The dating world is difficult enough and filled with many rules. Throw your kids into the mix, and they change even more. If you’re a single mom, chances are you’re wondering how and when you’ll find Mr. Right. These tips will ensure you are placing your children’s best interests at heart, while you follow your own.
5 Dating Rules for Mom (YOU!)
1. Date Without Involving Your Kids- This is what babysitters are for. When you begin dating you should make a point to leave the kids out. Completely. Use your time with your kids to help them develop new hobbies, assist with their schoolwork, and make it about them. When you’re alone you can go out and have fun. Just don’t bring it home.
Ideally, you may want to avoid introducing any prospects to your kids for at least one year. This gives your relationship the time it needs to discover whether things are going anywhere, or if planning a future is just a lost cause. If things don’t work out your kids may have already grown attached and will experience the breakup as their own loss. Protect their feelings and leave relationships private until there is a solid future in the plans.
2. Don’t Have Sex- This one is difficult. You may not want to avoid fun in the bedroom, but you have a better chance of meeting your long-term love if you don’t complicate the relationship with the feel-good vibes of sex. Good sex can make you stay in the wrong relationship for far too long. On the flipside, bad sex might have you ditching a decent guy before you ever give him a chance. If you WAIT for it, you’ll know whether or not you’re in love with him, and not your sexual compatibility.
3. Background Checks- Running a background check on a potential suitor can save you and your kids. Don’t make the mistake of trusting every stranger that you meet or bring into your home. Terrible crimes have been committed against women from seemingly innocent men found on dating sites. You need to protect yourself at all times so that you can be there for your children. Do your detective work and ensure he’s not a criminal with a violent background or a checkered past. Don’t allow your child to fall prey to an abuser. Know the signs and do a background check so that you aren’t gambling any of your lives. While online dating opens up more possibilities, it’s a good idea to date men who have been introduced to you by family or friends.
4. Don’t Move in Together- Cohabiting can make sense financially, but it has its share of pitfalls. First, if things don’t work out you might be stuck without a home. Second, it sends the message that marriage doesn’t have to be part of the equation. And maybe it doesn’t. Either way, your man is much less likely to put a ring on it if he goes home to you every day, sleeps in your shared bed, and doesn’t have to make a stronger commitment. If there’s no wedded bliss in the future, it’s OK to live apart until one can be made.
5. Don’t Share Bank Accounts- Once you start dating a man and things get serious you need to be very careful about sharing bank accounts. This is especially true if you’ve set aside money for a college fund or for your kid’s future. Don’t get ripped off by a sham of a man who comes into your lives, only to take what doesn’t belong to him. Single moms all too often have very limited resources. The wrong guy could wreak havoc on your pocketbook, and destroy the financial stability you built for your kids.
Dating is exciting, fun, and fulfilling. The more you do it, the odds are you’ll find “the one”. These tips promise to protect your child while you explore the possibility of finding your family’s missing piece. And you’ll know when you’ve found him. And if you haven’t, find a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with being a single mom. Remember it’s far better to be alone than it is to be with somebody who isn’t good for your family.