Not to mention that in the rare and precious moments I do have to myself, it feels like a major risk to spend that time with someone I might never see again rather than catching up with friends, reading, zoning out to Netflix, or, you know, sleeping.
The men I’d normally take an interest in are often just starting their careers, still in undergrad, or staying out until 3AM every chance they get—whereas I’m living the opposite lifestyle, and as a party of two, not one. In spite of this barrage of challenges, I still have hope.
“You already have a family, so if you want more than a fun hookup, your focus should be on a man who’s clearly father material,” says Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of . “Keeping your sex life separate from your child is crucial,” she says.
It makes perfect sense to me: My needs and desires have changed since having a child, so I want a more stable partner to be around regularly—not just for a booty call. “Having someone come in and out inconsistently isn’t good for any child, especially if they’re mourning the loss of two parents breaking up, or the absence of a parent in general.” As a young, single mom with a full plate, it’s a surprisingly common fantasy to seek out older partners for their wisdom and life experience—but experts advise not to date anyone just because he or she is your senior. “By locking into specific age, you may miss the perfect woman or man who’s right in front of you by applying these limitations.” Remember that age really doesn’t equal maturity.
Jenn suggests putting the word out to trustworthy people in your life, who can start the screening process for you: “Let family members, friends and co-workers know you’re looking to date again.
You never know who might send someone great your way.” While your single girlfriends might be down for one-night stands, it’s not exactly at the top of most single moms’ to-do lists– regardless of how young we are.
I remember my first summer in New York City, when I was getting over a relationship that ended after five years.
My sister took me aside and gave me the best piece of dating advice I've heard to this day: "Be selfish." Not rude and mean selfish, but you-do-you selfish.
“Parents don’t always realize that when you go through a breakup, your child goes through it, too,” Dr. Silva says you should also consider how involved your partner will be willing to be after meeting your child.
Still, the experts say single moms would do well to look for prospects in places other than our glowing screens.
“We treat online dating like we do our social media streams and select only the images that stand out to us,” says Silva.
But Winter strongly feels that less pressure will be placed on you and your S. if you leave it off of social media—at least in the early stages.
“Keep your blossoming relationship out of the eyes of ‘friends’ on social media,” she advises.