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Since hitting the bars is out, start by "dating" for friends, Baumgartner suggests.Look for people who like to do the same things as you do. They offer a casual group setting and regularly scheduled meet-ups, and allow you to do something while you're getting to know the other person.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.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.
During the process or after, you may be experiencing a sense of freedom that you haven't felt in quite some time, and the thought of getting back into the dating world might cross your mind.Instead, focus on topics that are easy to discuss and help you learn about each other.Though you may be excited about a new relationship, be extra cautious about sharing this information with your kids."Not to say that one should abstain from this kind of activity, but it's best to do it when the kids are not in your custody or [are] at a friend's house." Still thinking of having your new love spend the night when the kids are home?"A good rule of thumb is to do a 'morning after' gut check," Boykin says.