The Single Mom Dating Plan

Becoming a Single Mom

The first time I became a single mom was after giving birth to my daughter while attending college. Months later her dad and I would separate and raise her independently of each other. The second time it occurred was years later, when my husband and I divorced. How ironic that two different life choices and paths would lead me to the same status; that of a black single mother. It goes to show a woman can become a single mother through various journeys, such as adoption or death, separation or divorce. However, my divorce was almost expected, as I was a product of it. I possess the fuzziest memories of my parents "togetherness" and am sure this contributed towards my shortcomings as a partner, amongst other things. I didn't lead by example, but used my instincts and sometimes survival tactics to guide my way through marriage...ineffectively. Later, it would dawn on me that my daughter was in a way single too. Despite my ex-husband not being her natural father signed divorce papers would symbolize not just one, but three broken, if not failed relationships. Our family, as we knew it, was dissolved. And I assumed complete responsibility, for possibly dismaying my daughter by not setting an example of a functional, successful relationship; one that I rarely witnessed as a child. The thought of starting another relationship all over again wouldn't occur to me for a while. But being fairly young and resilient, it didn't take terribly long for my dating interests to be peaked. However I didn't know how to make the transition from being somewhat of a homebody wife and mother, to being a social black singleton...and a mom.

The Single Mom Dating Plan:

With that in mind, I would recommend the following plan of action for any single mom making the initial transition back to dating:

STEP 1: BE BRAVE! First, shelve your fears of failure, loneliness, sadness, and begrudging. Embrace a break-up and/or divorce and tuck them all away. In order to enjoy your dating life again, you must adjust your outlook. Bask in the opportunity to change your social and romantic life. It's truly self-empowering. Attitude is everything!

STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR DATING PATH! Next, what are you looking for? You must decide whether you seek a future husband/father figure OR if want to date for fun OR both. Keep all of your options open and enjoy the dating experience for what it is. Don't turn down a man because of timing being "too soon". Yet, don't commit to a man because of a void or loneliness.

STEP 3: GET OUT THERE! Thirdly, I strongly suggest that you immerse yourself into socializing with groups of friends. Later, switch your interaction from a group dynamic to going out alone with other single friends so as to slowly ease yourself into one-on-one situations. Socializing takes practice. Be determined to speak up, and out, about topics that don't involve mothering or your ex-husband.

STEP 4: LISTEN! And ladies I do emphasize: listen. Listen while in group settings; listen to your companion while on outings. Listen Listen Listen. It allows you to be in control; thus resulting in the confidence you will need, when delving back into uncertain waters such as this one. You will learn to respond, to guide and to sometimes deflect uncomfortable conversation, all by being a bit more quiet than the other person.

STEP 5: FIND YOUR BALANCE: A new dating cycle can be slippery and utterly nerve-wracking as single life constantly evolves. Dating is now seemingly less traditional and more of an "anything goes" dynamic. You can choose to hook up immediately or not without the taboo. Dinner and a movie, dancing or drinks, are no longer a feigned prerequisite if you enjoy someone enough to sleep with him. This is the best culture to ever mesh with divorce and a single mom. I feel every woman needs at least 1 lover when not involved in a relationship. But that may not be for everyone. It is important to stay sexually healthy while sorting out Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now. It is a necessary confidence booster for dating moms who need to feel and be desired sexually.

By Fran Cess for


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