Dating as a single mom can be a little daunting. For most of us, it’s been years since we went on a date with anyone other than a man who knew us well. I remember feeling like I didn’t even know how to behave on a date anymore! More and more single people are using online dating as a way to meet people. This can make dating even scarier, it’s one thing to go out to dinner with someone you know, even vaguely, but to go out with a complete strange can be a little intimidating. Here are a few do’s and don’ts I’ve learned in my dating experience as a single mom.
• Do: Relax! It’s just a date. I used to stress out so badly before a first date that I made myself crazy. Will he like me? Will I like him? What if I get spinach in my teeth? More than likely he is just as nervous as you are so relax. Look at it as an opportunity to meet a new person; even if you don’t hit it off, it’s not the end of the world. If it works out, you will go out again, if not, you will both continue your search.
• Do: Make sure your child is with someone you trust and that they look forward to spending time with. You will not have a good time if you are worried about your child.
• Do: Try to enjoy yourself, listen to his stories, and tell him funny ones of your own. This date does not decide the rest of your life so relax and enjoy it!
• Do: Make sure someone knows where you are going and as much about this person as possible. I know it sounds a little paranoid but better safe than sorry. Also, drive your own car and meet in a public place, a restaurant or movie theater.
• Do: Be honest. Make sure he knows that you are a single mom. You don’t have to go into stories about back child support and a father who doesn’t see his kids as much as he should; those things are better left unsaid. However, he does need to know that you have children and they are your priority.
• Do: Keep an open mind. Everyone thinks they know their perfect match, but your perfect match may come in a different package than you expect and it you immediately reject someone for not being tall enough, or blond enough, or handsome enough, you may be missing out on someone wonderful.
• Don’t: Give him your life story. This is a turn off for most people, men and women. Touch on the important things, briefly and move on.
• Don’t: Be a negative Nelly. Everyone has a bad divorce story; it should not be the topic of conversation on a first date.
• Don’t: Have any expectations. Just enjoy your night out.
• Don’t: Put pressure on yourself to be perfect. No one is perfect, and if he is anyone you want to spend more time with, he won’t expect perfection. I once tripped on the way into a restaurant; it gave us something to laugh about and immediately broke the ice.
• Don’t: Make a big deal about this date to your kids. There has been enough turmoil in their lives, they don’t need to start worrying about you dating too. Just tell them you are going to dinner or whatever, with a nice man you met.
Those are just a few things to keep in mind. It’s just a date, relax and enjoy it. Very few people are lucky enough to meet the right person immediately. Most of us have to kiss a lot of frogs so a good attitude is the best thing to help you get through this new phase of your life.