Dating is different when you have a child, and so are you—your priorities, schedule, needs, and your body. Your fantasy of forever has been busted open. You are on your own again, with a little one at your side. Speaking from experience, here are some single mom dating tips–along with questions to ask yourself and a few affirmations to repeat to know you are ready.
When it comes to dating, recognize that you have baggage. That’s not a bad thing! It simply is. If you gave birth to your child, your body has changed. You may have stretch marks, a bikini-line scar marking your child’s entrance, or you’re carrying weight differently Those early hours that you used to spend at the gym, have been replaced by morning nursing, early school drop off, or attempting to squeeze in some much needed me-time (or sleep).
And while, yes, you’re a mom, you’re actually MORE than that! You’re a woman! You feel the pangs for companionship, the desire to be desired, and the craving to be touched by someone who isn’t your child. But more than that, you don’t want to feel alone anymore and you want a partner in all of this—someone to share this life with, the ups and downs, and the daily new experiences.
Parenting is one of the most deliciously fulfilling experiences of your life. But it isn’t the only thing happening in your life. If you’re ready to make your love life a priority again, it’s time and you deserve to be loved and cherished without excuses.
You deserve to feel like a woman again. It’s time to put some effort into your love life so that you can find love… again.
Some single parents re-enter the dating pool may be afraid, ashamed, feel they are not good enough; others may be angry, jaded, insecure; and yet others are possibly even excited! Regardless of the array of confused emotions, many single parents share some of the following same questions:
How do I know when I’m ready to date again?
What type of person should I look for?
How do I redefine myself and what I’m looking for in the future?
When and How do I have the “I’m a parent” conversation?
How do I reconcile my guilt for leaving my child, who I love, to meet some “random” person who I don’t know, for a first date?
How do I make myself the priority and rediscover myself without being a delinquent parent?
What do I do? What do I say? How do I not sabotage it by doing/saying the wrong thing online, in text, email, phone, or in person?
Before you dive headfirst into the dating pool, you need to be honest with yourself. Are you ready? You are once you can confidently say these seven statements:
- I accept and own my single mom status!
This may not be your fairytale. You might not have wanted to be a single mom. But you are, and you have come to terms with it, accept it, and be ok with it. You’re not proud, and you’re also not jaded. You are able to be confidently vulnerable about the reality. This is your fairytale truth.
2. I am comfortable being alone.
You don’t feel like you “should” be out doing things, aren’t ashamed of going to bed at 8pm because you are seriously exhausted, and you don’t feel the need to be attached to your phone so cyber friends can keep you company.
However, you don’t want to get too comfortable being alone and lose the urge to date again. You won’t let yourself get into the mindset of, “I have my child, career, and social network, so why go through the motions just to fall for someone who needs my energy, time, and in the end may break my heart?”
3. You can not complete me, because I’m already whole.
This is something that I call “sticky”—you are a complete, interesting, magnetic, intriguing, alluring, memorable person and you leave others wanting MORE! You are Perfectly Imperfect, and Real… because that’s what makes you Love-able.
4. “I know that being a mom makes me MORE desirable, not less.”
You have a child and that’s a great thing, not a pain point! You are now instilled with traits that are essential for mommy’ing, and are also surprisingly desirable characteristics as a partner. You are strong, know what you want and need, aren’t playing games, are a nurturer and caregiver, know how to have fun, are organized, you know how to give to others, and you know how to truly love.
5. “YES! I am a mom, and I am a WOMAN first.”
Yes you are a mom. And you’re also a woman. Don’t forget that. What do you need to do to feel like it? Start taking care of and putting effort into yourself again. Take a bubble bath (with candles in the corners), go to the gym and feel sexy as you sweat, buy yourself a new lacy bra, just do something that makes you feel like a hot woman (in addition to a hot mama). Nurture yourself! Buy yourself a present! BE the priority. Show yourself love.
In celebration of Single Parents’ Day, I developed “STICKY…” a line of intentional jewelry that supports dating confidence and helps you find love.
6. “I have Integrity! My Feelings, match my Words, match my Actions.”
Having integrity is more difficult than you may realize. In fact, most of us think we do, without realizing that there is a disconnect between feelings and words, or even before feelings—because we don’t take the time to check in with ourselves to be clear on what we are truly feeling and what we need. Not sure if you do or not? Next time you have a decision to make or an opportunity to contribute your opinion, stop for a second and think about what you want to say. Strip off your feelings of insecurity, shame, anger, “shoulds,” past pain, or the need to prove yourself, and allow yourself to come from a place of confident vulnerability. Be honest with yourself first—that’s your “feeling.” Now make sure to voice, and them act on those feelings—confidently with vulnerability, and without apology.
7. “I will BE It, so that I can BECOME It!”
As much as the idea of “Dream it and you will Become it” is beautiful, there is a lot more to it than wishing and hoping your dreams to reality. There are steps and actions that must be taken in order to actualize them. So, from now on, you will no longer sit back and wait for your dreams to come true. If you are really ready to make them come true, start being them, acting them, living them! Be sure that your attitude, actions, and associations align with all that you want to Become, and soon you will, in fact, BE it.