For a single mom, contemplating the idea of dating again can be a little stressful. It’s definitely not the same as it was in the past. Dating BEFORE CHILDREN and dating AFTER CHILDREN are two completely different situations.
So when a guy you like comes around, you might have doubts and ask yourself a million questions, such as: is this the right time? What will people think of me if they see me dating someone? I’m already a mom: is this the right thing to do at all?!…It’s totally normal to feel this way, and you shouldn’t be so harsh on yourself or feel terrified with the idea. See it from the bright side. This is an OPPORTUNITY to feel all the excitement that comes along with meeting and getting to know someone new!
Keep an open mind when dating again
Getting involved with someone from work might be a no-no for you, as workplace romances can get quite complicated very quickly. Some companies do not allow employees to date each other for obvious reasons. So you might want to steer clear of this situation unless you are prepared to quit your job if things get serious. Most of us cannot afford to do this. So look in other logical places.
You might be the type of person that feels comfortable dating people you meet at certain places only. The ideal place might be a lounge or the bar you normally go to…well, this might work, but, don’t limit yourself to a specific place because your social life is not as active as it used to be, especially if you haven’t had very good experiences with people you met at these places.
Everyone is different, but you might become disappointed pretty quickly in the search of that special someone, considering that now you might want to date someone with different qualities and not a guy that is into clubbing every weekend.
Try new places, such as: outdoor activities (hiking, biking, etc.), museums, art & wine festivals (these are so in, and they are so much fun!), cafes, and why not?…online dating, you might find some weirdos there but we all know they also work for a lot of people! You can try most of these for free, so don’t knock it until you try it! Some of the top dating sites are: eHarmony , Zoosk , OKcupid , POF , Match.com , and even SingleParentmeet has pretty good reviews. Some places may charge and you will have to decide whether you can afford to attend. But if not, try some of the free social gatherings. Even if you don’t find that special someone right away, you will still have a lot of fun! And moms need a lot of fun!
The benefit of the doubt
If someone new has shown up in your life recently, have and an open mindset. Give yourself a chance to get to know him and don’t be so quick to judge. Just because your ex took forever to reply to your texts because he was messing around with someone else, does not mean that the next guy will do the same thing.Maybe you’re ex used to say he was working overtime when he was actually out with his friends. Again, try not to judge the new guy based on assumptions. Maybe your ex used to be just as “healthy” as the new guy, but later in the relationship, you found out he loved to get drunk and high more than anything in the world!… This is a total deal breaker when you are a mom. But you won’t know any of these things when you first meet a new man.
It’s fair to say that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. Don’t stress over it or show signs of mistrust when you have no grounds for that distrust. Distrust will be a huge turn off to a new guy. Stay alert so you will recognize the red flags.Know and understand that everyone has a different routine, priorities, and lifestyles and that will change the way people go about including someone in their lives.
All of us have idiosyncrasies in the way we live and conduct our lives. Sometimes it takes a little, and in some cases a lot, of adjustment between two people to make a relationship work. Remember that this new guy also has had bad experiences. You each should try not to reflect you bad experiences onto the other person.
Be casual and don’t get too attached
This is a huge one! There are mainly 3 reasons why you should not get too attached to a new person in your life.
First: you shouldn’t fall for the first guy that comes your way. You’re only dating and, just because you’re a single mom, it doesn’t mean you need to start planning the wedding after the third date! The point is, if you go too fast, he will probably see you as a woman that is desperate to be in a relationship again. This might totally freak him out and he will most likely end something that could potentially have had a future. So even if you are lonely and desperate, do not let a new man know it! Keep it to yourself and try to work through those feelings yourself.
Second: it’s never good to show feelings TOO SOON—EVER! This new man doesn’t know you and if you get too emotionally attached too soon, you might send mixed signals. He might think you are getting attached because you’re looking for a new “baby daddy” and that will also push him away sooner rather than later!
Third: and most important, you need to protect and take care of your feelings. If you get too involved with someone and it doesn’t work out, that will affect other areas of your life. It can affect your personal and professional life and you can’t allow that. Know that you might find a person you really connect with as soon as you start dating, and that is absolutely great! But there is also a high probability you will date a few people before you find a person with mutual feelings. Be as selective as you want, keep it fun and casual and enjoy dating again.
There is no better way to explain it!! This applies to anyone interested in dating again, and it should not be any different for YOU. Be yourself all of the time! Don’t fabricate a life you don’t have, and don’t hide things about your life as a single mom, just to make you more appealing to this person. You may not want to be an open book with someone you just met, and that makes total sense, but also keep in mind that dishonesty never leads to anything positive. If you tell this guy a few lies because you don’t believe the relationship is going anywhere, and then the relationship develops into something serious, trying to explain the truth afterward could be a real uncomfortable situation.
Actually, it could be disastrous and end the relationship. On top of trying to explain away the lies, you’ll ruin his trust for no reason. And for almost all men, THIS IS A DEAL BREAKER! Be open and honest about your life, and always take pride in the accomplishments in your life. Being a mom is a great accomplishment, so be very proud of your child/children. Let this new man know right away that you have responsibilities. This can sometimes weed out men that are not ready to ready-made family. The rejection may hurt a little, but it is better now than later.
Don’t stress it but…
Remember that if the guy you’re dating has decent intentions, he will try to understand your life as it is. He will focus on getting to know YOU, your personality, values, and even your flaws; and the fact that you’re a single mom shouldn’t be an obstacle to move forward. You should do the same toward him. Focus on finding a connection, and the qualities you value in the man that may become a part of your life.
Don’t get discouraged if things don’t turn out the way you expect them at the beginning when you go back to dating. Odds are, you will not find your soulmate on your first date. And don’t expect to. It can and does happen occasionally, but do not expect it to happen to you. You will save yourself a lot of disappointment if you keep healthy and logical expectations. It is absolutely normal to feel some disappointment when you first start dating, but do not let that ruin your experiences or your expectations. Your point of view has significantly changed since becoming a mom, and dating has a different meaning now in your life. It definitely is not a priority but, on the other hand, you shouldn’t rule it out completely. REMEMBER—you are single, you are beautiful, you are a mom, and—-YES! you are absolutely entitled to date again!