How to know if you’re ready to start dating again

You never imagined you would be a single mum on the dating scene. It’s not what we ever think will happen when we have babies and start a family. The thought of dating again may seem daunting, or even exciting. Either way, it’s often scary jumping back on the horse again.

It doesn’t seem easier this time around. Suddenly there’s more to think about.

This time dating decisions don’t just affect you, but your children as well. There’s also logistics as you try to juggle everything  – and maybe even a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that expecting someone to take on children as well is a lot of ask.  Maybe it’s been so long since you were with someone new, you wonder what they’ll think.

I’ve had more than a few women confess to me that they even wonder if everything is still working as it should!

So how do you know when it’s the right time to get back out there? And what else should you consider when you are ready?

After working with hundreds of women as a Relationship Therapist and Coach in exactly this position, here’s my advice.

WHEN IS THE TIME RIGHT TO GET BACK ON THE DATING SCENE

THE RIGHT TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE

It’s easy to feel the pressure of everyone else telling you ‘just put yourself out there again’ or the judgement of ‘you should really just be focussing on your kids right now’. But only you can make the decision about when the time is right.

We all have a deep yearning for love, intimacy and affection and all of us will express it differently. If you want casual relationships to fulfil your physical needs before you start looking for your next long-term relationship, go for it. If you don’t want get involved in anything until it’s serious, that’s your choice too.

What you’re open to will change over time. Be gentle on yourself.

Couple talking dating

LOVE YOURSELF BEFORE YOU START DATING AGAIN

One of the most important relationships you will ever have with anyone is the one with yourself. You, as much as anyone else in the world, deserves your love.

The relationship you have with yourself will influence every other relationship you create.

I don’t mean this in the fluffy self-love bumper sticker way, self-love comes through our actions too. This is your time to put yourself first. Show yourself love in every way that you can. Be kind to yourself, spoil yourself, buy yourself flowers, call on your girlfriends and build support around you.

When we start by falling in love with who we are, we don’t ‘need’ someone else. We don’t need them to make us feel better about ourselves, we don’t need them to ‘complete’ us, we show up whole and knowing our worth. And that changes everything.

REMEMBER YOU’RE STILL A CATCH!

You might be older and wiser than last time you were dating, but you bring a lot to the table. Whoever ends up with you – and your kids – in their life is going to be one very lucky man or lady. Never doubt that being a single mum makes you great to date.

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LOOK AT HOW TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THIS TIME

Looking for new relationships can feel scary, we can worry that we’ll fall into the same patterns we did before, fall for the wrong person again or worry that we won’t be able to let go of what we’re carrying from past relationships.

GREAT RELATIONSHIPS BEGIN WITH OURSELVES

Rather than look at who the right person is and how to avoid ‘that type’ that you know you always fall for, look inward. What was it about you that attracted the wrong relationships in the past? What could you change about yourself and how you show up in a relationship to make things different? Are you still holding on to anger or resentment and what would it take to let it go?

When we work on ourselves, we attract different relationships.

MAINTAIN YOUR NEEDS AND BOUNDARIES

Take all the time that you need going into a new relationship.

Take things at your own pace and do what you feel is right for you. Whoever you start dating is going to need to understand what your priorities are and work with you.

Isiah McKimmie

Isiah McKimmie

Isiah McKimmie is a Couples Therapist, Sex Therapist, Sexologist and Coach.

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