Let’s get straight to the chase. The thought of being single and dating again can be daunting, scary, and frustrating. Add raising children into the mix and dating as a single parent, then getting back out there seems almost impossible.
It doesn’t have to be though.
As someone who once dated as a single mother, I had to be proactive and creative in the ways that I dated. I got married and had 2 more children in my 40’s, so know that it is possible to find love again as a single parent.
And now as a certified matchmaker, below are a few of the same tips that I share with clients. Always remember, you must be intentional about dating to increase your chances of connecting with your future partner.
#1) SET A DATING GOAL
Decide how many dates you want to go on, either weekly or monthly. If you primarily meet people online, log on at least once a week and contact at least 20 prospects (Sundays are the best times to meet people online.) Send short, personalized messages (no more than 2–3 sentences) and go from there. If your goal is to meet or connect with 1–3 new contacts a week either on the phone or in person, again reach out to at least 20 people.
After going through this process for a few weeks you’ll get a better feel for how many initial contacts you’ll need to make to reach your actual meeting goal, so adjust accordingly.
Now, if you prefer to meet new potential dates in person, approach at least 5 men/women a week. Before you do though, observe their ring finger and confirm that it is bare. While that is is no guarantee as to whether a person is married or single, it’s at least an initial vetting process and if a person is in a committed relationship, then that should be respected.
#2) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
There’s no other way to get good at dating than to date — often. Stop expecting the next person that you meet to be the one. Until you are in a MUTUALLY exclusive relationship, continue dating.
Men tend to be way more efficient in dating because they do just that.
Women tend to be monogamous early on in the process, focusing on the man that they are most interested in at the moment, even if they are not in a relationship.
Can the thought of dating multiple people at one time be overwhelming? Sure. But so was perfecting your professional craft in the beginning. The more you did whatever it is that you do, the easier it became. And you learned methods, techniques, and shortcuts to be more efficient in your job or business. The old saying of “Practice makes Perfect” applies to dating as well.
#3) SCHEDULE TIME TO DATE
Let’s face it — if you are a single parent, you do not have much free time. Between working all day, taking kids to their extracurricular activities, checking homework, cooking dinner, and putting the kids to bed, going out on a date is the last thing you have the time or energy to do.
However, if you are serious about being in a relationship, then you must be intentional and efficient in dating. What does that mean? You guessed it! Schedule times to go out to meet potential suitors at least 2–4 times a month.
Whatever caliber of mate you desire, frequent the places that he or she would have dinner or hang out and go there — consistently.
If you are going out in the evening, hire a babysitter or ask a friend or family member to watch the kids during this time. If it’s during a school night though, have the sitter come to your house so you do not disrupt your children’s routine.
And the best part? Scheduling nights to meet others while you are single hopefully turn into date nights for you and your partner down the line.
#4) LUNCH DATES
Another consideration for single parents is whether it is worth it or convenient to get a sitter for your kids. We are all counting our pennies, so we want it to be a smart choice.
If that is the case, go on plenty of lunch dates during the day when the kids are in school. For those that you are initially connecting with online but want to finally meet in person, lunch dates are a great option. If things progress with a particular person, then continue lunch dates, but also add in evening dates.
#5) FREQUENT THE SAME RESTAURANT
If you are currently single and not dating anyone, start going to the same restaurant for lunch or dinner around the same time at least 1–2 times per week by yourself. Avoid going on the weekends though as that is when people usually go with others or for a party — not the best time to meet someone.
Going to the same restaurant consistently allows you to start getting to know the hosts, waiters, waitresses, and bartenders. Strike a conversation with the staff and casually let them know that if they meet a single man or woman to let you know the next time you come.
Additionally, when the staff recognizes and greets you at an establishment, another single person might take notice and ask the staff about you because you appear friendly.
About: Tamika M. Johnson is an Attorney, Author & Certified Matchmaker who loves connecting successful professionals with one another for healthy, long-term relationships. For additional information about Tamika and her dating consultations and services, visit: https://myplatinumconnections.com/