So you’re a single mom, and thinking of getting back into the dating game. Well, good for you! Here are a few rules that will help ease your way back into the fray.
Self doubt is a big enemy, but it doesn’t have to be. Just because you have children doesn’t make you less desirable to men – and the man for you is out there, looking for you. There are plenty of men who also have children and value a woman with a family, as there are wonderful men without children who are more than happy to commit to a woman just like you – an individual who has a big capacity to love.
The second big rule, is to put past hurts and pains behind you. The fact that you are a single mom means that you’ve probably been through a lot emotionally so make sure you invest time and energy into healing you. On a first date, this is not the time to exhibit your emotional battle scars. If he’s Mr. Right, the time to cry on each other’s shoulders about the past will come. Dating is dating, and similar dating advice applies to women with or without children.
Body image can be a bit of a confidence killer. After having a baby or two, your body isn’t going to be the same as it was when you were a girl of fifteen – why should it? So focus on getting yourself as healthy as possible, inside and out… the most important is feeling good from within first, and a get a good haircut, getting fit and trim, buy some nice clothes (even if they’re from the bargain rail) and update your makeup will help the process. Nice guys are not half as body image obsessed as you might think – they really do put personality first. Those guys who want perfection – let them go look for it somewhere else, they aren’t worth having.
If there is a shortage of men in your immediate environment, then try online dating. Be ultra cautious, go through a reputable organization if you can, and both of you should ideally exchange several photos and I recommend to speak before you meet. Keep emails and calls to a minimum. If he sounds nice, make a time to meet rather than spend precious time communicating with a man that you may not actually like in person. The few first meeting should be in a public place and make sure a girlfriend or two knows where you are and who you are meeting.
The first thing for single moms to remember when going on a date is that, much as you may love your children, your date is going out on a date with YOU, not THEM. So unless you happen to meet the guy when you’re out and about with your children, and even then, in the early stages of dating it’s best to leave them at home.
Remember that you’re a woman. Sure, briefly mention the fact that you have children, if he doesn’t already know, but for once, put them in the back of your mind. If it turns him off, then there’s no hope for the relationship anyway. Focus on getting to know this man, and letting him get to know you.
It might be hard for you to get away for a date, but if you share this with your girlfriends and family, you’ll find they will be only too happy to help pave the way to romance for you by babysitting, having the kids overnight and the like. Use your network unashamedly!
The time will come for him to meet the children. Don’t rush this, the best thing is to wait for him to ask or when you have spent quality time with him alone, the relationship is getting more serious and you have no reason to doubt that he’s a good man. To start off, A low key meeting such as a trip to the zoo or to a movie, followed by a pizza, is idea. The kids may of course behave horribly, but if he’s the right guy for you, he’ll take this all in his stride.
Don’t ever give up – there are plenty of lovely men out there just looking for someone like you to love.