Single parenting is no easy feat. After all, you're taking on the responsibilities of raising a child all on your own (respect!) — and, of course, that may leave little room for other parts of your life. Like, say, your love life.
Maybe you don't have the time to go out to meet people — or maybe you don't even want to leave your kids at home while you do. Sure, someone in your life (a friend, your mother, your sister in law) is telling you to hit the gym and meet someone there; but maybe the gym is the only hour of "you time" you get. And forget about just running into your dream partner in the cold cuts line at the grocery store — you might go through pounds and pounds of yellow American before that happens, and you've got mouths to feed at home.
Fortunately for you, there are dating apps to take the load off a little bit. Some traditional dating apps — and other more specific apps — exist to help you connect with potential partners or fun flings without having to leave the comfort of your home. You can swipe while you wait in the car for the kids to get out of school or while you... wait in line for that yellow American. All you have to do is keep an open mind, download one of these apps and put yourself out there (virtually).
Here are six dating apps for single parents you should try.
One of the best apps for single parents is Single Parents Match, which does exactly as it says: It matches single parents. The site identifies as "the world's first and best dating site for single mothers and fathers." After all, it's been around for almost two decades. Who better to date than another single parent who gets it? Through Single Parents Match, you can also check out single parent date ideas, read up on forums, chat online and read news pertaining to single parents. You can include up to 26 photos of you (and your family, if you want!), too, which you'll share with the hundreds of thousands of other single parents on the platform.
Single Parent Love is another dating app specifically for single parents. This one sets itself apart by being a premium service for those looking for something serious. The best part: It offers a free three-month trial (just add a photo to the service!). And you can trust that the platform, which attracts thousands of single parents, works. That's because it's a Cupid Media brand, a leading niche online dating network company established in 2000. The company specializes in niche dating sites based on ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, special interests, lifestyle and more (i.e. single parenting), so it knows what it's doing.
Single Parent Meet helps single parents, well, meet each other. It's the largest single parent dating platform out there with more than 50,000 unique visitors and more than 1,000 new profiles added each day. So your chances of meeting another single parent on this platform are super high. And you don't need to spend money to do it. Membership is free unless you choose to pay for extra features such as a call or text feature that doesn't actually share your personal contact information.
eHarmony is one of the most renowned dating apps on the planet, and though it's not used specifically for single parents, you can certainly find single parents using the platform. In fact, the app is great for single parents who are looking for something longer term and more serious, since users have to answer a 20-minute questionnaire about important topics: job, religion, family values, children etc. The app then uses a proprietary algorithm to match you with others based on your answers to those questions, so you won't have to waste time weeding out anyone who isn't actually interesting in dating a single parent or who doesn't share the same family values as you (or any values for that matter!). A basic membership is free, too!
Hinge is a dating app that's been "designed to be deleted." That's because the creators of Hinge want you to find someone to share your life with (and they expect that you will!). The most unique characteristic of this app is that it actually matches you with others who are already part of your social circle... your extended social circle anyway. So, while you don't know these people (though you may run into some familiar faces), you can rest assured that someone with whom you're friends on Facebook knows someone who knows someone who knows this person. You're probably more likely to enjoy this potential company because you already keep company who keeps their company. And you don't have to waste any time calling your best friend to help you Google this person's first name and job title and any other small details you have to try to dig up their Facebook page. Chances are that someone you know can get you all the dirt.
Match.com is one of the most popular dating sites out there. After all, Match.com is a pioneer of the internet dating industry, launching back in 1995 and, today, serving millions of singles (and, yes, single parents!) in 24 countries. In fact, Match Group's most recent reported number of paid member count amounted to around 8.6 million users — while not all of these users are on Match.com, specifically, a good chunk of 'em are. And most of the more serious ones are. Match.com users answer questions that'd be important to single parents, and you can browse them freely before committing to a membership.
These dating apps for single parents make it much easier to connect with others who will understand your life — and who will respect you for it. When you get a free minute, spend some time swiping and messaging. You'll never know who you might find!
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.