A New Year is upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about small actions that can make a huge difference in your love life as a single parent over the next 12 months.
“Resolution for dating?!” I hear you say. And the answer is yes! Absolutely!
Having specific love, sex, and relationship resolutions can be a great way to make a significant shift in your future. So here are our top new habits for you to take out there into your single parent dating journey.
1. I will give myself grace if things are not “perfect”
It is a simple fact of life that nothing will ever be perfect. No relationship, family structure, sex life or date will ever be flawless. The sooner we manage to let go of the ideals and allow ourselves and others to make mistakes, the sooner we start cultivating good, healthy relationships. As with all things parenting, there is a school of thought that “good enough” is, well, good enough. Let’s aim for “better” in 2022, not “perfect”.
We want to start building more meaningful connections with real people, not idealised characters we have invented for ourselves. We want to begin developing better skills of communication and seduction. Let’s all have better sex! All long term relationships will inevitably face challenges, conflict and boredom. Inevitably, each date will not meet all of your list of wants and desires for a new match.
There is wisdom in the notion of keeping standards high and expectations low. This means that you will never sacrifice any core values in a new partnership or tolerate abuse or mistreatment. But it will help you avoid disappointment when someone isn’t all you’ve cracked them up to be. Expecting others to match up to your idea of perfection has got to go! It’s an act of self-love.
2. I will get clear on what I want (or at least what I am open to)
Listen, I understand wanting your romantic life to be an area free from pre-planning. I understand wanting to be swept off your feet, blindsided by unexpected passion, or just wanting to “go with the flow”. I get not wanting love to feel like work. There is so much romance in the idea of just seeing what happens and what comes your way. I totally empathise, but there is also so much power in getting clear on what you are looking for.
We are not meant to be passive in our love lives. We are not meant to wait to be chosen or just allow things to happen to us. Imagine if we ran any other area of our lives that way! Now, I am not saying we should micro-manage our dating lives (see above), but it’s an excellent time to think about it and challenge yourself to look things in the eye.
The key is to create various outcomes that you might be up for exploring. Are you really only looking for true love, or would a period of play be beneficial? Do you really only like certain ‘types’, or is there more to explore? Is it really true that you don’t have time for anything at all right now? Get that journal out and start expanding on your assumptions!
3. I will try and try again
Do not let setbacks derail you, at least not for long. Not every date will be the ‘one’, and not every connection will be forever. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Sometimes we meet a hidden phantom who disappears straight after sex. I know these things can be emotionally hard, and it’s all easier said than done. But, the truth is you have to get to a place where you believe in healthy relationships and love, even if you haven’t got them in your life right now.
The trick is to keep getting back on that…er…horse, and trust. Make sure you keep your options open in the early days, and don’t attach yourself to anyone not on the same page. Give yourself a break when things are disappointing, but remember, these things are not going to matter in the long game. Make sure you consume healthy relationship content and know what a genuine connection looks like. Learn how to spot a time-waster, short term hook-up, or someone toxic early. But keep getting back up and getting back out there. You can’t see who might be just around the corner, so it’s worth trying and trying again.
4. I will be open to new “types”
Chemistry is an elusive beast, and often we don’t know ourselves as much as we think we do! For example, you may think you know perfectly well all the things you find physically attractive in someone, thank you very much! But, with love and respect, I can confidently tell you that you are wrong.
What we find attractive changes throughout our lives and is actually quite complicated. Our age, relationship history, hormones, family lives, lifestyles and a whole host of other things all play a role in what we find attractive. These things are also in a constant state of flux. What we find hot, or not, is ever-changing. Having a very rigid view of what you are willing to consider is no way to get the very best out of your dating or sex life.
Dating is an act of exploration, a place where we can playfully explore all kinds of parts of ourselves. Try dating someone who may not be what you thought you wanted this year, and you may very well surprise yourself. But, even if it doesn’t work out, you will have a much broader understanding of yourself and all the many, many things that can spark your interest in someone else.
5. I will be open to new tactics
The last few years have been, well, totally nuts for our social lives. Of course, this applies to the world of dating too! I don’t think this is a terrible thing, especially for those of us with children. Sure, it’s made meeting someone on a night out or at a friend’s wedding a bit harder, but it has also opened up loads of exciting new ways to meet people. So it’s time to start thinking more creatively and trying new tactics to meet people you may not in everyday life.
Online spaces and communities are now the new normal for us, with lots of our work, play and support coming from new digital connections. I think it’s a great time to use these new realms to make new romantic connections. As a single parent, you have been on a very uneven playing field in the world of dating up until now. However, with the significant shift into more expansive digital spaces, you are not always on the back foot in terms of meeting people. Embrace this again in 2022 because it’s still all looking a bit uncertain.
It’s essential to be aware of what you are looking for in the potentially murky waters of the digital world. But, with a bit of research and creativity, you can meet some like-minded and amazing new people. Try being specific about who and what you are looking for and try out new communities. And, of course, Frolo Dating is a great place to start!
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Want to know more about single parent dating with Frolo? Head over to our blog Everything you need to know about Frolo Dating!
By Julia Kotziamani
Julia Kotziamani is Frolo’s resident Dating Expert.