There comes a point when the woman in you shows up. In my opinion, it’s ok to be hardcore mom, & then hardcore needing adult affection & attention…YES I’m speaking from experience! BUT this area is really tricky because dating or being with another man as a new mom isn’t the best situation—you’ll be splitting your VERY VALUABLE time between him, your children, and not to mention yourself. I wrote about feeling lonely in an earlier blog: “So you’re a NEW Single Mom, Single, AND Lonely huh? My beginnings…”
But let’s fast forward to the time when I decided to date and be with another man. Once I made that REAL decision, it wasn’t hard to find someone I had a connection with. I guess I sort of put it out there into the universe and meant what I said 😉. I was 24yrs young and my kids were 2yrs & 6mos when I met a “refreshing” new guy, who by the way didn’t have any children. Spending my limited time with him taught me a few things about dating:
- I wasn’t willing to do more than late night outings (after kids were put to bed); 2. maybe an hr or 2 max after work on rare occasions; 3. I would cancel dates at the last minute not intentional but because I was super exhausted; 4. I never brought him around my children because I wanted it to be strictly ADULT time only; 5. I understood I was “stunting” the growth of that relationship because of the limiting circumstances so it wasn’t going to last forever; 6. great for keeping me stimulated mentally and physically (he gave me what I needed at that time); 7. I didn’t need someone to be needy; and 8. I would have more time for a man who was a father with kids around the same age.
Well it gets better! Once I decided I needed something different and ended what we had, I met another man who happened to have a son in between the ages of my kids…PERFECT!! I was 25yrs young and my kids were 3yrs and 1yr. We dated for 2yrs but because I had spent time before I dated to get to know WHO BETINA WAS, I knew what I wasn’t going to accept or settle for PERIOD. Although it might’ve seemed like the perfect scenario, he even mentioned wanting to marry me, there were some flags that I wasn’t going to overlook. Here’s what I learned though:
- A man who was a father was the ideal situation because dating is so much easier as we can spend so much more time together using “play dates” as our dates too; 2. I get to see HOW he interacts with his own child and HOW he treats my kids too; 3. Dating a man with a child means we INSTANTLY had 3 kids (how many kids are too many for me…??); 4. Kids are invested too if we don’t work out, so that’s the only downfall to bringing your kids around the man you’re dating…especially early on; 5. Do my kids get along with him and feel comfortable around him (not unsupervised though…I’m not ready for that & definitely not at those ages); 6. Is he as unattached to his kid’s mother as I am with my kids’ dad (meaning does he HAVE to deal with drama, courts, etc); 7. I can share my parent life with him and he “gets it”; 8. He was able to come over to my house and spend time with me there without needing to go out so I rarely cancelled plans.
I took a few years off (5yrs) from dating because after getting my “fix”…I needed to hone in on pursuing my life goals without any distractions. Dating isn’t just about your needs. You have to consider your children’s needs as well and they actually HAVE to be put before yours. So, if a man wasn’t in alignment with my goals or encouraging me to get to my next level, then I didn’t want to waste my time or energy with him. Afterall, we have a limited time & I realized I needed to Improve my financial intelligence; focus on my family; discover my life’s purpose; be selfish with my time; create more experiences for my life; and have more fun.
You NEVER know how things will turn out which is why it’s so important to ensure you are in the BEST position as possible!! As a single parent, you still have to take care of your business regardless because EVERYTHING is up to you and you can ONLY count on what you’re capable of doing. Remember, you NEVER want to have a guy interfere with your priorities because relationships aren’t a guarantee… (being a single parent is just one indicator of that). Dating is great WHEN you have your personal life secured and I suggest to ONLY do so then. I wouldn’t advise dating if you’re struggling with your emotional well-being, self-esteem issues, finances, work-life balance, childcare, physical health, spending enough time with your children…it’s just too much to deal with on top of getting to know someone. You don’t want to begin dating from a place of confusion, desperation, neediness, or irresponsibility. The saying is build a solid foundation so that you can weather any ups and downs you go through because YOU WILL GO THROUGH THEM. That way you can regroup yourself faster when “LIFE” throws curve balls at you and rebuild from what you’ve already established.
& dating shouldn’t be stressful…that’s NOT the purpose of it. Never feel so lonely that you think you have to settle…you just have too much going on to be worrying about someone who doesn’t match your standards and compliments your lifestyle. It should be more of a stress-relief, calming, fun, escape, & exciting time. If that’s NOT what you’re experiencing, then I’ll say PASS, ON TO THE NEXT…nothing lost but only MORE TO GAIN!! 😉
For more tips on “Dating” from other single mom bloggers, CLICK ON THIS LINK, Secrets for a Successful Life. This is a collaboration with single mom bloggers & it’s the 7th (& final) month of a 7 month series we’ll share insights on different topics from our unique journeys! 😉
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