As a single parent, meeting new people isn't always the easiest thing to do. In fact, most days, you probably have little contact with many people beyond your immediate family, your coworkers, the cashier at your local grocery store, or even the pizza delivery guy. With all of the issues and challenges you face on a daily basis, it's not easy to carve out time for your own social life. After all, raising your kids on your own takes all of the energy, determination, and willpower you've got. Your responsibilities are consistent every day, so it's easy for them to overshadow a potential social life. But it is possible to make new friends as a single parent.
Whether you're looking for a little 'me time' apart from your kids, or you're a single parent wanting to meet new people in order to start dating again after your divorce, making a few small changes will help you create the social life you really want.
Read on for tips on how to make new friends as a single parent.
Decide What You Want Your Social Life To Look Like
Spend some time envisioning what it would be like to have a fulfilling, active social life. Who would you be spending your time with? How would your children fit into this scenario? Sometimes just getting clear about your ultimate goals can help you find ways to make those dreams a reality.
Match Your Effort To Your Desires
Is the effort you're making to meet new people match your desire for an active, enjoyable social life? If the answer is no, step up the effort you're making. In this way, you can work to overcome feeling like a lonely single parent by changing the effort you're making. When it comes to making new friends, "possibilities include other new moms at your pediatrician’s office; other new moms at the church nursery; other harried moms pushing shopping carts through Target with babies in to," says Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D. When you're ready to get out there and make an effort, try a few of these idea to make new friends:
- Attending a book discussion at your local bookstore or library.
- Taking a class on a topic that interests you.
- Getting together with some old friends you haven't seen for a while. Chances are, they will introduce you to some of their new friends!
- Hosting an informal neighborhood gathering or potluck dinner. It will give you a chance to meet some people you haven't met before.
Figure Out Your Roadblocks
What's the biggest obstacle right now to your having a lively, engaging social life? Is it time? Is it a lack of opportunity? Could it also be connected to your feelings about yourself? Getting clear about the obstacles you face, or even the walls you may inadvertently put up, can help you overcome them.
Assess Your Expectations
If you believe you "should" be in a romantic relationship, you're probably setting yourself up to feel bad about not being in one. In addition, this kind of self-pressure leaves you vulnerable to making poor decisions in relation to who you choose to date. To move beyond these kinds to self-imposed limitations, focus on building friendships, not just romantic relationships.
Start the process of making new friends slowly by finding a buddy you can eat lunch with regularly at work or hosting an informal event with the parents of some of your child's friends. This would be a great way to get to know other families and also develop friendships of your own.