Smart Living | Smart Living

Smart Living | 27 Apr 2022

Single parents: Our guide to the best dating and friendship apps

It can be lonely being a parent, but the latest apps and networks make it easier to build a social life with like-minded people (without going the full Tinder).

It takes a village, as the saying goes. But now that nearly one-in-four families in the UK is now headed up by a single parent, finding that village can sometimes feel a little more daunting when you’re going solo.

How do you meet your new playground pals, your coffee-shop crew or your school-gate gang when you haven’t got a wingman (or woman) beside you? Don’t panic. Because however old your kid, and whatever sort of companionship you’re after, there’s now an app for that.

For perfect platonic relations


Credits: Frolo

When Zoe Desmond found herself a single parent and feeling isolated, she began designing her dream app – one that would help her connect to other likeminded single parents in her area and create the support system she and her son needed. On Frolo, you can load your interests, location and your child’s age onto your profile and wait to be matched with similar parents in your area. There are even meet-ups and trips.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

For mum mates only


Credits: Peanut

Though it isn’t geared exclusively towards single mums, Peanut is a great app for finding local and like-minded mothers. In short, it’s a platonic Tinder for mums – if two mothers ‘wave’ at each other’s profiles, they can chat.

The app was designed to combat the stigma attached to the loneliness many new mums experience. And as it was launched by tech entrepreneur Michelle Kennedy – who previously worked on the dating app Bumble – it’s also a gorgeous app to navigate.

Available on the App Store and Google Play


Credits: Mush

Billed as ‘the friendliest app for mums’, Mush is also one of the UK’s biggest, which means you’ll find women from right across the UK and in all sorts of parenting situations.

After uploading a brief profile, the app highlights the mums living closest to you and enables you to reach out and spark a conversation. You can find local friends with kids the same age, arrange meet-ups, get advice on message boards, or simply chat during that 2am feed. Whatever you need.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

For real-life romance


Zoe Desmond launched Frolo Dating at the start of this year, after recognising that regular dating sites can be a minefield for single parents. Do you mention your children on your profile? Will you be judged? All such worries are wiped away on Frolo.

Ms Desmond has designed an app that focuses on users’ parenting and lifestyle values, not just their looks. It is the world’s first, fully user-verified single parenting dating app (meaning you can be confident that everyone really is who they say they are) and even has a clever ‘no ghosting’ feature. The only drawback? It’s currently only live in the southern half of England.

Available on the App Store and Google Play


Credits: Playdate

Created by single mum Nevine Coutry, Playdate was the UK’s first dating app designed specifically for single parents. You can set filters relating to issues that are especially pertinent to parents (like whether you ever want more children) and even use an ‘invisibility’ feature to make sure your ex cannot see your profile. Cunning.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

For IRL interactions


Credits: Nextdoor

For single parents who’d rather forge friendships off-screen, but don’t know where to find their tribe, this app can be a godsend. Unlike other social media platforms that connect you with people on the other side of the planet, Nextdoor is all about forging connections right on your doorstep.

Enter the first line of your address, and then join your neighbourhood ‘group’. You’ll soon find out your neighbours’ passions and peeves, as well as discovering all the local events (from dog walks to street parties) at which to meet your next babysitter, or even best friend.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

For stress-free co-parenting


Credits: Amicable

Once you do find your new friends or partner, this app, created by co-parents, is designed to take the stress out of navigating parenthood when you are no longer a couple.

The key feature is a shared co-parenting calendar where you can log details like school drop-offs and pick-ups, doctors’ appointments and school holiday activities so that both parents are on the same page. But you can also set co-parenting goals for your child under headings like ‘living’, ‘wellbeing’ and ‘school’ and message one another on a single, secure platform.

The app even has coaches with whom you can book a call if communications get tricky.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

For babysitters


Credits: Bubble

It’s all very well finding your new best mates (or even boyfriend) online. But once you’ve connected, how are you going to hang out or date? Download the Bubble app and you can find, then book, local sitters and nannies who have been recommended by people in your community.

They even have a partnership with Playdate (the dating app for single parents) – hire a nanny for a date through Playdate and get a discount.

So what are you waiting for?

Available on the App Store and Google Play

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