Are single parents right to put their children before dating?

Rachel Bilson and Louise Redknapp have admitted they put their children before dating [Photo: Getty]

The dating world is difficult enough to navigate as it is, without throwing children and an ex-partner into the mix.

Maybe that’s why single mums Rachel Bilson and Louise Redknapp are putting their kids before relationships.

For Rachel Bilson, prospective dates have to understand that she comes as a package deal with her 4-year-old daughter, Briar Rose.

The 37-year-old got candid about the topic of dating as a single mum on ‘The Viall Files’ podcast, admitting that she always brings up her daughter, who she shares with ex Hayden Christensen, when meeting new men.

"I always put it out there. She's my world and I talk about her all the time. How [f****d] up would it be if I hid that? If you're going to pursue something with someone, they have to be interested in the kid or be willing to be around the kid,” she said, E! News reports.

What’s more ‘The OC’ actress also revealed she’s not about to date anyone who doesn’t show an interest in her daughter.

"I was talking to this guys a few months back, anytime I would bring my daughter up, they would never pursue the question or ask more about her," she confessed.

"It was a red flag because anyone that you're going to get involved with, if you have a kid, they have to be all about the kid."

The ‘Jumper’ actress also admitted that she’s not in a hurry to introduce her daughter to anyone she might meet either.

"She has not met anyone as of yet and it would have to be someone I know I'm going to be with," she said. "It would have to be a very serious relationship."

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It’s a similar dating story as far as Louise Redknapp is concerned too.

The 44-year-old split with her husband Jamie Redknapp after 19 years of marriage in 2017, and the former couple co-parent their sons together.

But, the mum-of-two has admitted that she puts her children before finding a new romance.

The singer and former ‘Strictly’ star revealed that potential suitors would need to understand her two sons Charley, 14, and Beau, 10, will always come first.

“I am single. And anyway, whoever steps in, in the future – if anyone does at all – they will have to understand that they’ll be fourth in line,” she told Daily Mail.

“I have a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old! My focus is on them!

“They will have to be okay with being behind my kids, my work, and my dogs,” she added.

While it is understandable that single parents are cautious when it comes to dating again, recent research has revealed that parenting doesn’t need to put the brakes on future relationships.

A poll of 1,500 singletons by dating site EliteSingles, found that 9 out of ten people wouldn't let kids put them off dating someone.

But, like Rachel Bilson 79 percent of parents would seek their children’s nod of approval when meeting someone new.

READ MORE: Marriage makes men happier than women

Single mums are putting their children before relationships [Photo: Getty]

Commenting on the subject Salama Marine, a psychologist for EliteSingles told Express: "Single parents are often victims of their own prejudices.

"There is a common misconception that finding love as a single parent is more difficult because having children supposedly puts people off.

"However, as this study reveals the majority of individuals are open to the idea of meeting single parents.

"They are perceived as independent and more experienced, and subsequently clearer about what they're seeking in a relationship.

"This puts them at a certain advantage when looking for love.”

And single parents, like Rachel and Louise, who do open up straight away about their children could reap relationship advantages when they do meet someone new.

"Honesty from the beginning is the key to a successful and long-lasting relationship," Marine adds.

Though its undoubtedly understandable that many single parents do want to put their children above everything, including their love lives, one expert has a word of warning to keep in mind.

“No matter how sacrilegious it sounds, you need to put your relationship before your children,” Celebrity sex therapist Laura Berman writes in her relationship guide, The Book of Love.

“A strong relationship provides security for your children and demonstrates how a loving, respectful partnership should be. What could be more important?”