Of course my kids get a say in my love life – I’m a single parent

I don’t need to watch Davina McCall’s new dating show, ‘My Mum, Your Dad’, to know how hard it is to find love in later life, writes Amelia Loulli. I – and my teenage kids – have just survived yet another red-flag date

Tuesday 12 September 2023 17:59 BST
Dating as a single parent is a uniquely complex endeavour
Dating as a single parent is a uniquely complex endeavour (Amelia Loulli)

It’s 10.30pm on a cold and rainy Friday night and I’ve just been on a bad date. It’s a tale as old as time: he talked about himself relentlessly despite being incredibly dull, he said cruel things about his ex, he interrupted me whenever I tried to speak, and he flirted with the waitress right in front of me. In short (though it felt very, very long…), I’ve just spent about two hours of my life with a man wearing a dozen red flags.

And this date isn’t unusual. Anyone who has spent any energy attempting to connect with potential partners on the dating apps circuit will know the drill. If you do venture boldly onto a meeting IRL, you can expect to spend an evening mildly amused at best – and, well… I’ll save the worst for another time.

On this particular Friday, I leave the bar unsurprised and drive home through the drizzle. When I get in, I put four slices of bread in the toaster, line up four plates by the butter dish and within minutes I’m surrounded by my three teenagers, each offering me a hug and asking me how it went. I give them a summary; they ask Alexa to play my favourite post-bad-date music (Taylor Swift, naturally) and we sit on the sofa together, making jokes about another night thus spent.

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