Single mums have a lot to think about. There’s no doubt that parenting is more time-consuming when you’re on your own, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make time to enjoy yourself.
And one of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to get out there and go on some dates. Even if you’re not looking for anything long term, it’s healthy to meet new people and have a change of scenery.
But how do you make the most out of dating again? How do you ensure you don’t upset the kids? Here are seven dating tips that will help you get back to dating and ensure you can enjoy the experience.
1. Let go of any hard feelings towards your ex.
This sounds like a strange place to begin, but you need to relinquish any negative feelings you have towards your ex before you start dating again. Why? If you don’t, you’ll hold yourself back.
What’s more, you might enter the dating scene for the wrong reasons – to make him jealous, for instance. You need to try as best you can to put aside any hard feelings you possess about your past relationships and embrace the new.
After all, dating a new person is a super exciting experience, and there’s no place for bad feeling about your ex.
2. Try not to beat yourself up about dating.
Lots of single mothers are consumed with guilt when they start dating again. They think their life is all about the kids and that their happiness doesn’t matter.
While it’s true that your kids should always come first, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t care for your kids and date at the same time. But if you beat yourself up about dating, you will make things unnecessarily hard for yourself.
You need to try and strike a balance between being responsible for your kids and giving yourself the opportunity to meet someone for yourself. Developing the right mind is so important if you’re looking for a new partner.
3. Talk about your kids, but not all the time.
When you start dating someone, you need to be straight with them and tell them that you are a mum. If you don’t mention this right at the start, you could end up wasting your time.
Also, feel comfortable and confident about talking about your kids, and be willing to share stories about their lives so your date can get a feel for what they’re like.
That being said, don’t spend the whole date talking about your kids. There’s so much more to you than your children, so be prepared to talk about yourself and show off how amazing you are!
4. Know what you’re looking for in your next relationship.
Before you sign up for a dating site or accept a blind date set up by your friends, think carefully about what you’re looking for in your next relationship.
While you might think you have ‘a type,’ try not to limit yourself too much. Think about the values you want to see in your partner and understand what you’re looking for in a family.
If you’re not clear about what you want, you can get easily caught up in an unhealthy relationship that’s difficult to get out of.
5. Don’t introduce him to the kids straight away.
There’s no rush to bring your date home and introduce him to the kids. In fact, it’s much better that you spend time getting to know him away from home first before bringing him into your kids’ lives.
The coming and going of father figures can be destabilizing for kids, as they’re not sure what type of relationship to build with a man that has suddenly arrived in their lives.
As such, it’s important to take your time and think carefully before introducing a man to your children. If you want to date casually for a while, that’s absolutely fine. Just don’t bring different men home to meet the kids unless you think it’s someone who’s in it for the long run.
6. Depending on their age, tell your kids why you’re dating.
Granted, this point depends on how old your kids are. However, you will find that if you have a responsible conversation with your kids about why you’re dating, they are likely to understand and respect you for it.
Don’t forget, most kids want their parents to be happy and will be supportive of the idea of you meeting someone new.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your kids before you surprise them by bringing a new guy home. While you probably have a big romantic reveal planned, in reality, things don’t always turn out that way. If you’re bringing someone home, it’s best to tell your kids about it in advance!
7. Discuss the ‘dad’ role with your new partner.
When you think you’re ready to introduce your new partner to your kids, be sure to have a conversation about the ‘dad’ role with him. In this instance, everyone’s situation is slightly different.
Maybe you’re on good terms with your kids’ Dad, and he plays a big part in your lives. Or maybe he doesn’t want anything to do with your family, and you haven’t heard from him for years.
Whatever the situation, you need to talk openly and honestly about it with your new partner. He needs to understand what’s expected of him and how the kids will look up to him. If you don’t discuss boundaries and responsibilities in advance, things can get messy!
Dating is something everyone should be able to enjoy, whether you have kids or not.
Hopefully, these seven tips will show you that things don’t need to be complicated and provided you go about it the right way, you can have some awesome dating experiences. If you don’t know where to start just have a look at those dating sites for single parents.
Don’t forget, everyone deserves to find that special someone! So, get out there and find the person who will put a smile on your face every morning.