Dating is already a minefield – add children or, dare I say it, grandchildren into the mix and it can be even harder to negotiate your way to romance.
But the season of love is approaching and you have finally decided to take the plunge and re-enter the world of dating as a single parent or glam-parent.
Good on you. As someone who’s both, here is my list of rules to stick to when you’re getting back out there.
Make An Effort (For Yourself).
The first thing you’ll need to do is check if your wardrobe needs a refresh. Yes, trainers and tracksuits are great go-to items of clothing when rushing around after the kids. But why not buy (or borrow) a hot mama/papa outfit that’ll make you feel your best?
Glam yourself up, get your hair done or a manicure and pedicure – and you may well have a mono-brow now or landscaping you want to attend to in more places than you care to count. It’s up to you. This is about self-care. We’ve all got our hang-ups, but even if you feel frumpy on the inside, fake it till you make it. Show up and show off, and let the world know you are ready for business.
This goes for guys, too. Get your groom on and turn up like the handsome, distinguished gent you are.
I’m not saying you have to be the next Jeremy Paxman or Fiona Bruce, but it’s worth keeping current – for your own sake, as well as your date’s. Brush up on the latest goings, whether that’s in Westminster or Weatherfield. Get to know a little bit of everything – from who’s currently at the top of the Premiership to the latest reality star making the headlines. If it’s a first date it’s okay to keep the convo nice and light-hearted, but let your date know you aren’t stuck in a baby or kids’ bubble and you do have a life beyond your family.
Avoid Too Much Baby Talk.
You may be immersed in all things child-related but, believe me, your new date will not be interested in Cara’s extra-curricular timetable or Jack’s SATs results. Talking kids all night is a no no. Date night is about you. You’re a witty, intelligent individual who has a life of your own – you’re not just a parent.
Beware Of The Overshare.
So you’re dating and everything is going well. Your new partner asks you for some pictures of yourself. By all means send some over, but be careful which you choose and be aware of the long-term consequences. We’ve all heard about revenge porn – and having to explain to your child why there are naked pictures of you on the internet will be a traumatic experience for all involved. And men, for the record, a close-up pic of your genitals isn’t big or clever.
Now this one is a no brainer. No one wants to find themselves unexpectedly pregnant when they’re about to hit the menopause, or get an STI.
As we get older, we can have fewer hang-ups when it comes to sex. More people are emerging from long-term relationships or periods of being single to enjoy casual relationships, enabled by dating apps. But studies show there has also been a rise in STls amongst older sexually active people.
Even though you may have been in a long-term relationship and are as clean as a whistle, a new partner may not be. As for getting pregnant, obviously the risk decreases as you get older but doesn’t entirely disappear. So stay protected.
[Read More: I Became A Glam-Ma At 43, Just Don’t Call Me Grandma]