As a single mom, it can be difficult to venture out into the dating world. Single mothers have to wear many hats, putting on the dating hat, too, can be overwhelming. The good news is it’s possible to be a single mom and have fun dating and relaxing with people of the opposite sex. The key is to keep your wits about you and to understand that you are the one that makes the rules. Here are some tips that can help guide you.
Be emotionally healthy
If you have recently left a relationship, give yourself time to heal emotionally before you start dating. It is easy to get involved with someone who is not truly compatible for you when you are lonely, vulnerable, and when your self-esteem may be low. Wait until your heart heals so you can avoid a disastrous rebound relationship. When you do enter the dating scene, don’t become exclusive with the first man that raises your interest.
Keep it real
Single mothers are notorious for being martyrs. Don’t forego dating, or keep yourself from enjoying a date when you are on it, because of worry or guilt about your children being left with a sitter. If you don’t keep those feeling in check, you may find that they do a number on your brain. In fact, they can easily become an excuse for you to avoid intimacy and a social life altogether.
Never chase after a man
One of the biggest mistakes that women make, whether a single mom or not, is chasing after men. Men have hunting instincts and they like challenges. Let men initiate the contact again and again. If they are truly interested, they will continue to call and ask to spend time with you.
Article continues below...
Tune in to your date
Do not spend your entire dating time talking about your children non-stop. Allot five to ten minutes of communication time to the subject of your children, if they are brought up, and then move the conversation along. If all you do is talk about your children when you are on a date, the man may begin to feel that there is no room in your life for anyone else. He may also think that you don’t have much going on as an individual because you’ve wrapped your whole identity up in being a ‘mom’.
Down downplay your children
When you do meet a man who you feel may be Mr. Right, never feel that because you have children that you are less of a catch. Be proud that you are a mom and never send the message that you feel it hinders you or makes you less worthy of a relationship. Never feel or act apologetic for being a package deal! Any man that is worth your time will respect you and your life and he will be capable of rising to the occasion and forming a quality relationship with you.
Meeting your children
Children form attachments very easily. You should not let a man come into your home and interact with your children unless you are fairly certain he is going to be around for a very long stretch of time. Wait until you have formed a strong bond with a man before you bring him into your children’s lives. If possible, keep your children from seeing the various men you date. Arrange for them to be a sitter’s or relative’s home when you go out on dates, or arrange to meet your date outside or at a public place.
With that said, you should never lie or keep things from your children. However, do keep the information you give to them at an age-appropriate level. Do not feel that you have to hide the fact that you are going out with ‘a friend’ a secret. While they shouldn’t know everything you do when you go out, do give them some idea of what you will be doing so they can feel at peace with you away. You children need to learn (and respect) that you are an individual, not just a mom. They need to learn it is OK for mom to go out to eat or to a movie with a friend.
Never ask your children to keep anything from their father. This confuses children and makes them feel insecure. If your children’s father comes to you and says that the children told him you were dating, don’t get into a discussion about it with him. You are no longer a couple and your life is your own. As long as you are being a good mother, who you date and where you go is none of his business.