Dating is complicated. Now throw a few kids into the mix, an ex and a serious boyfriend, and you have a real convoluted mess! However, avoiding common mistakes can help you find the new love of your life without all the anticipated drama that many single moms face when dating.
If the last relationship you had was with your ex-husband, it may be hard to let go of that relationship. Psychologist Dr. John Grohol states that this leads to comparing every potential partner to your ex and longing for the same closeness you once felt, although this closeness can only be achieved over time by revealing to your partner who you are and how you think. If you continue to think of yourself as married, you will never open up in the way that is necessary to cultivate a lasting relationship.
Acting Like a Teen
If it has been a while since you’ve dated, it is natural to want to regain those carefree party days of your youth. Conversely, leaving the kids with a babysitter every weekend will leave them feeling like they are taking a back-row seat to your own needs. While it is fine to put yourself first on occasion, it is also crucially important to make your children feel valued. If this seems like a problem, you should consider dating like wearing jewelry: plan all the nights you want to go out, then cut back by one. This should help to keep both you and the kids happy.
Introducing Too Soon
It is unfair to both your kids and your date to introduce the one to the other too soon. If they hit it off big, imagine the disappointment when things start to go awry. Breakups become much more complicated when there are more hearts involved. For this reason, the Ladies’ Home Journal suggests implementing an “only when necessary” plan: You should only introduce your new partner to the kids after you begin to seriously consider a future with this person.
Always Taking the Lead
Dr. Wendy Walsh, clinical psychologist, performed a survey asking 100 men what it was that made a woman marriage material. While opinions varied, one point stood out: Men do not want a woman who is too independent. While at first the idea of being less independent seems like a dismal idea, it is not as bad as it sounds. Simply put, while most single moms are accustomed to taking control, it is okay to have assistance on occasion. Calling all the shots and treating a guy like one of the kids will only make him feel unwanted and you overwhelmed with yet another child.
Not every man wants a woman with kids. This is the sad truth, and there is no getting around it. However, this should not be discouraging for you. At the end of the day, it is better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate your kids.