5 Super Useful Tips that Helped Me Date Again as a Single Mom

So, you're a single mom who has decided you're ready for a new relationship.
Or maybe you’re just looking for an excuse to throw on some heels, get out of the house and have some adult conversation...and a glass or two of wine. 
From one single mom to another, as exciting as the thought of new conversation with a man is, it’s also normal to feel terrified. I was terrified to get back out there, but luckily I had some friends to offer up the following 5 tips to make it all a bit easier. 

1. Start slow – Self-care comes first

Make sure you have enough alone time to spend on yourself before you start dating again. If you don't, you'll feel spread very thin immediately.
Your friends or family will have a lot of opinions on your dating life.
But your pace is the only right one.
If you aren't sure if dating is for you right now, there is nothing wrong with starting slow and going on one or two dates a month. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the options out there - so do what feels right to you. 

2. Online dating is an excellent resource – use it!

I thought I'd meet someone organically, but I didn't. Between working full-time, taking care of my two children, maintaining a household, and all of life's daily grind, online dating was a saving grace for me. 
I tried two dating sites – Zoosk and Elite Singles. Zoosk had a lot more single men on it - I live in a small town, and was surprised to find several men in my area I never would have ran into at the grocery store or at my kids’ school. 
I liked Elite Singles because it did the matching for me, which meant I didn’t have to put in as much effort. I received matches every day, so I had the power to decide whether to invest the time in a conversation, or just ignore it until the next day’s matches came rolling in. 
Even if you don’t take it so seriously or have the time to invest in it, just having the option of logging on to a dating site and meeting single men makes the prospect of moving on and starting something new feel more attainable. 

3. Grab A Friend

Dating, especially online dating, is so much more fun when you have a partner in crime to help you. It doesn't matter if it's your married sister, mom, or another single friend, find someone who will help you pick out outfits or get a manicure with before a date - someone who is excited for you and wants to hear all about your experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Dating can be scary, but having someone to talk to will help ease your mind.

4. Date smart and always have a “person” 

However you choose to meet, make sure you have a person who’s kept in the loop about any dates or new men. 
My person was my sister. Before every date, I’d send her a picture of the guy, with his name, where he lived, where we were planning on meeting, and anything else I deemed important. I’d also text her on my way home.
If plans changed and or the date was extended, I sent her an update text too. It's just smart and gives you and your loves ones peace of mind.

5. Only do whatever you're comfortable with

If you want to leave in the middle of a date because you don't feel right or don’t think it will go anywhere and would rather be spending time with your kids, it’s okay. If your date wants to walk you to your car and you aren’t comfortable, say no. 
You are allowed to call the shots. You don’t owe him anything - even if he did drive an hour to see you.
You might have a few bad dates before you have a good one, and you might have a few great dates right away and wonder why you ever waited so long to get back out there. Just remember, when you do start dating, go with your gut - she always knows best.  
One last piece of advice before you go: If you're ready to give online dating a try, head to a site like Zoosk​, whose smart matching and ease of use just might be the key to making it work for you.

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