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matchlogo_gradSo, your relationship is officially over, your divorce is final, you’ve had some time alone, and you finally think you’ve reached a place where you are ready to move on! Get back on the dating scene that is…BUT, there’s one problem…you have NO IDEA where to start, what to do, where to go!

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you are NOT alone! So many of my divorced and otherwise single parent clients often seek my help regarding how to get back on the dating scene. Many were in such long-term relationships or marriages that they don’t have a clue where to start, where to go to meet someone new, or are afraid dating will be impossible due to either lack of time or inability to find someone compatible with them (i.e. someone with similar interests, beliefs, and most importantly, someone who is willing to date someone who has children.)  I also often hear single parents say that no one they date is interested in a serious relationship because they have children, thus they often end up wasting valuable time dating someone hoping for an eventual commitment, only to later find out that the other person only intended to be a fling for the moment.

As a single parent your time is already limited. The last thing you have is time to waste. But when it comes to meeting people, it’s kind of a catch 22-you can’t meet someone unless you take the time out to do so, and you’ll never know if someone is compatible with you unless you’ve invested some amount of time getting to know them. So, what do you do?
Well, if you ask match.com expert Whitney Casey, online dating is the place to be! And although I have always been a “traditional” meet-your-mate kinda girl, after I learned from Whitney that Single Parents who use online dating sites have 2x’s the dating success than those who don’t date online, and that Single dads are more likely to be interested in COOKING than other men, and more into romance movies (can you say RARE? Lol)
I just HAD to sit down with her and get more details to share with my clients; and I did just that…check out my interview with Whitney below:

Getting the scoop from Whitney Casey:
Me: Back when online dating first emerged, it may have gotten the side-eye from many people who were skeptical about the whole online dating process, but now meeting a significant other online seems to be becoming more and more accepted and common, why do you think that is?

Whitney: Do you buy your music from a record store, get your books from the library or use personal checks to pay your bills?? The way people are connecting today is vastly different from how people found relationships 10 or 20 years ago. Nowadays, every thing happens online, and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a connection to online dating—1 in 5 relationships begin on an online dating site. That’s huge! When you look at those numbers, there’s no real good reason why you shouldn’t try it.

Me: Because they are juggling so many things such as a career, day-to-day living, parenting, etc. many single parents denote “lack of time” as the reason getting back onto the dating scene is usually one of the last things on their to do list, what are some of the benefits of online dating in regards to time? Do you believe it cuts out a lot of the time that would be (for a lack of a better word) wasted when going on traditional first dates/encounters?
Whitney: Online dating is the perfect place for a single parent to start their dating journey once again. We all know single parents have a lot of juggling and multitasking to do – and with Match, you have the opportunity to zip past the “but where do I even meet someone?” question. But the best thing about Match is that you can log in and search or review your matches on your own pace, when you do have a rare free moment. And you can actually set up that date once you’re comfortable and ready to meet someone in person. And if you don’t have a date, but do have a rare free evening, Match gives you opportunities to connect with others at their offline Stir events, too!

Me: For many single parents, meeting someone who is open to (and preferably interested in) dating someone who already has children is important because their children play such a huge role in their lives, does match.com provide a way to filter the online dating search to ensure that members are meeting those who meet certain characteristics?
Whitney: Yes! In fact, we found that majority of single parents prefer to date someone with kids (53%). As long as you are indicating that you have children, Match makes it simple to indicate on your profile who you are looking for, and vice versa for potential suitors to find you. There are filters on the site that allow you to literally plug in every characteristic of a match and it will provide a list of results for you to look through.
Me: Does match.com ever hold any live events or meet ups for site members? Maybe by category or based on a particular interest?
Whitney: Stir is Match.com’s answer to offline events for its members, offering everything from cooking classes, DJ lessons, and whitewater rafting, to running tours, movie premieres, and speed dating events. We officially launched Stir in May 2012, and today we are throwing more than 400 events this month in 80 markets, giving singles a wide variety of events to choose from. And just this month, we have begun introducing single parent-only events, giving parents the opportunity to connect offline as well. So look for those events coming in your area in the next months!

Me: With so many dating sites available out there, is it safe to say that they all are pretty much the same? What sets match.com apart from other online dating sites?

Whitney: They’re definitely not all the same. Match.com is the industry leader with the largest group of singles (more than 1.9 million!) who are looking for a relationship. With those sheer numbers, it’s no wonder that Match is responsible for more dates, more relationships, and more relationships than any other site.
Match.com also offers unique features that you won’t find on other sites – including customer care representatives who review every profile and photo, customized daily matches, mobile apps to check your matches on the go, as well as our STIR event series, which helps connect our members in the offline world through unique experiences like cooking classes, dance lessons, movie premieres and casual happy hours.
Me: Thank you so much for your time! Before you go, is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
Whitney: Match.com believes that just because you are a single parent, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your search for finding love. In fact, over 1/3 of Match members are single parents looking to connect with others on the site.
Although I was apprehensive about suggesting online dating before, after speaking with Whitney, I actually think this may be the most practical way for single parents to date! Especially those who feel as though they don’t have time to waste on someone who isn’t compatible, or doesn’t desire the same commitment level; may as well nip those issues in the bud ahead of time and only meet with true candidates for love right?

And, it turns out that after my interview experience with Whitney, I learned that several of my married acquaintances actually met on match.com! Small world! Seems like more people than I know are jumping on the online dating bandwagon and actually getting good results!
If you’d like to try it too, make sure you sign up for match by visiting http://www.match.com

If you’ve been there, done that, share your experiences in the comments below! Do you agree that online dating is ideal? or no?

*This is a sponsored post for Match.com