Figuring out when to start dating post breakup or divorce isn’t always easy, and it can be especially hard for single parents. Everyone’s situation is different and depending on the circumstances surrounding your split, you may need time for the emotional dust to settle before looking for love again.
As you’re easing into a new routine with your kid(s) you might feel too overwhelmed to even think about dating – and that’s okay!
Maybe you have no clue what you want out of your next partner or relationship. Your needs have probably changed over the years and chances are you’re not even the same person you were the last time you were single. Right now, you’re not only finding your way through your new life as a single parent – you’re finding yourself.
If you’re the type of person that hasn’t spent much time alone before, taking a break from dating to focus on yourself can be an amazing opportunity for growth.
Five years ago I was a front-runner for “the most co-dependent woman in the world” award. I’d been in one monogamous relationship after another since my teens and had no clue who I was without a man in my life.
But becoming a single mom forced me to change that.
Of course, my initial reaction to being single was to want to run into the arms of another guy. Being alone felt uncomfortable and scary to me when I’d been programmed for nearly a decade to base my worth on my relationship status.
I started dating, but in hindsight I should’ve waited. While I didn’t want to be alone, I was terrified to really open up my heart or get too close to anyone for fear it would all come crashing down again. The wounds from my last relationship had not yet healed and my trust issues ran deep.
Without even realizing why, I found myself involved with the wrong kind of men – the kind that had little interest in more than sex with me. Though I tried to convince myself that was fun, I knew deep down my heart ached for something more meaningful.
Most people don’t venture out on dates with reckless intentions, but sometimes when we’re not dating from a truly authentic place, we end up hurting people, or even getting hurt ourselves.
So then I did a 180 and started dating nice guys that were into me for more than something physical. It was refreshing to spend my time with men that I had a real connection with, but the minute things would start to get too serious I would run, leaving their heads spinning wondering what the hell had gone wrong.
Most people don’t venture out on dates with reckless intentions, but sometimes when we’re not dating from a truly authentic place, we end up hurting people, or even getting hurt ourselves. There are times our hearts seem to be in the right, but after a date, or two, or twelve, we realize our head isn’t.
After a year of haphazardly looking for love, that’s where I found myself – and that’s when I decided I was nowhere near ready to take the single out of this single mom.
I stopped dating and I shifted my focus to working through my issues, taking care of my son, and building a stable life for us. I knew I needed to face my fear of being alone and find happiness within myself before I was ever going to find the kind of relationship I deserved.
It took two years of healing, some therapy, and soul searching before I decided to look for love again as a single mom. Now, instead of dating out of fear or desperation, I go on dates as a happy and whole person with an open heart. If a date doesn’t work out, that’s fine by me because I know my life will always kick ass regardless of my relationship status.
If you can say the same, you’re definitely ready to date again!
When you can be honest and upfront about who you are and what you want, you’ll attract the right kind of partner – Because there is nothing sexier than your authentic truth.