By Livy Beaner // SWNS
Dating as a single parent means every second counts. On average, they know if they want a second date just 38 minutes into the first.
That’s according to a new poll of 2,000 single parents, which revealed that it also takes them less than an hour (55 minutes) into a date to determine if they’d be interested in having sex with that person.
In fact, the average respondent believes that less than one-third (31%) of the dates they’ve been on were “worth it” or made them consider investing in a second one.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Stir, the survey aimed to uncover how single parents are emerging from the stereotypical mold, igniting their own flames and how they’re enjoying dating.
Since becoming a single parent, respondents have a clearer picture of what they want from a partner (48%), appreciate romantic moments more (34%) and are more willing to date outside their typical “type” (23%).
Almost one-third (30%) will break things off faster if it’s not a match and 20% have higher expectations for good sex.
But that doesn’t mean the dating scene is a breeze. The top three assumptions that single parents encounter are that they don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to dating (34%), that their life must be very complicated (32%) and that they’re looking for a co-parent over a romantic partner (32%).
Results also revealed that more than half of single parents (57%) are now embracing their silly side more than before they had kids. They’re also more cautious (60%), open-minded (49%) and confident (32%) than they previously were.
Respondents also outlined other ways they’ve evolved since becoming parents. Those include feelings of increased bliss such as, “I am way happier than I have ever been,” and others becoming more mature, stating they’ve “become more responsible and accountable.”
But that’s only one side of the picture — a little more than half (51%) are less tolerant of drama and 25% say they are less critical of their body.
This may stem from the fact that a whopping 80% believe that becoming a role model to their child means that they need to hold themselves to higher dating standards than before they were a parent.
“It’s important to note that single parents are people beyond their children. Dating is more than just looking for a co-parent or trying to squeeze it into a busy schedule due to societal norms. Single parents are looking for spontaneity, fun and love and they aren’t settling for less,” said Rachel DeAlto, Chief Dating Expert for Stir.
In general, single parents wish topics like life goals (55%), dreams for the future (51%), pet peeves (33%) and sex or intimacy (26%) were brought up on dates more often.
But timeframes for talking about sex and having it vary. Fourteen percent of respondents believe the right time to start talking about boundaries, sexting or having sexual conversations is before you’ve met in person.
Almost two in five (39%) will start those conversations within the first three dates.
But when it comes to actually being physically intimate, 27% believe that they need to be in an exclusive relationship with that person.
However, for almost one-third of respondents (31%), the first, second and third dates aren’t entirely off the table.
“No matter what your timeframe for intimacy is, results show that single parents are dating for more than just sex,” said DeAlto. “In fact, 57% of single parents say their favorite part about dating is simply having fun.”
HOW DO SINGLE PARENTS BOOST THEIR CONFIDENCE?
- Spending meaningful time with friends/family/kid(s) - 44%
- Talking to family/friends/kid(s) - 40%
- Making time for self-care - 39%
- Spending meaningful time alone - 34%
- Dressing to look their best - 32%
- Exercising - 27%
- Reflecting on their accomplishments - 25%
- Giving themselves a pep talk - 25%
- Learning a new skill - 20%
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 single parents of children who are under 18 was commissioned by Stir between August 17 and August 23, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).