Kate Gosselin talks dating again as a single mom of 8 – and all on reality TV

Kate Gosselin turns to reality TV as she returns to dating game.

June 24, 2019, 4:37 PM

For a single parent, getting back in the dating game can be daunting – but for "Kate Plus 8" star Kate Gosselin, it's an even bigger challenge.

"I don't want to be single for the rest of my life. And I felt that way for a long time," Gosselin told ABC News' Deborah Roberts.

"I just feel like dating always fell in the category of 'extra' … and just anything that wasn't necessary gets cut out, so it didn't really happen," Gosselin said. "At the end of the day, you're just tired and want to go to bed and you don't feel like doing anything."

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For more than a decade she's lived her life, from the chaos of raising sextuplets and twins to the breakup of her marriage, with reality TV cameras rolling – first on TLC's "Jon and Kate Plus 8," and after her 2009 divorce, on "Kate Plus 8."

PHOTO: Kate Gosselin with her children will appear on "Celebrity Wife Swap" with former Playboy Magazine cover girl Kendra Wilkinson.
Kate Gosselin with her children will appear on "Celebrity Wife Swap" with former Playboy Magazine cover girl Kendra Wilkinson.
Donna Svennevik/Walt Disney Television via Getty

She exposed herself to intense scrutiny on everything from her haircut to the way she raises her children.

"It's really hard like when people ask me questions like 'So what is your life like?' I mean, I almost feel like saying, 'Do you have 10 years for me to explain it?'" Gosselin said.

So when she was finally ready to find companionship again, she went back to what she knows best – reality TV.

Get ready for "Kate Plus Date."

"[This job] fell in my lap and I made the best of an amazing opportunity and I don't regret it," Gosselin said. "I mean people try to stand in the way of me doing my job but like, don't you rely on your job to pay your bills?"

She says she's "not worried about what people say about me at all."

"I feel like I know what my role is as a mom, and I know that there is eight people on the planet that matter to me and their opinions matter," she said. "If those eight people say that I've done a good job, honestly the rest doesn't even matter."

On the new show, a matchmaker sets up a number of dates for this mom of eight. Some go well – and others, not so much. The good, the bad, the ugly – it's all there.

"For me, it's definitely about finding love, because I wouldn't be fake dating just like I don't fake life," she said. "If I wasn't really invested in trying to find somebody, I have no business being there."

However, she said initially she was "scared to death" and that her fear and discomfort could be seen on the show at first.

Her two eldest children, twins Cara and Mady Gosselin, are part of the new show. They weren't even 4 years old when their six brothers and sisters were born. Now they're 18.

"I think we've all been worried," Mady Gosselin said about their mom dating again. "It's always in the back of our mind like 'When we all leave, she'll be here by herself with the dogs.' We didn't want her to be alone. We all feel that way."

PHOTO: ABC News' Deborah Roberts interviews Kate Gosselin (right) and her twin daughters, Cara and Mady Gosselin, for "Nightline."
ABC News' Deborah Roberts interviews Kate Gosselin (right) and her twin daughters, Cara and Mady Gosselin, for "Nightline."
ABC News

These are their last few months living at home before heading off to college.

"It doesn't feel like we're parting with our family forever [or] parting with… 'Kate Plus 8' forever," Mady Gosselin said. "I think… it's our lives and we're not moving away. I mean we're just going to college."

The other six are not far behind – they just turned 15 in May.

"Pretty soon they're gonna be heading out of the house and it's a mass exodus," Kate Gosselin said. "I mean there's only two age groups, so I have a chunk that leaves and then the other chunk, and then it's over."

Despite her fame, Gosselin insists she's just like any other single mom dipping her toe into the dating pool.

"If it's encouraging to other single parents to walk through the awkward, scary, exciting process with me, I'm happy to be the guinea pig," she said.

She and her ex-husband Jon Gosselin's bitter divorce and ongoing custody battle have played out across the tabloids. It's clear there has been no love lost between the two.

"I'm not sure I really care what he thinks about anything," she said of concerns Jon Gosselin might have about her new show. "I am too busy taking care of my kids."

He recently said of her show, "To each their own… Whatever keeps the lights on."

The years of turmoil and drama and her family in the spotlight haven't been easy. But Gosselin says it was worth it: she said she "absolutely" doesn't regret her kids' exposure to TV.

"They've never done it against their will… They you know it allows me to be with them. They travel and do fun things in fact they get most[ly] angry when we're not filming," she said. I absolutely think that the opportunities it has afforded us… [is] a blessing."

Reality TV life, she said, has taught her kids valuable lessons.

"They're wise beyond their years," she said. "They're traveled and [they] are knowledgeable [about] things that we never would've had a chance to do. And I if I went back, I'd do it all over again."

With her kids nearly grown Gosselin says life for her is about looking ahead, not behind.