It’s clear that single parents are on the rise … and that our culture is finally seeing them sexy!
But why is dating a single parent sexy?
It’s likely because there’s a higher chance that single parents have their lives together, and know how to nurture and care for another, are strong and independent, are dependable, know what they want as well as how to give and receive love.
How’s that for a few pros?
Don’t get me wrong, this trend is not about promoting the dismantling of the two-parent household; it’s that our collective culture is finally catching up with our changing reality.
According to the CDC, 41 percent of moms give birth while unmarried, with an increase of women over 35 who are becoming single moms by choice. And 24 percent of children are living with an unmarried mother.
In terms of popular culture, this season’s Bachelor In Paradise featured several single parents who were some of the most desired contestants on the show. Case in point when single dad Justin chose single mom Cassandra over just single Jaclyn — which led her to comment that she didn’t realize that being a single mom would give you a leg up on this show!
And then there is Pope Francis who acknowledges that, because divorce affects 25 percent of Catholics (many of whom have children). Many Catholics are getting annulment reforms to maintain their faith, even if they’re separated from their spouse.
Amongst all these stats, you have to remember that you are MORE than your parental status. Yes, you’re a mom. But you are also an interesting, dynamic, layered, fun, playful, successful and sexy woman!
So how do you act dating as a single mom vs. just being single? That’s what I help my clients with every day. To start, here are 10 single mom dating tips:
1. Have a confident, self-assured attitude.
It’s all about how you present yourself. If you go into a situation thinking, “Here I am … do you like me? Am I good enough? What do you think?” they will feel and be turned off by that insecurity.
If you go into a situation thinking, “Here I am … I know this is going to be waste of my time, you’re going to disappoint, reject, or not be good enough for me.” You’ll be right.
Instead, think, “Here I am … if you don’t like me, that’s OK. I like me. I am here to have an open mind and a cautiously open heart.”
“Here I am” — that’s your new mantra. The way you present yourself is how you’re perceived.
2. Don’t hide the fact that you’re a mom.
Revealing that you’re a mom is first date conversation material. If he can’t handle it, isn’t accepting, judges, or isn’t interested … he’s not for you. Your child isn’t a burden or something to be embarrassed or ashamed of.
That being said, you also don’t have to have a serious and weighty conversation about it. It’s all about presentation. If you act like your child is a burden and that your situation is difficult, he will feel that your situation is a difficult burden. And that’s not sexy.
Your child is a big part of your life. Period. No big deal. Present the fact in a power feminine way and with pride.
3. Make the time to get out there.
You’re busy. Your schedule is tight. You never have enough time. But if dating is important to you, you’ll make the time. Don’t feel bad about leaving your child with a trusted caregiver — be it a family member, friend, nanny, or babysitter. Just make sure to be smart and take the proper precautions. (Ex: I shot a video on how to calm my infant if he is crying and also wrote down “10 ways to calm crying Finley.”)
Then let your date know that, while you do have a full life, you also have time for a social life. It’s a priority to you. Don’t make him feel like you have no time or energy for him. Even though you’re tired, don’t constantly complain about how tired you are, making him feel bad for being out with you. Don’t go on and on about how much you miss your child and how weird it is to be away from her, making him feel bad for being out with you.
Live fully in the moment with your date. Stressing about what you’re not doing will only make what you’re doing less successful.
4. Be an active, present participant in the relationship.
Remember that your relationship is also important. Make it a priority. Call, text, and arrive when you say you’ll be there. If you know your child has complete breakdowns when you leave, plan to leave early so that you aren’t incessantly late with the excuse of “I needed to calm my child.”
5. Be honest with yourself.
What are you searching for in a relationship? What type of guy you’re looking for who will be a fit for both you and your child? Answer these and then be upfront with him about them.
6. Let him know what your lifestyle looks like.
Let him in on your schedules, hours, your ex-relationship, classes, work, appointments, nanny and everything else in between.
That’s not to say that you need to present your calendar and expect him to memorize it. But make him aware of your daily basics, and where your routines are ironclad and where your day is flexible. If you let things slide or hide your obligations for his sake, you will likely end up hating yourself and/or resenting him.
7. Put some effort into yourself!
Yes, you’re a mom. Yes, it’s hard to pull yourself together like you used to, but finding time to work out, go shopping, and primping is important!
More than looking good to everyone else, it’s about feeling good. You need and deserve to feel sexy, beautiful, and confident again! So make the time to do something for you. Every day.
8. Have a life outside of your kids.
Even if it’s just taking a class once a week, going out to the gym, having a childless standing date with a girlfriend, or starting a mom’s (or just women’s) adventure group in your area — pulling together a group of women to explore interesting activities in your area. You cannot be solely about your child. Just as some women lose their identity within relationships with men, it’s also common for moms to lose their identity with their children.
You were a fully-formed and interesting woman before you became a mom. Rediscover that woman! If nothing else, it will give you more to talk about on your dates, which will make you more attractive and make men more interest in you … because you are interesting!
9. Talk about YOUR life.
Don’t just talk about your child. Even if he’s a single dad.
Yes, you’re a mom, and that side of you is very important and it permeates all other sides of you, but you aren’t only a mom.
10. Allow him to be the man.
Let your guard down a little bit. It’s OK to not always be fortified. Give yourself permission to give up a little control. It will feel SO good.