Getting back into the dating game after divorce or the loss of a partner can be extremely challenging especially when children are involved. Sometimes, you might even feel it’s impossible or even embarrassing. But you have needs too and dating shouldn’t be the preserve of women without kids.
We all deserve love or at least the possibility of getting love. Dating as a single mom is like searching for a second chance – you never know if you would get it if you don’t try. Don’t forget why you want to date – happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy – your kids will want you to be happy as well.
That being said, the decision to go back into the dating game should not be taken lightly. There are a couple of adjustments you need to make when dating as a single mother. These things are necessary if you want to have a successful relationship while still retaining the trust and love of your kids.
This short guide will help you prepare for dating as a single mother.
- Emotional Availability
Before considering dating as a single mum, you need to ask yourself if you are emotionally available. It’s important you know if you’re ready mentally and physically before jumping into the dating pool. You should not go into a new relationship as a form of grieving or as rebound. Yes, it might take awhile to get over your marriage or the loss of a spouse but you should only consider dating someone else when you’re ready. No one can determine when you’re ready for you except yourself. It could take months or even years, but no matter how long it takes, you need to decide when you want to try dating again.
Thinking about yourself is critical when you’re about going into a relationship and it is sometimes, normal to forget about the other person. Someone else’s feeling is involved as well and it takes two to tango. You don’t want to get into a relationship with someone by making them excited only for them to find out you don’t have the time to be with them or follow through. Even if you’re busy, not having the time to check up or say hi could be a big let down for even the most patient of men.
Here, you need to ask yourself what you’re looking for. are you searching for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? Do you want someone who is totally different or you want someone like your ex-husband? Sometimes, single mothers who lost their spouse to a sickness or an accident could go into dating hoping to replicate their old spouse. This is a recipe for disaster as there are no two people who are alike. However, if your marriage failed due to a divorce, you would definitely be looking for someone who is totally different from your ex-husband. Either way, you could look at your failed marriage as either a traumatic loss or a substantial learning experience that you can learn from.
Now you have a better experience of the kind of person that will be suitable for you going forward and the ones that are toxic to you. Also, you shouldn’t just think of things you wished were different with your last marriage, you should also think of new ways you can make things work. Getting answers to questions like this means you have to take responsibility and own up to your mistakes.
All these new knowledge needs to be used to build your next relationship. You need to figure out how you can change these details about yourself and how to enter a new relationship with a clean slate.
Dating will be different
When you’re a single mom, dating will be different for you. You won’t just be looking for a guy that is suitable for you but you will also be looking for a guy that is suitable for your family. This means he needs to be able to handle your kids and your kids need to accept him. His morals need to be similar to yours and he needs to step up as a father figure for your kids as well.
A potential suitor should also be comfortable with knowing that you are bound to another person for life since you share kids with them. If they can’t respect that or have reservations, you should let them go as there is bound to be problems in the future. If he is possessive at the early stage, that’s your red flag.
Everything you do once you start dating will be reflected on your kids. Even casual dating or one-night stands will not feel the same and sometimes, you might feel you’re cheating on your kids especially when you’re making out in your home when they are in school with their toys sitting around the house. What you need to remember at this stage is that apart from being a great mother, you have to be a human being as well.
Remember that dating a guy as a single mother means you’ve managed to get your pieces together. You’re no longer confused – now you know what you want because you’ve been there. You’re searching for someone to fit into the life you’ve built. Your desires are more specific than when you were single without kids. Also, you have the opportunity to start afresh. You will also learn how your kids welcome or cannot welcome a new person into their lives and if they prove to be stubborn, remember that they are only worried about what it might mean for their relationship with you. It doesn’t mean they hate you. It only means they are scared.
Dating as a single mother should not’ be as scary as it is being made out to be as long as you follow the rules and carry your kids along at every step of the way – you’ll be fine.