Yes I know .. I love the tricky topics .. the ones that most people are too shy or embarrassed or scared to cover. Single parenting is one of my favourite topics, it is deeply personal to me and the lessons I have learned are abundant. These lessons tend to apply to much of life in general too, not just parenting. As do the lessons around dating for single parents.
It is really important for me to state very honestly and with the greatest of care and intention that this is all very personal and individual sharing. Dating and anything regarding single parents and blending families is hugely complex. Please (always) take my personal experience as simply that, it is not gospel and I’m not a professional. I am someone with lots of life experience who cares deeply about others, living with authenticity and shining a light where I can.
In my own experience, these are some of the heartfelt tips I would love to impart :
♡ Always be yourself, never lie, fabricate, photoshop or do anything to give a different impression of who you really are when you set out into the world of dating, especially when using online dating! It will always catch up with you in the end and it is not a good place to start your journey back into dating or relationships, with deception of any kind!
♡ Remember who you were before you were a parent, you are worthy, unique and amazing. OWN your beauty, sexuality, grace, pride and story. It is these things that will ultimately attract the right people into your life.
♡ Take the focus off the children during the early stages, get to know yourself and the people you meet as adults for as long as possible. It is not OK and nor is it responsible to bring children into a relationship that is not 100% stable, long term, tried and tested through things like holidays together as a couple, meeting each others families and friends, spending extended time truly knowing everything about each other! (I learned this the hard way!)
♡ Online dating is the new frontier! Embrace it, and remember that the energy you put into anything is the energy you will get back. Technology has opened us up to the potential to meet literally thousands of people we would never meet otherwise. It does take time, effort and a thick skin to navigate this space though. Do not give up, do not allow those who are simply not good people to taint it for you. Always be polite, always use your manners the same way you would face to face. Persist, try out different sites and see what works for you.
♡ Get offline ASAP if you feel a connection, have a phone conversation and then arrange to meet for a coffee, a drink or something low maintenance to assess the IRL connection. Be honest, up front and resilient.
♡ Remember that every single person you encounter in this life is a chance for growth, learning and knowing yourself better. Do not be bitter, angry or upset about the ones who don’t end up being friends or lovers or partners, they are actually your greatest teachers!
♡ Get out more! Sometimes all it takes is shifting your energy from the couch to getting out with friends, or setting up your profile online. It is this that signals to the universe (which is really just you!) that you are ready, your energy is everything, as is your attitude.
♡ Do not stress if someone does not call you back, if they don’t reply to your text message in a certain amount of time or if a first date does not turn into anything more. Tune into your gut, your intuition, your knowing, it will never lead you astray. If you are not in tune with these things, then my advice is that you are maybe not ready to be dating yet. Spend some more time alone, working on yourself, loving yourself and your life first, this is how you will come to know yourself so well that you will never doubt or need reassurance from others.
♡ Have FUN! Your happiness is not dependant on being in a relationship, that will come when you are happy with yourself. Enjoy the dates and the nerves and the whole experience of dating while you can, don’t rush into anything and don’t go out into the world with any sense of neediness, it is transparent and it will change the whole experience for you!