to date someone who also has a child, so they are more understanding.”

While those all are big differences than dating without having kids, the biggest difference is that you must consider how your children feel on top of figuring out your own feelings about a person. You may think that the decision to start a relationship with someone is completely up to you, but you will soon find that not to be true when you start hanging out together as a family. Elite Connections reviews the problems single parents face and say that every single person has their own list of deal breakers. But when you are a single parent, you should have more. Professional matchmakers from an elite dating agency, Elite Connections, tell you 5 red flags to look out for as a single parent.

1. Insisting to be put before your kids

Everyone knows that once your child takes it first breathes of life, they become the most important thing to you. Being a single parent, you should always prioritize kids over everything else. Now that you are dating again, you should also find someone that understands and supports you in raising your children. Elite Connections biggest complaint heard from single parents dating is about people getting upset when they must cancel due to their children. Its ok if they get disappointed that you had to cancel because of your kids, but never let them get angry at you about it. If they insist that you figure something out to see them, that is a huge red flag. Someone you are dating should never demand you to put them before your kids.

2. Ignoring or expecting you to ignore your kids

If you ever bring up your kids, or children in general, and your date doesn’t know what to say or tries change the topic, they probably aren’t ready to be in a relationship with someone that has kids. Also, if you keep having to remind your date that you have kids or they don’t remember your kids names after you have told them before, they clearly don’t care that you have kids and are trying to ignore this important fact about you. The person you are seeing should care about your kids and their lives just as much as yours. If they normally ask about your kids and how they are doing, that is a good sign to keep them around. Correspondingly, if your partner ever asks you to ignore your kids, like leaving them home alone to go out on a date, it shows they do not care about them. You and your kids come as a package deal and if your partner cannot seem to handle that then they probably are not ready for the relationship.

3. Criticize your parenting

Being a single parent, you find yourself looking for some advice on how to raise your children the right way but can get easily offended when someone starts saying too much. What if you did not ask for advice in the first place? Or your date starts criticizing how you handled a situation with your kid? It does not matter if your date has children of their own or not, they should never tell you how to parent your kids without you asking.
On top of not criticizing your parenting, your date should never step into parent for you. Kids do not know who to listen to when two adults are telling them to do different things so do not confuse them by letting your date tell them what to do. Make it clear who the boss is around your kids and never let your date be the parent of your kids.

4. Abusing your kids

Elite Connections complaints about single parents dating is letting someone be mean to their children. Do not be so desperate that you ignore something as bad as this. It is easy for adults to become authoritative around children and want to create some ground rules for them, but some adults can take this a little too far. Sometimes it can be hard to decide if your partners actions are helping your children or hurting them. But abuse, whether it be emotional, physical, or verbal, is easy to spot and should never be tolerated. If you feel like your partner is abusing your kids, you should get up and walk away immediately without looking back. As a parent, you are your child’s defender and should never allow someone else to hurt your kids while you watch. Who knows, once the kids are grown, your partners abuse might be shifted onto you because they know you will allow it. Always trust your gut when it comes to abuse. If something your partner is doing is bothering you, you should speak up and get counseling.

5. Neglect of their own children

It is especially important to ask your date if they have children of their own and how often they see them. If they have children but do not see them often, ask why. It could be for a reason, like their ex got custody of the kids, but they should be able to show you proof of it and if they cannot or will not, that is a red flag. If they flat out admit that they have kids and have no wish see them or support them, walk away immediately! You do not want to be with someone that cannot handle kids because you know they will treat your kids poorly just like they did with their own. Your kids are your life and you should expect your partner to feel that same way about their own.

Dating with children is quite a complex thing to do and you should consider many things before making that second date. You should always wait until you have truly gotten to know the person you are dating and are serious about then. Do some searching online, make sure you have been to their home and know where they work. Risking your safety is one thing and your children’s is another. It takes months if not longer to get to know someone. If you meet someone that jumps in and wants to move in with you in a month, you have got a problem. If you find that you are having a hard time finding quality single parents to date, consider joining an elite dating agency, like Elite Connections, where they have been successful at what they do for over 26 years. Matchmakers in your area will get to know the real you and what you are looking for in a lifetime partner before matching you with people that have things in common with you. Being a single parent, you have high expectations for the person you date and should not have to waste your time swiping through hundreds of profiles to find the right person. Let the matchmakers at Elite Connections find you the love of your life and the person you want to help raise your children with. Elite matchmaking could be right for you.

To schedule a free consultation with a professional matchmaker in your area today, call 800-923-4200 or email

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