( not her real name) is a 32-year-old single mother living in Co Limerick.
With an 11-year-old daughter, a job and a bunch of married friends, she decided to give online dating a go via SingleParents.ie because she felt that she wasn’t getting many opportunities to meet someone special.
Jenny believes dating as a parent is much different from before she had a child.
“I found that it was diffi cult for some men to accept that they would never be No 1 in my life, that they would always come second, no matter what. I’m a mother and have to plan everything. I can’t just drop everything and run out door to meet them on the spur of the moment.
“Also, a lot of men don’t want to take on the ‘responsibility’ of another man’s child. I am lucky; my daughter’s dad is involved in her life and takes her every weekend so I do get a break and the opportunity to go out. But this also has had its problems in past relationships, as my ex will always be involved in my life and men get jealous of this as we get along with each other.”
Jenny says that for a long time finding a new partner was not on her list of priorities. “When you have a child, the fi rst few years are a haze of getting used to being a mum, getting into a routine, becoming confi dent with yourself and your body again. We all move at different paces and for me it took a while to even consider that side of things.”
In any case, Jenny did take the step last year when she logged onto SingleParents.ie and she’s now pleased to report that she is one of its success stories. “I met someone online,“ she reveals. “It was my second date from the site, and I was his third. We are together six months now, and are very happy!”
So, on that positive note, does she have any words of wisdom for fellow single parents who are looking to begin dating again?
“Take off the blinkers and the rose-coloured spectacles,” Jenny advises. “Single parents will never be everyone’s cup of tea, and accept that. Don’t get down and hurt because someone has an issue with your situation – it’s not you personally, it’s your status.
“There is someone out there for us all, but patience is the key. Learn to be happy on your own, you will learn a lot more about yourself that way. Know what you want and what you won’t tolerate. And just enjoy meeting new people and new friends. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”