Dating can be like trying to navigate the jungle. Not only are you in for potentially beautiful surprises, but you might encounter a few booby traps in the process. If you add being a single person with children to the mix, dating can be even more challenging. To give single parents the best chance at making a connection this Valentine’s Day, Hinge—a popular dating app that says it’s “meant to be deleted”—is giving parents $100 stipends to cover the costs of child care to go on a date. The company has been doing this since 2020.
Hinge did some user research and found that 63 percent of single people with children note that it’s difficult to go on dates because they struggle to find quality and affordable child care. More than half (59 percent) rely on friends or family to help watch their kids. Another hurdle 53 percent of these daters face is not easily meeting people who are ok getting involved with someone with a child. While that latter finding may not be helped, the company wants to be of support where it can to ensure single moms and dads can have an opportunity to make a connection.
Hinge also looked at the top 10 cities for singles with children based on two primary factors–where they had meaningful conversations and where they went on good dates. As it turns out, single moms and dads are living it up in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City, which made it to the top three. Rounding out the top three were also San Francisco, Phoenix, Virginia Beach, Orlando, Miami and Dallas.
The dating app has become popular as it uses an algorithm to match users with compatible suggestions based on answers to questions connected to religion, education, and day-to-day life.
The app also asks about how dates go and uses that data to put prospective dates on your radar. Another attractive feature Hinge has is the use of prompts to help spark conversation. Prospects can like your answer to said prompts, and that can be an effective way to identify common interests and values. It’s been a hit with users.
Everybody deserves a chance to find love, so this is a great initiative for parents who have limited resources. If you’re single with kids, starting February 4 at noon, head over to the Hinge app where an opt-in notification will be provided to learn more. There you can find out how to obtain the stipend and mingle your way into the first of, hopefully, many dates. For parents who may need some tips on how to get comfortable in the dating scene in the meantime, Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury, offers the following tips:
Make time for yourself: “If finding a partner is important to you, you’ll need to make time to date. It’s not selfish! You’re allowed to be an independent adult with needs and desires. You can be a great parent and make time for dating.”
Try slow dating: “It will take time to find someone who is a good fit for you and your child, and there’s no rush. Give yourself time to ease back into the act with a small goal, such as one date over the next month. Your dating skills will improve over time and you’ll get clearer on what you’re looking for.”
Try a video date: “Virtual dates are a safe, easy way to see if you and your match have chemistry, all from the comfort of your own home.”
Don’t count yourself out: “You may assume that being a parent means you’re unlikely to find someone! That’s not true. There are many people who are specifically looking for someone like you. For example, a dater who can’t have biological kids on their own but wants to be a parent. You’ll never know who’s interested until you put yourself out there.”
Partner with another parent: “Team up with another parent who is single and take turns babysitting during date nights. You might find it easier to date other parents so that they will be on the same page about your schedule being hectic, babysitters falling through at the last minute, and the fact that your children will always come first.”
Be compassionate with yourself: “If you’re putting yourself out there again for the first time since you became a parent, it’s scary. When a date doesn’t turn out how you hoped it would, talk to yourself the way you’d speak to your best friend. Learn to use that compassionate tone with yourself.”