|Single Parent Dating 101 |
It was New Year’s Eve, the biggest celebration of the year, and I was at home with both my 13-month son and my sexy black party dress snuggled safely in their beds. I’m a single mother whose idea of a big night are pizza delivery and a movie rental. One day the dust will clear, I will survive my divorce and the idea of shaving my legs, slapping on my stilettos and having an adult conversation with the opposite sex won’t be so daunting. Until I am ready to give up my 9:00 bedtime and reacquaint myself with lipstick, here is some preliminary research on the elusive world of single parent dating.
Step 1: Don’t Rush the Healing Process
When I currently notice a man looking at me I either shiver in intimidation or assume there is food in my teeth. My self-esteem has taken a beating and it is important not to rush into dating before the healing process has run its course. Otherwise, in an effort to abate feelings of loneliness or grief, my judgment could be clouded and as a parent I cannot afford to make that mistake twice. If you are still fantasizing about backing your SUV over your Ex it is not time to share a cappuccino with a potential suitor. No date likes to hear the details of your dysfunctional past relationship. So, find an appropriate outlet for feelings, even if it means seeking professional help in addition to friends, family, support groups or a spiritual counselor.
Step 2: Preparing the Way
When emotionally unencumbered by a prior relationship, it’s appropriate to shift focus to an external clean up. It is a good day when I find the time to brush my hair as priorities have changed since my swinging bachelorette days. When you look your best, you feel your best and confidence will start to grow. A makeover can be as simple as a new exercise routine in order to generate some endorphins, a sexy new haircut and some appropriate date clothes that will get you in the mood to test your flirting skills. Additionally, I am a firm believer that it is important to focus your energy by creating a list of the qualities that you desire in a mate. If you know what it is that you want, it is much easier to find it. Don’t forget to consider your little ones and their needs. The age of your children will dictate how you prepare them for your new journey. Establishing healthy boundaries, routines and structure in the family now will help facilitate feelings of security when a new person is ultimately introduced.
Step 3: Diving In
So now that you’ve plugged into your inner Goddess it seems that all the great men are taken. I’ve been told that isn’t true. Seek out target rich activities such as attending or having parties, going to sports events, or even working out at the gym. If you are interested in meeting other single parents, show up at parent-child related activities such as school events, sports, or PTA meetings. Another avenue to explore is church, temple or even joining a social club. Dating in the technological age offers the convenience of posting a profile on any of the myriad of websites geared toward single parents such as singleparentsmeet.com or singleparentsmingle.com. As responsible parents be cautious that unsavory characters can hide their backgrounds so it is important to go slowly and become friends first. Another option is Speed Dating, which offers a chance to meet several potential suitors in person within a supervised and safe environment. Lastly, let your friends and co-workers know that you are ready to date because set-ups are another fabulous way to meet your new potential partner.
Step 4: Honoring Everyone Involved
It is wise to set sensible guidelines and boundaries in order to slowly ease everyone involved into the situation. For example, introduce new adults to your child as a “friend” first and only if you believe there is long term potential as a revolving door of suitors may cause confusion and insecurity. Gradually allow them to develop their own relationship through family-oriented activities. Don’t pressure your children to like your date or sacrifice your child’s alone time with you as this fosters resentment toward your new partner. Finally, if you decide it is time to take your relationship to a sexual level, hide your sexy negligee and don’t expose your child to sleepovers.
Spring is coming and love will be in the air. There is nothing sexier than an authentically empowered owning mommy. As single parents we are required to wear many hats. Let us not forget that we are sensuous, curvy, fabulous women. So, shake the dust off your dancing shoes and have some fun in your pursuit of love.