A few days ago I received an email from a young single mother that wasn’t too sure on how to navigate through the dating scene now that she has a little one. I thought this would be a great article idea as there a lot of young moms out there that could also benefit from the information I gathered. I got the male perspective as well as did a bunch of research on single mothers who blog about their experiences and what they found to be most effective. There was a lot of things to touch base on so I started with the basics. If you would love to add anything please feel free to comment below!
First Things First
First thing I can tell you – it’s not going to be easy. Before you decide to really get back out in to the dating world you really need to make sure you have worked through the break up or divorce. Take time to work through the heartbreak, the anger, the sadness and possibly the guilt. Once you work through the emotional aspect of becoming a single mom- you then need to ask yourself why you want to start dating to really gage where you are at.
Are you looking for support? Or are you looking for love?
We all want to build relationships and we all want to find love. Single mothers are obviously no different. Before you start dating you need to make sure you are already supported on your own as this will increase your chances of finding a high-quality guy who is in the relationship for the right reasons. This will also reassure any men you come across that you are self-sustainable and not just looking for a baby daddy. Unfortunately in today’s society men often assume that single women with children are only looking for someone to take care of them. By self-sustaining yourself you quickly nip this in the butt. Focus on yourself and your child first before you make the leap in to inviting someone in to both of your lives.
When you are out meeting new people, I wouldn’t start the conversation off by initially saying you have a kid. They will just assume you are looking for something serious off the bat, and it will make them run or become disinterested. Keep things light and casual initially until things get a little more serious. If you are having a great conversation and you have built a connection then I would let them know with the intention that you are interested in seeing them again. Make sure when you tell them that you sound proud and confident, don’t be shy, or come off like it’s a negative thing because they are not a burden in your life they are a blessing. This confidence not only builds attraction but also sets the tonality of your independence.
If you are doing online-dating– I wouldn’t mention that you have a kid on your profile only because you want to create as many options as possible. Unfortunately by mentioning children you will decrease the number of men messaging you from the pre-misconception that all you want is a dad. It’s unfair but unfortunately thats just how it is. Leave it for a guy who has a connection with you and is genuinely interested, than you can tell him. This isn’t being dishonest; it’s just an added safety measure for both of you.
I would hold back on allowing them to meet until you are ready to take the next step: a long-term relationship. I would keep you and your child’s life separate from any of the men you see until you feel that it is progressing in to something serious. Once you have established a really strong emotional and physical connection and want things to be taken to the next level. Keep this boundary firm. This will help with disallowing men to bounce in and out of you and your child’s life (which can be confusing and upsetting) but it will also help weed out the guys who legitimately care about you and won’t take you and your child for granted. This also reassures them that you’re not just looking for anyone, you are looking for the one.
“My conclusion – having a child is as big of deal as you make it. And we can’t expect a man who’s never had a child before to possibly understand on a first date or on a first encounter. That comes later. But there’s no sense in not giving him a chance to understand.” – Miss Single Mama
Depending on the age of your kid, you may need to sit them down to have a conversation on why you are dating and how it doesn’t change the relationship between the two of you but also their father. Also I would also suggest having a conversation with the father (Assuming you are both on good terms, or that he is present) on the boundaries that you want to create together as you both embark in to the dating world. You don’t want strange women wandering in to your child’s life as much as he doesn’t want strange men. Keep your boundaries firm and make sure they are both fair to your circumstance.
In the end, you and your little one are priority. If any man makes it a big deal that you have a kid than they don’t have the maturity level you are looking for and they are simply not worth your time. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” The right guy will see you for who you are, respect the boundaries you lay, and will want to be apart of your life regardless of what may come along with it. Love is out there, so don’t give up and surround yourself with other single moms for support. Having a community where you can talk about these things are always a great way to make friends but also get the advice you need from other women who can relate or have gone through the same experiences.