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The Parent Trap

"Ask April" Author of the best selling "Date Out Of Your League" at

Being a single parent doesn’t mean you can’t date!

As you likely know, there are few roles tougher or more demanding than being a single parent, which is why it’s understanding that you may not prioritize dating at the top of your list, or even believe it’s appropriate.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it is worth investing the time in, and it is most definitely appropriate…even beneficial to your kids!

Do it for yourself

I don’t need to tell you that being a parent is one of the most rewarding things you can do. But that’s not to say it’s the only thing you can do, or more specifically, it doesn’t mean you are only a parent. Being an adult—with romantic, intimate, and sexual desires and needs—is also an important part of who you are. Lose that, and you lose a very real and very valuable part of yourself.

Do it for your kids

Not only is dating important of you, it’s actually important for your kids, too. It is healthy for them to know you are a full and complete person—not just their mom or dad. It’s good for them to see that you can be happy with another person other than their other parent. And, perhaps most importantly of all, by dating and/or finding a relationship, you’re setting an example for them to follow…when the time is comes for them to date (yikes!).

Tips to take away

Okay, we’ve established why it’s important for you to date, but you still may have questions about how to date (i.e., what’s appropriate and what’s not, how to broach the subject with your kids, etc.). To that end, I’ve composed a list of the top 5 essential dos and don’ts for becoming a safe, smooth, and successful single-parent dater.

1. Do not have a constant parade of new people coming in and out of the house.
Do introduce only those people who you think will become “regular fixtures”.

2. Do not spring the idea of dating on your kids.
Do gradually introduce the concept, emphasizing that this is something all adults do.

3. Do not bring your kids with you on every date.
Do remember that dating is a time for you—as an adult. It’s okay to take time away for yourself.

4. Do not allow your children’s concerns to dominate your actions.
Do listen to their concerns, but be clear that this is not something for them to decide.

5. Do not ask your kids to keep your dating life a secret.
Do create an atmosphere of open, honest communication—and make sure to include your ex-partner so your kids don’t feel any confusion or torn loyalties.

Sincerely, April

Ready for even more bold, brutally honest, and always helpful dating advice? Visit Web site, There, you'll find informative articles, expert columnists, interactive quizzes, and free giveaways! And don't forget to also check out my workshops, designed to help you find you real "soul mate"!

© April Masini. Making it happen for you!
If you’re ready to get serious about finding a relationship that will really work for you—but aren’t quite ready to sign up for an arranged marriage—then my workshops on dating, love, and all around success might be just what the doctor ordered. Please visit

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