THE BLOG
11/22/2013 04:55 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

How to Avoid These Three Dating Fouls as a Single Parent

Does being a single parent put you in the penalty box or sidelines when it comes to dating? Here are three common "fouls" and how to re-play them and win!

The scene: About 45 minutes into the date. The conversation: Witty. His date: Flirty. Their chemistry: Spot on. So far, this had the makings for a great night. However, Aaron was still uneasy. When would he drop the K-bomb? K as in K-I-D-S. Aaron, a single dad of two, wondered if an extra two would make three a crowd for his date, Natalia, a single woman with no kids.

Suddenly, in the midst of great conversation, he blurted out a stream of disjointed sentences. "Umm...I wanted to tell you, umm...I'm a dad of two." Natalia recoiled a bit, mostly due to Aaron's instant change in behavior from clever and cavalier to uncomfortable. In Aaron's mind, a seemingly endless and awkward pause ensued before Natalia smiled and said, "Aaron, I know you are a single dad, I read your profile."

I've heard this scene play out a few dozen times over. Oh, and this is just one of the familiar "fumbles" a single parent can bring to the dating field. Yes, the game is played slightly differently when you start dating after having kids, but it is still the same game.

Below are the top three ways you can psych yourself out of the game and how to play them to your advantage instead. Game on!

Foul 1: Baby talk
Yes, your date should know you are a single parent. However, this can be accomplished via the pre-date" banter (emails, texts, messaging, reading their online dating profile, etc.) After this has been communicated, I'd challenge you to try to make it through two full dates without details about your kids' lives.

Saturating the first date conversation with stories of little league and honor roll won't give you or your date any intimate details about who you are. There will be a time when you get to know each other enough that you will be able to share details about your children's lives, but for now keep the conversation about you: Your hopes, dreams, books you are reading, dream vacations, best meals, what you did on your 16th birthday...the topics are limitless and so are the opportunities to get to really know one another.

Foul 2: Nobody likes me
As a parent, you may feel like other singles don't want to date you, but cut out that 'woe is me' act! You're a parent - you don't have a life threatening disease. Kids are not necessarily a scare factor, so don't be reluctant to date someone who doesn't have kids themselves. A recent Match.com study even showed that more than two thirds of single men on Match.com are interested in dating a single mom.

In addition, our study showed that the majority (53%) of single parents prefer to date someone who also has children. Which means? You are winning! Now, act like it and get back in the game, whether if it's with another single parent or simply a single!

Foul 3: Get with the times and get online
As we live in an era where we do almost everything online, it's understandable that you might be hesitant about finding your next mate online the way you would your next restaurant. However, dating is a numbers game, so you have to play the odds. Match.com has seen an increase of 180% in single parent members joining the site over the last four years, accounting for more than one third of current Match.com members.

So what does that tell you? Leave the hesitancy at home, remind yourself that years ago you never would have thought you'd be buying clothes or music online, and think of all the possibilities to come from an open mind - and an open heart!