It's that time of year again when the world seems focused on love and romance. What's a single mom to do? When it comes right down to dating when you are a single mom, there are several ways to successfully play the field, have fun and put your child at ease as a new man enters the scene.
According to Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal, celebrity relationship experts, TV personalities, husband and wife, and authors of the wildly popular new book, Why Hasn't He Proposed?: Go from the First Date to Setting the Date, it involves being clear with your kids and being true to yourself. "She needs to make it clear to her kids the new guy will never replace the father," notes Matt.
In fact, Tamsen says the introduction of your new man should occur at the right time and place. She explains, "It's important to introduce him to your child at a place and environment they feel comfortable. Introduce the person as a friend so they're not so threatened." But perhaps we're putting the cart before the horse: before you go ahead and introduce the man to your kids, you have to make looking for love a priority.
11 single mom dating tips:
- Put yourself out there. Easier said than done, right? So not. The relationship experts say it's important to enter social situations which may be out of your comfort zone. "Be fearless – put yourself out there and make it happen," says Matt.
- If a man is not interested, don't take it personally. That's ok: they may not be into you for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they recently ended a relationship and aren't quite ready to date yet.
- Set realistic expectations. "The most important thing is to remember not every date is the be all, end all," says Tamsen.
- Make dating a priority! She adds, "You have to be strategic for this to happen. It's a numbers game." For instance, tell yourself you'll focus on finding love three times a week and literally schedule it in your calendar for those specific time frames.
- Go online! Of course, make sure it's the best photo of yourself but above all, don't spend forever chatting in cyberspace. "Schedule a number of meetings all in one weekend," Tamsen advises. For instance, date four different people in one weekend so you don't get too caught up with anyone too soon.
- Be efficient. While online dating gives you the opportunity to surf for a mate while you're little one's asleep or at soccer practice, your time is precious so don't spend all of your time drafting witty e-mails. Matt says, "Go from the initial communication to the first date in seven to ten days."
- Be honest with your profile, advises Whitney Casey, Relationship Insider for Match.com and author of The Man Plan: Drive Men Wild…Not Away. Her advice? "Say up front that you have a child but don't focus the entire date around talking about your kids. This is about finding someone who fits with you."
- Be honest with who you are and what you're looking for. Whitney adds, "Online dating is almost like a dating secretary which sifts out what you're looking for. You skip a step – know who you are what you're looking for."
- Stay positive – you can't expect each date to be "the one." Whitney reminds us: "Out of ten dates there may be three connections. Three out of ten is a good batting average; if you're batting 300 in baseball, that's a really good number for Alex Rodriguez."
- Enjoy Valentine's Day! Matt notes, "Our society makes a huge deal out of Valentine's Day. It's just a Saturday. Keep it business as usual. Do what you want to do and pamper yourself." Whether you get a mani or pedi, be sure to celebrate YOU!
- Go for it! Take action and feel empowered. Matt adds, "We want women to be comfortable and happy as they're finding love. We advocate initiating things in a sexy, non-desperate type of way."
Above all, have fun with it, don't stress, keep it light and remember about the beauty of the future. Matt proclaims, "It's only temporary – anything can happen tomorrow!"
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