Single Parent Sessions: Nevine Coutry

Our Single Parent Sessions are a series of interviews where we speak with single parents about all things dating & parenthood. This week, we’re talking to Playdate founder and CEO, Nevine Coutry.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. 

I’m Nevine – I am the founder and CEO of Playdate – the UK’s first ever dating app for single parents! I was born in Egypt, but have lived in the UK on and off for 18 years – at the moment I live in London. I’ve been divorced for 7 years and have an 8 year old son. 

What does your current situation as a parent look like?

I have shared custody with my son’s father but my son lives with me and has alternating weekends at his dad’s. 

Single parent Nevine and her son

How do you spend time away from your son? 

To be honest, I don’t spend that much time away from my son as he lives with me and I get the odd weekend to myself but when I do get some down time, I love meeting up with my girlfriends and looking after myself, like taking a long bath! 


When did you start dating after your separation/divorce?

I started dating around 8 months after my divorce.  It may seem too soon but I was ‘checked out’ of my marriage for over a year before we divorced so I was emotionally detached from the relationship for quite a long time.


What is the biggest struggle dating when you are a single parent? 

Eek, where to start! 

As a single parent you can’t be as spontaneous as you once were –  you have responsibilities and are juggling a million things at once. It can be hard to find someone that really does understand your position.

Your time is also incredibly precious. There is a lot more effort that goes into arranging a date as a single parent – organising childcare and then being stood up at the last minute is really tough, and not really fair on your children either. 

By dating another single parent, it removes a lot of these stresses as the other person is a lot more likely to understand that your children are a priority, and you can’t just drop everything and meet up.


How did you find the time to date alongside work and being a parent? 

It certainly is challenging, but it is so important to make that time to date if you want to meet someone. You have to lean on your support system – whether that’s friends or family, or childcare services like Bubble. Most of my family are still in Egypt, so Bubble was a real lifesaver for me; I really trusted them to look after my son and give me that piece of mind so I could relax when I went on dates.

You can be creative with your time, too.  Rather than a standard Friday or Saturday night dinner date, you could have a quick coffee after the school run, or meet for a walk on a Sunday if that’s the day you don’t have your kids. 


Tell us how the idea behind Playdate first started?

I actually came up with the idea when I randomly met a single dad at a birthday party with whom I started a relationship with shortly after and he was telling me how he had been looking for a single mum to have a meaningful relationship with and how difficult it is to find someone who understands what being a parent means. We were lucky to have met by chance but how many single parents out there are struggling to meet other like-minded single parents? I then started researching and realised that out of 1,700 dating apps and sites available in the UK, not one of them catered solely to single parents. It was a ‘bingo’ moment for me and I decided then and there to create the UK’s first dating app for single parents.


Why did you call the app Playdate? 

Playdate is a term used and known by all parents and it is usually used in the context of organising playdates for the kids.  I thought that name would really resonate with parents and only parents would get it, it’s a play on words and in this context it’s a parent playdate! It is also a fun and playful name, as I think all single parents deserve a bit of fun amidst all the stress and responsibilities we carry as single parents.


What is your favourite thing about the Playdate app?

To be honest, I love that by creating this app we are giving single parents the chance to find love again. If I had to pick just one thing though, I would probably say the invisibility feature as it’s so unique and solves a really important issue for a lot of our users.  


With the premium membership, the ‘make invisible’ feature allows users to make themselves invisible to certain users, even if they are not on the app yet.  Single parents often fear their ex-partner seeing them on a dating app. This totally removes that- enabling them to have the best stress-free dating experience they can. 


Is it important to you that your next partner is also a single parent?

For me personally, 100%. I want someone like-minded who will truly understand what being a parent is like. I don’t want to have to explain to someone why my son is my priority – I want them to truly understand and respect that.

What one piece of advice would you give to fellow single parents who are too scared or nervous to start dating again? 

Entering the dating world again as a single parent can be extremely daunting. However, I found that by meeting up with other single parents you immediately had something in common, which often helped break the ice. You can also go into a date with confidence knowing that they won’t be scared off by your kids! 

Playdate is the UK’s first single parent dating app – everyone on the app has kids so everyone is in the same boat. You can download it today completely free and we’ll match you with potential dates based on the filters you set. 

Describe your ideal first date 

I love a man that can cook so my ideal date would be a romantic home cooked meal with some great wine! It might seem a bit bold for a first date but I would love that. 


Describe being a parent in 3 words. 

All encompassing, bittersweet, fun!

Which other single parent inspires you? 

To be honest, all single parents I know inspire me.  It is a huge undertaking, regardless of your situation, and takes a lot of sacrifice and hard work.  When I see other single parents being their best selves and trying to provide the best lives for their children, that is inspiring and helps me to keep on going!


You can hear Nevine speak at the Divorce Fair on 22nd February 2022.

Meet like-minded single parents today – download Playdate for free.


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