Single moms and the dating life. "Is there such a thing?" asks Circle of Moms member Rachel D. "I would love to know, how does it work? Because it seems like there is never a spare moment," she adds, voicing the collective lament of many single moms who say that after working all day and caring for the kids alone, they find themselves in a state of exhaustion — not exactly in the mood to go out and find romance.
Let's be real, how do you put your sexy on after a day when "let's snuggle" means cuddling a toddler to nap? Or is it possible to find the energy to date when kids rule the night shift as well because there's no "B team"/partner to offer a break from parenting duties that are 24/7?
But, fret no more single moms. While dating is not easy, "it can be done," assures Stacy D. For single moms who are looking to add more love and romance into their lives, there are some successful strategies for playing the field, having fun, and making sure your child is at ease — if and when a new guy enters your life. Consider these ideas from Circle of Moms members who have put themselves out there in the hopes of finding love again.
1. First, Decide if You Are Really Ready
"Don't rush into anything," advises Circle of Moms member Star. J., and many moms share her hesitancy about jumping back into the dating game. "My daughter will be 18 months and I'm still not ready," says Leslie N. "I have yet to meet a real man that I could date, because most I have met are not willing to take care of another man's children." And Jean C., a mom of three children (ages 11, 14, and 18), who's been divorced for two years, echos, "I wonder all the time if I am ready for dating. But I do feel that I need to try to find someone that can treat me like a lady and do things with me. It's true that after you divorce it may take you three years to get over it and start dating."
2. Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone
Part of transitioning to life as a single mom is watching the built-in social life that comes with being married — the world of coupled friends — vanish. The first step is to get back into a social network, which can be easier said than done, says Regina K. "It's important to start with social situations that might take you a little out of your comfort zone," she recommends. "Remember, just because we're single moms doesn't mean our lives have ended. In due time you'll know when it's OK." Other Circle of Moms members agree that you've got to go for what your heart desires and deserves.
3. Better Ways to Meet Someone
Online dating is one popular resource some Circle of Moms members say leads to new love. "By going online, you can chat and go through the get-to-know-a-guy [phase] without taking time away from your kids," says Bethany H. Other Circle of Moms suggest pursuing hobbies and participating in sports or other activities you enjoy as a way to meet new people — and potential dates. "After years of partying it up at bars and clubs I've settled down and enjoy building snow forts and kite flying," says Leigh S. She adds that it is through her hobbies that she has started meeting new people.
Volunteering has been the ticket to meeting new guys for Charissa B. "Meeting guys at a bar is always a hit-or-miss kind of thing. What do you really have in common, you like to drink," she says. "I think the best thing is to pick something you love (for me it's snowboarding) and pursue it. Every winter I head up to my local ski resort and volunteer with their adaptive snowboarding program. That's where I met my current boyfriend."
4. Be the Initiator
Go ahead and make a move, say many single Circle of Moms members who back up that suggestion with the rationale that life's short. "I am dating somebody I met at the grocery store one day," says April B., who introduced herself to her boyfriend of three months. "You can tell if a guy is interested, so go ahead, make a move. The worst he can say is no."
Remember you can meet a guy anywhere, advises Natasha R. "You can meet your Mr. Right in the strangest places," agrees April B. "If you see someone you like, you just have to go for it. That's what I did and we have been going strong so far."
5. Start Small
Life is not an episode of The Bachelorette, where dating means leaving your child home for six weeks to travel to an exotic locale to find a prospective mate. It's best to venture into the dating world slowly, Circle of Moms members agree. "Plan small evenings first or lunch dates," says Melissa D.
6. Trust It Will Happen When the Time is Right
"It may take time, but you will meet someone, and even if you don't by trying to date, you might make some great male friends," advises Jennifer N. "All I know is that you don't know if you don't try," says Tamara B.
Are you a single mom who is dating? What's your advice?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.