“So, now that you are single, are you dating anyone?” “No, as a Mom I’m really focusing on my children / career / health.” But the idea of dating starts to creep in your mind. You find yourself checking for a ring on a guy you’ve been eyeing in the produce section at Trader Joe’s. So here we are. I shared my story of when I began to date, but this series really unfolds some important elements. I debated calling this series: “Divorced and Dating: The Stuff No One Will Tell You, So I Will.” Whatever it’s called, let’s dive in!
Welcome to Dating and The Single Mom, The 3 Part Series.
Part 1: A Whole New World
Part 2: Dating Apps 101
Part 3: Sex and the Single Mom
What will this series cover?
Part 1 will introduce you to dating after divorce / dating as a single parent, which is a complete different world in every single way.
You will meet the various types men in this world:
- The guy who never got married.
- The single dad who never married.
- The divorced man, with no kids.
- And the very common species, most similar to you, the divorced dad with kids.
- *and rare, but worth including guys who have a thing for older women.
Each of these men come with their own unique set of strengths and qualities that may be comforting, reassuring, or have you running in the complete other direction.
The rules are different now than when you were 20. You have your kids, you have your career. What are you looking for now? And a very important question, should you even be looking?
What is motivating you to meet men? Are you ready for fun? Are you scared to be alone?
Have you done the important inner work healing from the trauma of your divorce (even the amicable divorce is completely traumatic)?
Part 2 will explain dating apps, including the role (art) of texting in dating.
I will cover how they work, the “norms” of engagement of the app, and red flags. While no one “wants” to be on Match or Bumble, at one point or another you may find yourself curious … or bored. And within the world of these dating apps, you need to know how things unfold, what to be wary of, and what you are absolutely allowed to and should ask up front. Many of these questions apply to meeting guys in general, such as the preliminary vetting questions. So much vetting.
How long have you been single? Are you separated or divorced and if so, for how long? What is your custody situation? What is your last name?
You may be surprised to learn that men will not be up front about their status, or as I like to call it: THEY LIE.
They will tell you they have been single for a year when really things ended with their girlfriend four months ago. They will say they are divorced, but really they have only been separated for five months.
And why does this all matter? Because the man’s mental state matters; it impacts you. At least know what you’re dealing with before being blindsided.
And Part 3 … Well, the big obvious S.E.X.
Sorry Mom and Dad, but someone’s got to have the birds and bees conversation.
Your married friends may not want to discuss it with you, and they are also in a different mindset than maybe you. First, you must find friends you can have frank, open, and JUDGEMENT free conversations with about having sex while dating. There are absolutely mom friends of mine whom I adore where the topic of sex never comes up … ever. Then there are mom friends where it’s mentioned often. Because inquiring minds want to know! If you broach the topic with a friend and it is met with mocking or hints of judgment, just move on and don’t pursue opening up to them again.
And if you can, find yourself a good male friend too. This is extremely helpful to have a man’s candid point of view, particularly a man who respects you as a person and has your back.
When it comes to sleeping with a guy, you can certainly wait for as long as you want, but know these two things.
1. You can do whatever you want!! Period. You are a grown woman who deserves to have whatever experiences you wish.
2. Men will want to sleep with you on the first date. They may hint or straight out say it.
But with great power, comes with great responsibility.
If you get emotionally attached if you sleep with a guy, then consider your choices or motives.
Have frank and candid conversations about STDs and birth control up front. It won’t make the man lose interest, and if it does, he wasn’t worth it.
Because you are worth it. If you have any questions you would like included, even if not included in any of the above topics and wish to submit them anonymously I promise confidentially and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will include them in the post. If you are wondering about something, chances are so is someone else!