Like other online services, except children flaunted throughout profiles
Having his date’s cellphone ring in the middle of dinner doesn’t usually bother Peter Ehrlich. Nor is he troubled by an evening interlude that’s over by 10 p.m. or cut short by an emergency at home.
Ehrlich understands it is part of dating a single parent.
He understands because he is one too.
And after 15 years on the single parent-dating scene, Ehrlich knows the juggling act it takes to look after his 16-year-old son and still find time to date.
That is why he, along with co-founder and veteran of the online dating industry Mitch Solway, startedwww.singleparentlovelife.com, an online dating community for single parents and singles open to meeting them.
The site, which launched in November and already has 1,200 members, gives single parents a chance to flaunt their sexuality and still be proud parents.
"(Statistics Canada shows that) single parents are the fastest growing family type," says Ehrlich.
Apparently, they’re also the type who likes to take control of their mouse.
"According to our research, one third of (all) online daters are single parents," says Bradley Moseley-Williams, Singleparentlovelife.com’s vice president of public relations, adding the market just seemed right for a website that catered to this specific niche.
Browsing through the online profiles, they look like any other dating website. There is an opening line, a place for a picture, and specifications on height, age, religion, and interests/hobbies. The difference? Instead of an apologetic line at the bottom of the profile stating, "I am a single parent. If you don’t like kids, please move on" — as you might find on most mainstream websites — the children are flaunted throughout the profiles.
The profiles also have a section where users can specify what kind of relationship they are looking for, with categories such as "Looking for someone for me. I’m not looking for someone to replace the other parent," to the more Brady bunch approach of "Not afraid of blending both our worlds."
"We wanted to create a website that talks the talk of single parents," says Ehrlich.
But he too remembers what it was like to put himself out there again on the dating scene once he became single plus a minor.
"You have to be prepared to re-launch your love life. Get to the gym. Pamper yourself. Do things that make you feel good," says Ehrlich. This not only helps you to look the dating part, but also to feel confident in your dating ventures.
Everything else is just a smile or e-mail away.