Have you made a New Year’s resolution for dating? You probably have. Invariably, single people think this might be the year that I meet someone.
So how should you keep your resolution – even if it’s unspoken – to find someone?
First, I’d say relax. Nothing kills your chances at falling in love more than stressing about it. People who are desperate project desperation – and that’s a turnoff.
I’m a single parent. If you’re reading this, you probably are too. Clearly, our approach to dating should be different than it is for a person without kids. You can lament the fact that dating is complicated as a single parent – or just accept it.
So, while the new year is still new, let me offer my five dating thoughts for fellow single parents. Ponder them before you race off into the dating battlefield.
- Do you really want a relationship? Sure, you want to be in love. But being in a relationship is hard work. You have to make time for each other in your busy schedules. You have to compromise, sacrifice, accommodate. Love can easily die in the day-to-day grind of a relationship.
- What does your child think of your dating? You certainly don’t need your kid’s permission to date. But you should always care about your child’s feelings. If your son or daughter is opposed to your dating, ask why. You might open up some hurt in your child’s life that needs addressing.
- Be yourself. When you do date, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. For instance, don’t act like you’re an extrovert if you’re really an introvert. Don’t reveal deep secrets too soon in a dating relationship, but don’t hide important facts about yourself either. You can’t find a compatible mate if you’re not presenting yourself honestly.
- Know when to call it quits. Before you enter the dating world, make a promise to yourself: Look for red flags early. Beware of people with anger issues. Stay away from drama. Make a list of your dating deal breakers – and review it often. It’s better to get out of a bad relationship early rather than late.
- Be thankful. You’re no longer stuck in a bad marriage, right? Is being single really so bad? No. Never equate being alone with being miserable. As a single person, you’re in control of your life. Choose to be happy. Hug your child. Reach out to friends and family. Give love, and you’re far more likely to receive love.
Still want to date? Fine, go for it. Look for someone special — you may find him or her. But be smart.
Don’t let your desire for love lead to unhappiness.