Dating as a single mother is probably the most difficult task in the world, right? Is there anything more intimidating than going up to a guy and asking him out on a date? Dating is notoriously difficult and the older you get, the harder it becomes. Now compound all of these issues with the fact that you are a mother and you have a whole new can of worms to deal with. Dating as a single mom can be a nightmare of different problems but fortunately we are here to help you out. Listed below are 15 dating tips that a single mom can employ for this coming Valentine’s Day!
Before you jump back into the world of dating you need to take a long and honest look at what you are: a loving and dedicated mother. When you begin dating you will run into guys or girls who demand more of your time then you are able to give. Never forget your priorities and don’t settle for someone who doesn’t respect them.
We aren’t advocating ditching your friends but it wouldn’t hurt to try and change up your socializing experience. You’re looking at a fresh start with a new romantic partner so quit retreading the same ground. Use the internet to look up speed dating or meet up groups and even consider online dating.
As a single mother you are used to dedicating your life to your child with little room for yourself. Still, you need to take a moment for yourself and embrace the concept of just saying ‘yes’. Forget being a lawyer or going to law school, forget fears from your past relationships, forget your hesitations. Find a babysitter and give that cute guy a chance.
While you need to be courageous and confident you also need to be measured and careful. You are a mom and your child will be impacted by your love life. Has there been enough time between your last relationship and now? Think long and hard: how will your child react to seeing another romantic partner in the home?
11. Pump yourself up.
It’s easy to fall into a pit of self doubt as a single mother. Something obviously happened to change your dating circumstances and it can be easy to blame yourself for whatever problems had occurred. Still, don’t fall into that trap. Remind yourself how much of an awesome woman you are. You are tough, smart, intelligent, beautiful and a rockin’ mom. Pump yourself up and get back in the game.
10. Give yourself a makeover.
You are about to dive full tilt back into the world of romance. Needless to say, things might get heated quickly. Make sure that you are ready by giving yourself a makeover. Hit up the spa and relax like you’ve never relaxed before. Get a manicure, get a massage, get your eyebrows done. Take this time to mentally make yourself over for the dating world.
9. Be prepared to be patient.
You might get lucky and land the greatest guy in the world on your first date. Or you might not. When you go on your date make sure to be as patient as you can be. He won’t understand the reality of your life right away. “Sure, I love kids” may sound nice but it is still just superficial. Allow him to learn more and more about you so that he can understand how important, and real, your children are.
8. Watch for those red flags.
Dating as a single mother can feel like wading through a grassy field of mines. You are never sure where you are stepping and you’re never certain when a mine actually is a mine. You’re going to run across seemingly perfect men who drop those slight red flags. Be aware of them. Also be aware of the big red flags. You aren’t dating just to settle. You deserve the best.
7. Avoid deadlines and ultimatums.
Deadlines and ultimatums are the death of an open mind. As a single mother you know that you don’t want to waste your time but you still need to avoid deadlines and ultimatums. Try to resist putting arbitrary time limits on how long you’ll pursue a guy or be pursued. Keep your mind open and be prepared for love to make its way back into your life. Deadlines and ultimatums create subconscious stress that will ruin your love life.
6. Avoid going exclusive immediately.
You might be in a hurry to find a steady guy for your life but you still should avoid rushing into something. You don’t want to ‘get serious’ with the first guy you go out with. Cast a wide net and be open to anything that comes your way. You are looking for Mr. Right not Mr. Right Now.
If your child is old enough to understand what dating means then you owe it to them to alleviate their fears and concerns. They are obviously going to be nervous about having a new parental figure around. Listen and try to understand where they are coming from. It’s of huge importance that you cultivate a strong relationship with your child and your new partner.
He may be ‘the one’ but you still want to take things slow. Don’t rush your new romantic partner into meeting your kid. Let the relationship grow organically in the direction. You and your child will be better off for it and your new guy will be much more comfortable.
3. Remember that you are building a family.
If all goes well then your new guy will become part of the family. Understand the depth of this concept and acknowledge it appropriately. You are building a family now and there’s no reason to forget that. This will help you weed out the fun ‘boys’ in order to stay focused.
2. Avoid chasing him.
Dating as a single mom can be tough because you really have to prioritize how you spend your time. Don’t continue with a guy who clearly doesn’t respect the work that you are putting in so that you can be available. Don’t chase after a guy who is clearly not making you his priority.
You are nervous and that is totally normal. Dating is stressful and there are certain expectations and limitations bestowed upon you because you are a mother. With all of that being said: don’t be afraid to smile and have fun. You are dating because you are ready.