Once your divorce was final, after having endured alimony, child support and custody issues you proclaimed that you’d sworn off all men and were content to live a life in blissful solitude. However, now that several months have passed, those dating pool waters don’t seem quite as murky and you’re feeling ready to take the plunge and find that love connection that eluded you the first time around.
Even though you’re pretty much ready… just thinking about going on a first date makes you feel jittery — and the fact that you’ve got a few kids in tow is adding to your case of cold feet. Well, check out these seven dating tips for single moms that will help you to get back in the dating game with a renewed sense of confidence.
According to Dr. Pepper Schwartz, chief relationship expert at PerfectMatch.com, online dating web sites offer single moms a great venue to put themselves back out in the dating market. And the fact that it can be done during naps, school time, or late at night, accompanied by a cup of hot tea or a glass of wine makes it pretty time effective, too!
Enlist your married friends to help you find love
Whether it’s inviting you to an old-fashioned dinner party or helping you set up your online dating profile, Dr. Schwartz believes married friends are the perfect people to help you do something on behalf of your romantic future. It’s easy to lose your nerve or just want to go relax after work, but if you enlist your friends in your romantic quest, they won’t let you off the hook that easily. And don’t let them off the hook either. When pressed, people know many more eligible people than they think they do! (Check out the top 10 cities for single moms to date, according to a 2011 survey by Match.com.)
Learn more about yourself, and what you need in love
If you’ve been out of the dating world for a long time, it’s important to take some time and get to know yourself and your needs better, notes Dr. Schwartz. Learning more about yourself will help you get a greater understanding of what you want at this stage of your life and with whom you’d ultimately share compatibility.
Develop a dating action plan
According to Dr Paulette Kouffman Sherman, author of Dating from the Inside Out and director of My Dating School in Manhattan, single moms should take consistent action towards their goal of meeting someone. They should make it a point to get childcare once or twice a week, during which time they should attend singles events or set up online dates. They should also put the word out to everyone they know that they’re ready to find a great mate.
Take a class
It can be a win-win to take a class that you love and to meet new people in the process, says Kouffman Sherman. Since single moms are always giving to others, it can be rewarding to do something fun every week that’s just for them and get out of the house and mingle with other adults.
Look for other single moms to lend support
Dr Kouffman Sherman advises single moms to create their very own single mom support network. Attending single events together and trading off sharing babysitting duties will give them an opportunity to not only go out more often, but will also help them stay focused on their romance goals.
Talk to your child
If your kids are old enough, Kouffman Sherman says it’s important to let them know that even though you go out sometimes to meet friends, you are always available by phone and they are still your priority. Single moms should only introduce their child to dates when it becomes exclusive and serious. Otherwise it can become confusing for a child to have a carousel of potential suitors to meet and they may get attached and disappointed when it does not work out.