Solo mum dating

By ELOISE KING

When courageously venturing out on my first date almost a year after the "BIG" separation, I was nervous. So nervous in fact I

a) forgot to eat,

b) forgot to monitor how much I drank, and

c) vomited all over my dates new $500 Kathmandu jacket in the taxi on the way home.

The next morning I remember thinking life would be so much easier if we could all just fall in love with our confirmed soul mate, produce perfect offspring and stay together forever and ever. The reality for an ever increasing number of us, however, is that life's little fairytale doesn't always play out like that.

Re-entering the world of dating can be daunting. No doubt a long time between dates, it requires you to look at the experience with fresh eyes that are no longer care-and-kid-free.

Parenthood for most leads to a shift in priorities and an increase in responsibility. And raising kids alone means that the time you have available for the pheremonal sport is somewhat limited. What parenthood does not do, however, is diminish the human need for love, physical touch and companionship.

Bernard Salt, one of Australia's leading demographers, has identified a radical shift taking place in the nature of 21st century relationships. In his book about Australian demographic trends, The Big Picture, he writes of how a failed relationship may become a help and not a hindrance in the future world of dating:

[By next decade] anyone who has had just one significant personal relationship is considered something of a loser; 40 years earlier this was the social model that was espoused by middle Australia. To have only had one ‘significant other' in this new world of older [generation] Xers and Ys is, frankly, suspicious.

But where do you look once the kids are in tow?

Providing you have the time and child-minding support, singles-with-kids can of course find new love in all the usual haunts - bars, pubs, work, through friends. But there is little guarantee that the newfound "someone" will understand the demands of modern parenting.

As a result, the number of services designed specifically for single mums and dads looking for love is proliferating.

The benefit of internet dating is that you don't have to leave the house to get in the game. In fact I just posted my first ever profile dressed in undies and a singlet while sipping on a cup of green tea. My photo however has me in a sexy pair of shorts, wearing great earings and sipping on Sunday afternoon champagne.

If your preference is for face to face interaction over drinks and canapes, perhaps speed dating is for you. Fast Impressions promotes themselves as Australia's premier speed dating company. Catering for the specific needs of single parents, they hold at least two events per year in both Sydney and Melbourne for people with children.

"These events are for people that already have their own brood or would like to meet people that have mini me's of their own," general manager Anna Saunders said.

So if you're nursing a lonely heart this Valentines Day, perhaps it is time to shake off the Self-pity suit and get proactive about finding yourself some lovin again?

Whether you're ready to fall head-over-heals in love or just wanting a little excitment outside of playgroup and Wiggles concerts, you've got to be in it to win it. And please, when you get it, eat more, drink less and keep whatever you swallow down.

 
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