Let’s face it. Returning to the dating scene after a marriage or a long term relations ends is hard. The way that people date has changed dramatically over the last few years, and if you’ve spent that time involved in a relationship and raising little ones, you might feel quite far out of the loop. Additionally, dating as a single parent means that you’re not simply going on a date with someone new; it can also mean that you may potentially involve this person in the life of your child.
1. Try Online Dating Sites
For the newly single it can sometimes seem like offers for dates hit you from every direction. Your friend knows a cute, single guy or your co-worker knows a guy in the IT department. While it’s always nice to have a personal recommendation from someone you know and trust, sometimes it’s better to keep things private and to have the luxury of moving at your own pace.
Online dating sites are the perfect way to begin your journey. Choose one of the best dating sites, create a profile, and just let things unfold. However, it’s never a good idea to post pictures of your kids, or too much other personal information. Let that come later at the right time.
2. Don’t Dress the Mom Part
Part of being a mom is just that; being a mom. You’re overworked and frazzled much of the time, and when you do have time to yourself you might simply want to binge on grownup Netflix or just sleep. But if you’ve got a first date coming up you need to make sure that you’re ready.
Your time is valuable and limited, so keep it simple. On the day of your date go to the salon for a blowout on your lunch hour. Maybe your salon’s nail technician can work her magic at the same time. Choose an outfit the night before, preferably one that isn’t stained with crayon marks and enlist the help of a friend who might be more up to speed on current fashion.
3. Choose Your Words Wisely
So you’re at the restaurant, you’ve ordered your drinks, now what do you talk about? First date conversations are always a little difficult at first, but for a single mom this can be an awkward moment. Your kids are usually always the topic of conversation in other situations, but this time you might want to leave them out.
This is not to say that you can’t talk about your kids, but keep it to a minimum. Ask him about himself, discuss your dream travel adventures, and just let the conversation flow naturally. This will also allow you to express your identity and let him know who you are in a much more authentic way.
4. No Photos, Please
Unless you and your date are friends on Facebook or have shared photos in emails before your date, it’s better to squash that urge to whip out your phone and show off the cute photos of your children. While this is always a good idea in the interest of privacy, it’s also to keep the focus of the date on the two of you.
Of course, your date might ask about photos of your kids as a pretty logical conversation starter, but make that decision if it comes up. It’s just a date, and you’re in no way obligated to share more information than you’re comfortable with.
5. Have Fun
Life as a parent leaves you uniquely prepared for almost any situation, and if that situation doesn’t involve crying jags and trips to the ER, just about anything can be considered as fun. A first date for a single mom is welcome reprieve from normal life, so why not have fun with it?
Even if there’s no love connection, at the very least you can enjoy an evening away from your children, in the company of a grown-up who has grownup things to say. That alone can make any date worth remembering.
Dating as a single mom doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be a great way to expand your network and learn more about yourself and what you want. Just keep it simple and have fun; the rest will always fall into place.