Single-Parent Dating Rules

Single-Parent Dating Rules

Overview

Kellee Terrell/BET

Like Kara Lynch on “Being Mary Jane,” many single moms will find themselves back in the dating game. And trust, it’s not easy—juggling your kids, your job and the judgment of others can be exhausting. But these tips can help you get back into the dating game and maintain your sanity.

Don’t feel bad for wanting a life. Being a single mother doesn’t mean you have to be lonely and celibate. You deserve to be happy and in love. As long as your kids remain your top priority, by all means go live your life.

Do set boundaries with your new boo. Yes, having a relationship is important and can be a wonderful thing, but you have to set boundaries and be clear about your time constraints given everything you juggle. This is especially important for you to do when dating men who don’t have children.

Don’t let your past stop you from moving forward. Heartbreak from the past may stand in the way of wanting to move forward in a new relationship, but just because it didn’t work out with your ex doesn’t mean it can’t work out with someone in the future. Somehow, you gotta shake off that insecurity and be empowered to see you’re worthy of love.

Do remember not every dude has to meet your kid. Some men you start to date may not be around for a long time, so you may want to be cautious about who meets your kids and when. Stand your ground if you are feeling pressured to introduce everyone early on. You have to do what’s best for you.

Don’t ever believe your kids will stop you from being wanted. I hear a lot from single mothers that they are afraid to post online that they have kids or they feel no one will want them if they have kids. And it’s just not true, so please do not believe that hype. There are plenty of good men out there who won’t hold any of that against you—and why should they? Your kids are blessings.

Don’t be afraid to get online. As many of you know, online dating is where it’s at, especially for busy mamas. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family to introduce to you men you might be interested in. It’s all about expanding your social circle.

Do give your kid(s) time to adjust. Not every child is going to like your new boo or feel comfortable with you being with someone other than their father, so be patient with them. Take your time, listen to what they are saying and try to ease them into this relationship as slowly and as easily as possible.

Don’t let your ex be up in your business. Speaking of setting boundaries, it’s really important to keep your baby’s father/ex out of your current love life, especially in the beginning. You need space to navigate your relationships without him meddling. Clearly, at some point, if your relationship gets serious, there will have to be a mature conversation about this new person being in your child’s life and what that means to the both of you. Until then, it’s OK to keep baby daddy at bay.