Dating can be a daunting task. If it’s quite difficult for single women to find someone to date, then it’ll be much more a problem if you’re a single mom. It can get complicated enough for a single mom when she starts dating again after a failed romance with the father of her kid. Yes folks, even if your last relationship didn’t work out as planned, you must be open again for possible dates.
It may feel a little awkward at first, especially if you’ve been out of the game for some time. There is a matter of managing men and their expectations that come with society’s sometimes harsh stereotypes of what a solo mom needs. Depending on your set-up, you may have to deal with family expectations, or what people may think or perceive. And of course, there are the feelings of your child/children to consider.
Psst.ph gives a run down on how to deal with the three most important things to consider when dating again: men, your children and yourself.
Dealing with men
Some solo moms worry about how their situation will limit their options. Resist thinking that your children are a liability, and don’t listen to others who tell you that they are.
Hollywood actress Michelle Pfeiffer was a single mom to her adopted daughter, Claudia Rose, when she met TV producer David E. Kelley, on a blind date. The two have been married for more than two decades already. In an interview, Michelle admitted that being a single mom was not common back then and she was initially worried about how it would turn off some men. Until she eventually realized that it was what separated men from boys. In a lot of ways, it made her easier to find a partner who was willing to commit to her and will be able to accept her daughter as well.
Some men will also tell you the benefits of dating a solo mom. In an online forum, men said that dating is something similar to having an OJT (on-the-job-training). “When you date a solo mom, you might not be her top priority. But if your ego can handle it, you will realize that it also allows you to have time for yourself,” said one male respondent.
Dealing with your child
The most common mistake that a solo mom does is when she introduces her child right away to the guy she is dating. That’s actually a big no-no according to the experts. You have to wait until the relationship has gotten serious before introducing a man to your child. Don’t confuse your child with too many faces, too many people to get to know. A child’s source of stability is routine and consistency. One child we know once said to his mom, “How come I have so many Titos?” Believe it or not, but that innocent question from a 5-year-old kid gave his mom the hardest question she ever had to answer in her life as she was groping for the right answer.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Margarita Holmes also advised that you listen to what your children are saying or asking. (“Is he the one mom?”) Find out if you expect them to consider him their new dad, or someone you want to marry.
“More important than a definitive yes or no is an honest answer that clearly takes their feelings into account,” said Dr. Holmes. “Assure them (your kids) that they will always come first and that the possible addition of a new person in your life is a bonus, rather than a must-have.”
Dealing with yourself
More important than dealing with men and your child is dealing with yourself. Only you can answer the question: “Am I ready to date again?”
Make sure you have accepted your separation and are not into the dating game again for the wrong reasons which include revenge, filling a void—whether emotional, physical or financial, or fear of being alone.
This is one case where love should be about want, not about need. You are ready for a relationship when you want one, not need one to complete you or fill in the gap in a family picture.
Lastly, remain optimistic in case it doesn’t work out…again. Life is full of second chances and just like the first time, you’ll just be fine.