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Dating a single mum

Parents who have a shared custody agreement may have evenings without the kids that they can use to schedule dates. You fill out a profile and it matches you with other like-minded mothers in your area." A potential friend and someone to swap babysitting with? Dating has changed since you were single, and so have you.

And Baumgartner says that single parents need to consider that this may be true.

"I tell clients that having some time for 'just themselves' is important," she says.

For the timid or busy, it's a great way to get used to the idea of looking for love without the pressure.

Whether you're looking for a fling, a ring, or something in between, remember that dating is part of the journey, not a means to an end, Zane says.

"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.

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No matter what the age of the child, avoid a detailed account of why you broke up.Your kids deserve an explanation, but shouldn't be your confidants."This is big nay for me when children are in the house," 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.The children may already feel they lost one parent in the divorce, Baumgartner says, you don't want to put them through another loss if this relationship ends.It's also important to consider the age and personality of your children."How would you feel if your kids came into your bedroom in the middle of the night with this person sleeping over? If you can comfortably answer your child's questions and tend to their needs with that person lying in bed next to you, then maybe you're on the way to some slumber parties." If not, you can find other creative ways to make time for intimacy. "It's important to engage your village, friends, family who can support you with time-sharing and babysitting," Zane says.