Navigating Dating as a Single Mom (pt.1) To Date or Not to Date
Dating, in itself, is a task that requires focus, dedication, and a bit of flexibility. Dating, as a single mom, requires those things and the continued vetting of crazies, compatibility with children, and so much more. Being that I’m a single mom trying to figure out this whole dating ‘thing’, I thought it’d be a great idea to share my experiences and advice with others that are going through (or considering going through) similar situations.
I’m sure we can agree that we’re all very careful of who we let around our kids. In that same manner, we should be just as careful of who we let around us. I’m not saying you should go all ‘Special Investigator’ on them, but there are definitely things to consider before officially giving things a title or name. Here’s how you can decide who to go out with, before and after meeting in person.
1. Trust your gut. – 9 times out of 10, your instinct won’t let you down. If something’s rocking your core or something just doesn’t seem right, trust it. Never second guess your first judgement. For me, if things seem off, I automatically start questioning things in my mind and start paying a little more attention just so I can really understand who I’m dealing with.
2. Don’t ignore red flags. – If you’re out to dinner or just casually hanging out and your date flies off the handle for the littlest mishap, take note & evaluate it. Little markers like that can save you from a lot of trouble in the future. Sometimes, small issues grow into larger ones and that’s something you should really pay attention to. Be cautious, not paranoid.
3. Consider compatibility. – From the time I start speaking to someone, depending on what we both agree we want out of whatever we’re doing, I subconsciously start determining if they’d get along with my kids, if they’d be a good parent, etc. As a mom, this is just something that automatically comes to mind and the only way I don’t consider those details is if the person says they don’t want kids. If they don’t want kids, there’s really no reason to really consider a serious relationship.
4. Understand what you’re doing. – Before getting too deep into the whole dating ‘thing’, it’s best that you and the person you’re with understand small expectations. That’s what starts and can make or break a relationship, early on. If you’re not necessarily in a relationship and are just doing things with no strings, it’s best that you both understand that so there’s no disappointment or misunderstanding on any end.
Dating can be light & fun just as much as it can be stressful & annoying. It’s a good idea to really sit back and evaluate whether or not you really want to date someone before getting serious with any one person. Think about how they portray themselves, what are your instincts telling you, etc. Enjoy this process as much as you can but, also, be honest with yourself and others. Your heart (and theirs!) will thank you for it, in the long run.