It can be a daunting time getting back on the singles’ scene when you’re used to your children being your top priority. It probably feels like there’s no time to sit down and read the newspapers, let alone think about dating! Fear not though, as we’re here to help. Here are 10 top dating tips for single mothers.
1) Spruce Up Your Wardrobe
You may be used to walking around the house in an oversized hoodie with your hair tied back and no makeup on, but now is the time for a new lease of life; a time to unleash your inner goddess and be a proud hot Mama! Use your newly single status as an excuse to pamper yourself and go shopping – buy a sexy new little black dress and get a new hairstyle to make you feel extra confident.
2) Do New Things to Meet New Men
To get something you’ve never had before, you need to do something you’ve never done before, and this applies to the dating world too! Never been on a dating site? Well get on one immediately and start browsing!
If dating sites seem a bit too time-consuming for you, and little Billy is pulling your hair and tapping the keys every time you try to log on, why not have some “you time” each week to go to a local dance, fitness or foreign language class? You deserve a break and these sort of clubs are a great way to meet new people and potentially new romantic partners too! Meeting someone in a bar on a night out is always very hit and miss, so start participating in new hobbies and activities and who knows who you will meet!
3) Be Upfront and Don’t Hide Anything
Revealing you’ve got kids may make you feel nervous; you’re probably worried about scaring your new man off, but don’t worry. The new man in your life is dating you for who you are, not because of your kids, so it shouldn’t matter. If he wants to, he will, and if he likes you, it won’t be an issue. If you lie, the truth will have to come out eventually, so be truthful from the onset otherwise you’ll risk losing that person when the truth comes out later. Also be honest about what you’re looking for – if that’s something serious, don’t pretend you’re happy with a casual fling just because that’s what you think the guy you’re dating wants.
4) Don’t Slate Your Ex
He may have cheated on you, walked out on you and your kids, or perhaps you two just can’t stand the sight of each other! The likelihood is that you and your ex aren’t on the best of terms, but before you start slating him, remember, you’re on a date for a reason! The more you lay into your ex, the more your new guy will wonder if you’re on the rebound/fully over your ex yet, so stay focussed on the present, keep the ex at the back of your mind and don’t dredge up bad memories.
5) Choose A Reliable Babysitter
When it comes to the night of your hot date, the last thing you want is to be worrying about is your kids all night, so choose a reliable babysitter. Whether that’s your parents, a good friend, or a babysitter you’ve used before, make sure that date night isn’t the first time you’re trying a new babysitter, otherwise you could spend more time worrying about your kids than enjoying the date!
6) Take It Slow
Your time may be precious because you give so much of it to your children, but that doesn’t mean you need to rush and skip the “getting to know each other” stages. It’s vital that you give your new relationship time to grow and that you spend time getting to know each other and developing your trust. So take it slow, and don’t rush into being exclusive too soon.
7) Share Ideas Online
There’s a wealth of information, ideas and stories online just waiting to be found! If all of your friends are hooked up and enjoying married life, don’t feel low and left-out. Join single parenting support groups and interact with other single Mums on online forums to share ideas and tips about how to meet people and embrace life as a single Mum on the dating scene.
8) Steer the Conversation Away from Your Kids
Your kids may be the centre of your world, but before you know it, your date could be snoozing in his bowl of bolognese if all you can talk about is the funny things your offspring say and do. Don’t let them be the main topic of conversation, instead only talk about them when your date asks.
Use the time to have some stimulating adult conversation – find out about your new man and his work, hobbies and interests. Talk about your favourite things and places you’d like to visit, rather than just your children.
9) Get the Timing Right for Introducing Your Children
You want your kids to love your new man, and you want your new man to love your kids, but it’s very important to keep dates private until things are serious. Remember – kids can get attached very quickly and you risk upsetting them if the new friend in their life suddenly disappears. Your kids don’t need to meet every man you date. The chances are that you’ll probably date several different guys before you find the one who is worthy of you and your children.
Concentrate on building the foundations of your relationships before the introduction. When you do decide to let them meet, plan a casual daytime date where your kids can spend time with your “new friend”. See how it goes and work from there. Your kids are the most important thing to you, so you want a man who is good with children. If your new man doesn’t gel with your kids, the relationship can’t progress, so don’t wait until you’re already engaged to introduce them, but at the same time, don’t invite the kids on the first date! A couple of months is usually best.
10) Trust Your Instinct
You may feel like you’ve been swept off your feet in a whirlwind romance, but the most important thing is to always listen to your gut feeling and to watch out for any red flags. If there are signs that your new man has a bad temper, he seems possessive, he mentions unpaid debts or he’s is in a rush to get married – these are all warning signs for you to step back and reassess. Don’t let the rose tinted glasses fool you!
Never forget how important your children are – so if this guy doesn’t like kids or specifically your kids, it’s time to wave goodbye. It will never be a successful relationship if your new man isn’t comfortable around your children. He needs to understand that you’re a Mother first and foremost, so your kids will always be your top priority.
So with all of these tips, you’re now ready to rock the dating world! Just remember to dress to impress, be confident, enjoy life and most importantly, have fun!