A Dating App For Single Parents Is Finally Here

It's about damn time.

Couple on date drinking wine in restaurant

In the world of online dating apps, there’s an app for seemingly everyone. There are specialized apps to help farmers, clowns, and the filthy rich meet their match. The very tall, the mustachioed, and those with food allergies have their own platforms to mingle too. So do sea captains. This is in addition, of course, to the powerhouse dating apps like OkCupid, Match, Tinder, and Hinge that cater to the broader public. At long last, another sector is getting a new, and much-deserved, place to tap and swipe: Single parents.

Stir is a dating app for single parents created by the Match Group, the company that owns Hinge, Tinder, OkCupid, and Match among others. Launched yesterday in honor of National Single Parents Day, the platform offers a polished, easy-to-navigate space for single parents to sort through and chat with other singles — parents and non-parents. But it also has a few specialized features to help overcome hurdles that single parents tend to face in the dating world.

Single parents are often at the mercy of serious time constraints, which can make dating difficult. Daycare. School. Co-parenting schedules. All of these can make free time hard to find. One of the Stir’s main features is called “Stir Time,” and is intended to circumvent those challenges. With it, users have the option to indicate what days and times they’re normally free. Filling out this information matches users with only those who have a similar schedule, thus doing away with the frustration of never finding a good time to meet up.

As Stir is a dating app, there are also personality questions users are prompted to answer when they first set up their profiles. But alongside the standard ones that help gauge values and personality traits are those about whether you have kids, if you’re interested in having more, what a perfect night sans kids looks like, and more. All criteria to help narrow down a prospective dating pool.

It’s about time a major company created an app that caters to single parents. Census statistics indicate that, as of 2021, 15.31 million children in the U.S. live with a single mother, and about 3.27 million live with a single father. Already burdened with wildly busy schedules and such factors as co-parenting arrangements, single parents can have a hard time dating because matches can often see kids as a red flag.

“Having kids shouldn’t be a dealbreaker when dating,” Dinh Thi Bui, Vice President of New Verticals at Match Group said in a press release. “We’re dedicated to giving single parents a dating experience where they are celebrated and feel like they can be themselves. With that, our hope is that they can truly focus on having a personal life beyond navigating parenthood.”

No, single parents don’t need to be corralled into a smaller pen when dating and can certainly find whatever they’re looking for on one of the larger apps. But it’s great to finally have an app meant specifically for them.

Stir is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It’s free to download and does not require a subscription to message others. However, a premium membership costs $90 for three months and includes such features as profile boosting and “super likes.”