Avoid Rushing Into Something
Yes, your responsibilities and attitudes are different now that you are a single mom, but that doesn’t mean you have to get married right away. Beyond getting your own needs for support and affection met, you must now consider what is best for your kids. (No one has to tell you that, obviously.) This may mean taking it extra slow instead of hoping you can find someone to settle down with after three dates.
Don’t Waste Time
On the other hand, it is important that you keep from stringing things along hoping your relationship will get better. Many single mothers, yearning for the stability of a multi-parent family, hold on to men who either aren’t willing to commit or are unworthy candidates for being stepdads. This is bad for you and your children, not to mention the guy you’ve welcomed into your home. If you have reservations, you need to honest about them – especially with yourself.
Have Some Respect for Your Ex
Let’s be honest: sometimes it is really difficult to remain cordial with the father of your children. (You guys didn’t last for a reason, right?) However, when you begin dating again, you must be careful to avoid making it seem as if you are attempting to rub your new guy in your old man’s face. It might feel good to have connected with someone who treats you right, yet the appearance of discord would be hard on your kids. Make every effort to be kind and caring when dealing with your ex – and tell the guy you are dating to do so, too.
Keep Your Mind Open
Dating is a lot different now than it was even ten years ago. The growth of the worldwide web has led to an increase in the number of couples who met online, while the increased acceptance of speed dating has given you another choice besides hoping you cross paths with an attractive guy in the freezer aisle. You might feel a bit desperate, yet there’s another way to look at it: you are committed to finding a good guy and will leave no stone unturned.
Not every experience will be a winner, but you better believe you will find a man worth spending time with much faster if you are willing to do whatever it takes. (Plus, you’ll have some great “before I met you” stories.)
Don’t Leave Your Kids Out of the Loop
As much as you would like to think your dating life is private, you have to remember there are some people you feed and clothe who have a right to know, too. Young children might have difficulty understanding how it works – and you should hold back until the first few dates have gone well – but you must be honest with them about your intentions. (“I’m going to find you a stepdaddy” is not a good answer.)
Explain that you are looking for the right man to support and love you – and, when the time is right, set up an introduction so you can see how they all handle meeting each other.
You have a lot to think about when it comes to dating, which is why one of the best tips for single mothers is to focus on having some fun. It can be incredibly nerve-wracking to balance all of your responsibilities, there is no doubt about that, but your ability to relax and have a good time will make you that much more attractive to whoever you end up joining for dinner. Who knows? You might even end up laughing your way to the altar!
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