When you’ve got a lot on your plate, like a career, maintaining a clean home, raising children, and keeping a relationship with your own friends, it may feel like there is no time left to go out on dates. Single moms often feel like dating can be incredibly scary and intimidating, especially should things get serious, your children will now be involved in the relationship, too.
We’ve come up with ten tips that you should follow when you’re looking for Mr. Right while still maintaining that perfect balance that is required with being a single mom.
- Be flexible. Your situation isn’t going to be perfect and you’re not the only one who will have to cancel plans with a potential suitor because the babysitter canceled at the last minute. Your child should always be your first priority. Be that as it may, you should also be understanding if something comes up and the guy your dating has to reschedule—it’s a two-way street.
- Don’t expect the new guy to overcompensate for your ex’s downfalls. Your ex may not have been everything you wanted in a partner, but you shouldn’t expect your new partner to pick up the slack. This means you shouldn’t expect him to be at your every beckoned call; and when it comes to your children, their father may not have attended the baseball games or take them to that movie they wanted to see. You don’t want to expect the new guy to feel obligated to do these things either. Just go with the flow—if your new man wants to step up and be a father figure, great. Just don’t make it an expectation.
- Don’t assess his parenting skills on the first date. It’s the first date and you looking at him, not as a man with whom you can have fun with, but rather you’re looking to see if he’ll be a good father figure. You don’t want to date someone based on whether or not they have parenting skills, but if you enjoy spending time with them. The first few dates are intended for you to get to know them and see if you have a connection. Sure, you can keep an eye out on if they have good parenting qualities, but it isn’t a requirement until later on.
- Don’t force your children to like him. Your kids aren’t going to make it easy for you to move on, that much you can already expect. You aren’t going to control how they feel about the new person in your life, so you shouldn’t make them spend time with this new person if they don’t want to. Give them some time to warm up to the new guy on their own terms.
- You’re a single mom, don’t feel guilty for wanting to date again. You’re just hitting your prime and you certainly don’t want to wait until the kids are grown and away at college to start dating. You’re only human and it is natural to want to fall in love with someone who makes you happy. As long as you are holding down the fort at home, your children are well cared for, and you’re not putting them in harm’s way, we say go out there and date! You deserve to have a conversation with someone that doesn’t involve homework, arts and crafts, or Disney.
- Don’t try to be Super Woman. Being a single mom is overwhelming, that much is true. When you decide that you are ready to get back out there, you’ll want to reach out to a trusted support system, whether it is your family, friends, members of the church… Whomever you can confide in to help you safely navigate the road between single mom and single moms who go on dates. These people are going to provide you with essential emotional and physical support (as well as act as baby sitters from time to time). No one person can do everything on their own, and still have “me” time. You shouldn’t feel guilty for having to lean on people to help you. It just goes with the territory, after all, and the sooner you can come to terms with this, the happier you and your children will be.