I’ve spent the past three years dating as a single mom – including a year-long relationship—and let me tell you something: there is no better time than to date than as a single mom. When I was dating in my twenties, I was looking for a husband with a healthy set of testicles with which to sire children. The pressure is off as a single mom.…and that makes you a delight to be around. So many disappointments, self-blame, and broken hearts. Since becoming a single mother I have found that I am so much less judgmental of myself. 1) you became a parent, which will blow your mind, heart and life in incredible ways, and 2) you’ve found yourself single after a serious longterm relationship. I can check that off my life to-do list and look for a man for love or companionship or sex – or all three. This kindness bleeds into your other relationships. Being a single mom means that you have been through at least three life-altering experiences."Time with friends, time spent on activities that don't include kids or work, and time alone are all important." If you don't have time for these, your schedule may be too busy to fit dating in -- for now.If you want to date, you'll have to make time in your life for it.Getting back into the dating game as a single parent can seem daunting. Our relationship experts help you navigate the single-parent dating scene. " Sometimes, Baumgartner says, the voids in your life may be better filled in ways other than dating.
"Perhaps a better question than when is why," says Christine Baumgartner, relationship coach at The Perfect Catch. Expecting dating to fulfill all your needs is unrealistic and might attract (or cause you to accept) people who aren't right for you.Especially the people you want to attract, aka awesome men. I'm hoping to change all that, but the mere thought of entering the dating world in earnest is scary as can be. Waiting too long to start dating GIPHY As a single mom, you want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with your children — but making the introduction is a tricky situation."Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella.“Maybe I should set up an online dating account to help me get over him,” I said. After a day on the site, I had three dates on the calendar. Asking a man out on a date, or accepting one, wasn’t just 90 minutes over a beer, sharing the anecdotes that would make us attractive enough to make out with each other.At first it was confidence-boosting to see that there were a lot of men who wanted to get to know me. What it really came down to was me finding someone who could take on part of my responsibilities. Taking the time to get to know someone meant pulling from time I spent working or taking care of myself. “You can’t expect to either quit having sex or find a perfect match when you’re 40 years old and have kids,” a male friend said. When asked what she wishes her mom would do differently while dating, Rachel, a smart young graduate student, replied, “I wish she would recognize her own impulsivity and emotional rollercoaster.She does and says things without recognizing that to some extent our whole family is dating this guy.Dating became a distraction from my daily life, an escape from my full plate of responsibilities. He didn’t have kids and didn’t understand the sinking devastation I felt. “It’s nice to have someone who will have sex with you and not be a jerk, yet not have any expectations or all the emotional stuff.” He had a point.Even with my friends’ willingness to help out with child care, every night out was a scramble to set up who could watch my kids and when I had to be home by their bedtime. My older daughter was away for a few days after Christmas, and he asked me to go out of town with him. I needed so desperately to get a break from my day-to-day life of working at home. “I gave him an out,” I said to my friend a couple of days later while wallowing through the sixth season of “Parenthood.” “Why did you give him an out? I wanted to escape for an hour or two in between some flirty distractions without worrying about whether he’ll be a supportive, healthy, future partner. I had two very real kids at home who came first, took up most of my time and energy, and I didn’t have much to give."In my coaching practice, I suggest that single moms do the inside work to get really clear about their wants, needs, values and beliefs and get in touch with their intuition," says Kerri Zane, single-mom lifestyle expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the Real One.Once you've decided that you're ready to date, it might feel impossible to find the time.