You’re a single mum. While the ‘mum’ part might be great – bless the little ones-, you may be considering getting rid of the ‘single’ part but have no clue how to. Dating after a breakup or divorce is tricky. Add a kid or two to the mix and you have yourself a sticky maze to navigate. It’s no longer just about recovering from your ordeal and keeping a keen eye out to not get your feelings messed up; now you have your kid’s welfare to consider in all this. And it affects them a big deal!
Filled with uncertainties about finding love again? Here are 8 tips that will help you find your way through the woods to love land. And yes, your kids are coming along, too.
1. Grow Your Social Network
Limiting your interactions to the same social circle reduces your chances of finding a new partner. So far, you’ve been seeing the same people from work, church, your neighbourhood, etc., and haven’t found anyone. By what magic will one among the same people you’ve always known suddenly turn into Mr Right?
2. Don’t Pass up on Opportunities
There is a reduced zeal to jump on chances to go out after having kids. But the less you do that, the less your chances of getting a new partner. Get out more. Someone offers to go to the movies with you or invite you to a party, just say yes.
3. Add Some Fire Back into Your Life
Rediscover your spark. Make an effort to be sexy again, especially in your mind. Pull down those thoughts of ‘reduced value’ that easily creep into the heads of people that have given birth before. Start exercising, shop for some sharp outfits and get your mind into the ‘I’m out here’ mode.
4. Start Making Time Before You Even Start Dating
Your kids are a big part of your life and will take up a big chunk of your time. You can’t get away from that, (and hopefully you don’t want to) but you can manage your time no matter how little it is. It’s really important to start making changes early on before going back onto the market. This will make it easier to have time for your date instead of having to make one big abrupt schedule adjustment.
5. Ask Your Friends For Introductions
Putting yourself back on the market is not a matter of mere mind-set. You have to actively make yourself available. This may mean asking that friend of yours to introduce you to that friend of theirs. When you are single with no kids, people by default assume you are looking, but things change when you divorce with kids. Your friends may simply not know you are searching unless you tell them. Ask for that connect.
6. Don’t Let Your Ex Influence Your Dating Decisions
True, getting over your ex is as tough as tough can be; but before dating again, you must make sure you are totally not tethered to them. One way to tell you are still connected to them in a way that’s unhealthy for you is if you compare your dates with your ex. Your ex was highly educated, so you don’t want an educated man; your cheating ex was athletic and well-built, ergo such men are cheats. Make sure you avoid the trap of making it about your ex.
7. Don’t Make Your Kids the Centre of Your Date
In the early days, talking about your kids is a no-no. Since they are a big part of your life, it might be hard to talk about yourself without something about your them sneaking into the conversation. The problem is that since this is something you are used to and probably enjoy, you may not realise just how painfully you might be overdoing the whole thing.
8. Don’t Commit Too Soon
You probably want someone to commit to as fast as possible. Especially if you just got divorced, there likely is a need to get monogamous fast. But zooming in on one person too soon might get you absorbed into the wrong one, leaving you not just with wasted time, but possibly with a little hurt also. Try to date as many guys as you reasonably can before committing to find the right one.
9. Don’t Put Yourself on the Market Too Soon
At one point you’re going to have to move on after your break up. But when is the right time to start dating?
There’s no set time for everyone. It depends on how ugly the break up was, how long you were together, and who caused the split. But one thing you don’t want to do is get dating again while the water is still stirred and murky. You might want things to settle and get clearer. This will allow you to make the right choices without any emotional influence from your last relationship.
Trying to date as a single mum can be difficult – there’s just so much at stake. But if you take your time, make every effort necessary, you might find that man to love both you and your kids.