Online dating safety is a valid concern, especially for single mums and, unfortunately, many women don’t give it enough thought. Single mums are so caught up in the hope of connecting with someone and falling in love that they sometimes lose sight of the dangers that can come with putting themselves out there.
While online dating can still be enjoyable and fun-filled, women need to be more cautious than ever in today’s dating world. Dating is under construction these days, you run into more people, and the old dating rules of safety shouldn’t apply to the new dating culture. The biggest change in online dating behaviour that affects safety is the number of information women shares online.
Dating as a single mum, however, seems to come with quite a few different ups and downs in the world of online dating. For single mums, online dating can throw up more obstacles. For a start, balancing your needs and feelings with those of your children means there are already more than two people to consider in any new relationship.
Online Dating – Useful Etiquette For Single Mums
1. Ensure You Are Ready For Online Dating
If you’re a single mum dating for the first time in a while, it’s likely your previous relationship didn’t work out as you hoped. Now is the time to think about the kind of person you would like to meet next and the kind of relationship you would like to have but before you do that, it’s worth reflecting on the person you are now.
You can list out the good qualities you have, the ones you would like in a partner, and those you are seeking in a relationship. This is a great way to remind yourself you now have a blank canvas on which to create a relationship that’s right for you. For example, for older women, dating a younger man may be top of their list or it may not even be on the page. The point is that this is your list, your life and your choice, whether that means looking for love or simply dating and having fun on your terms.
Starting a relationship may fill a temporary void, and you may believe that all your problems will be solved, but not until you are in good head space and feel good about yourself can you also make a great partner to someone else.
2. Decide When To Tell Him You Have A Child
Time is precious, and you shouldn’t waste it going on a date with someone that hates children. Sometimes, it is important to bring up this conversation fairly quickly before going on a first date while online dating.
Most single mums are scared to bring up the fact they have children and don’t bring it up until they’ve had three or four dates. I believe that having a child is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s also a huge part of your life and who you are. A vast number of women in their thirties and forties have children anyway, and if someone doesn’t like it or can’t accept the fact you have children, then you wouldn’t want to date them anyway. I happen to think that single mums make great partners, so it’s their loss.
3. Your Children Are Your First Priority
For single mums, your kids likely come first. It’s important to understand and accept this fact. A parent’s devotion to their children is admirable and embracing.
Depending on your child’s age, they may be involved in your decision on whether or not to date. Children and single mums often see their relationship with each other as highly intense and exclusive, and kids may experience some insecurity at the thought of their parent dating
It’s important to respect that close relationship and navigate things in a way that makes you and your children feel comfortable.
4. Make Time For Yourself
For single mums, making time for themselves is easier said than done when they are trying to juggle a career, motherhood and a new relationship, but any time you can devote to self-care will help in the other areas of your life.
This can be done by making small changes to your weekly routine, setting aside time to see friends, taking an exercise class or joining a group of other single mums. Even a weekly pampering hour, where you enjoy a long soak in the bath or put your feet up, can be a way to recharge yourself.
You might also try to find time for a personal project, such as organizing a book club or pursuing one of your interests or passions. Anything separate from your love life and your identity will give you a feeling of productivity and a greater sense of identity, both of which breed the confidence that can be highly attractive when it comes to online dating.
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5. Screen Potential Partners Thoroughly
While your kids should be on your dates’ radar, hold off on sharing photos and details until they’ve earned your trust over time.
Single mums still have the solemn responsibility to screen their partners. Exercise caution, conduct due diligence, and check their personality and background thoroughly, so you’re not putting yourself or your children at risk. This stands no matter how much of a good feeling you get from them.
6. Embrace Online Dating
Online platforms can be great for dating single mums. Not only are there a growing number of sites that offer a safe, effective service and help to facilitate genuine connections, but there are also several factors that make online dating much more suitable.
Single mums are often time-poor, making it hard to spend evenings away from home. Instead of trying to meet people socially, you can use online dating from the comfort of your own home, while bouncing a child on your knee or propped up on the sofa when the kids have finally gone to bed.
Online dating naturally invites a getting-to-know-you period, during which you communicate solely with matches via instant messaging or texts. This gives you an ideal opportunity to learn about your potential date before making any commitment or meeting them face to face.
If you’re returning to dating after several years, it can be nerve-racking and exhilarating in equal measure. If you have young children, make sure you arrange proper childcare in advance, as it will help you to relax on dates knowing your children are being safely looked after.
An active dating life shouldn’t encroach on the time you spend with your children, and when things go right and you meet someone incredible, it’s important to stay grounded and take things at a pace that suits you.
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