Dating Advice for Single Moms
Last time I wrote about how becoming a single mother meant having your entire life flipped upside-down. You've been handed a challenging combination of emotions and responsibilities, and now you've got to figure out how to manage. It is no doubt overwhelming, and certainly something you can't do on your own. Single moms need friendship, long for meaningful companionship, and can easily be frustrated and impatient with not having someone to share the responsibilities.
As a single mom it is very likely you will want to date sooner than later. The question is, when is the right time?
The question is, when is the right time?
A single mom called into my show to talk about dating and here is what I told her.
Dating is a challenging situation under the best of circumstances. The wrong kind of relationship can suck the life right out of you. The potential is very high for a single mother to become focused on her loneliness and try to find a boyfriend just to fill that loneliness. So she gets caught up in the need for a man or settles for someone unhealthy. Like I told the caller, a relationship may help, but it won't heal.
Too often a single mom is so desperate to have a man in her life that the relationship moves way too quickly.
Ashley wrote: "I thought that I needed a boyfriend to make me happy. But what I needed was to focus on being a mother to my kids and working to take care of all the responsibilities of our family. This meant sacrificing a lot for what I THOUGHT I needed, but instead receiving so much more from my life."
Here are some helpful questions for you to ask yourself about a potential boyfriend
- Does he contribute to your strength and peace?
- Does he help you to be a better mother?
- Is he a distraction?
- Does he suck the life out of you?
You have to be very cautious about whom you date, and even more cautious about when the boyfriend is allowed to come into the life of your children. Too often a single mom is so desperate to have a man in their life that things move way too quickly. Even the very valid motivation of having a dad" for their kids again is NOT a good reason to move too fast. Not only is mom hurt when the relationship doesn't last, but so is the child.
It is very important for a single mom to protect herself from being isolated, but this does not mean jumping into a dating relationship.
Sharon said: "Our children should not meet our 'dating partners' unless they are becoming a serious potential 'marriage partner.' They have already had to let go of the absent parent being an active part of their lives, they should not have to 'let go' again by getting attached to a dating partner with whom the relationship later ends, causing another loss to our child."
Some experts say it's not a good idea to bring your boyfriend around until it looks like you might be getting married. This prevents a lot of heartache and pain,
and protects your children from experiencing a "revolving door" of different boyfriends in their home.
It is very important for a single mom to protect herself from being isolated. It will only leave her locked in her own emotions without any fresh perspectives. Friendships with other moms can help provide this fresh perspective and support. I know moms who take turns watching each others' children in order to give one another a break or who plan playdates to combat the isolation. I also want to strongly encourage you to use TheHopeLine, so you aren't facing these confusing emotions and struggles alone. TheHopeLine has also created a resource page with Bible verses to encourage you. Remember, HopeCoaches are available 24/7 via phone or chat. You are not alone.