5 STEPS TO FOLLOW WHEN DATING AS A SINGLE MOTHER Like 0 Twitter Christina Mendez Follow June 16, 2016, 10:47 a.m. in Life and Styles Views: 712 Like us on facebook Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone. No matter how strong or independent a girl may seem, deep down she is dying to be loved for who she is. Real love is such a sacred entity because it is so incredibly hard to come by. Love is sacrifice. Love is patient. Love is being willing to compromise. I found that trying to find someone that met all of my “requirements” and then trying to keep the relationship alive……EXHAUSTING. We live in a day in age where morals, values, are NOT highly valued anymore in mainstream media or society. It is now all about: How much of your body can you show? How big is your butt? Did your twerk video reach 10k likes yet? That’s the world we live in. Try finding a partner in that world. In this day and time, traditional dating has been replaced with interacting through social media platforms. Do you know how incredibly hard that is? It seems impossible. We have trained our generation to want wife-like actions out of our girlfriends, and husband-like actions out of our boyfriends. But there is no real action being made towards marriage, building a foundation, and actually planning a future with someone. Nowadays, people look to Facebook and Instagram memes to dictate their life goals. You know what I’m talking about! We are all guilty of the occasional repost, share or re-tweet of the “relationship goals” with a glam shot of Beyonce and Jay-Z or a picture of some girl with a big teddy bear a thousand Victoria Secret bags around her and roses. We’ve all done it, hell I screen -shot them and torture my boyfriend like “Baby isn’t this just sooo sweet?” As I bat my lashes and smile shyly. Get real. That is not reality. Sounds like a lot? Add kids to the mix. ( and in my case 3 kids to be exact) My point is dating is already hard, trying to look for love in all the right places + be a mom + be a single mother simultaneously seems impossible. There are so many things you have to try to keep balanced: You have to balance being present in your relationship. That means being attentive and giving your mate love and affection. You also have to juggle being an ever-present mother. Making sure any and all details, and dealings with your child are at 100% at all times. We haven’t even talked about work life! Life gets exhausting, at times you may feel like giving up and just accepting loneliness. I once decided I would be a old lady with a lot of dogs (not the cat lady because I’m terrified of cats lol). I mean how do you date as a single mom? I’ve researched a lot of articles about dating and being a single mom, and you know what I hate about informational articles? They give you a vague overview. In all actuality, I’m looking for a literal step-by-step guide!! “Internet tell me exactly how to live my life!!” So here are my steps, since no one else wants to say it. Step 1 : Keep it real One mistake I used to make as a single mom is, I would give the guy I was interested in this beautiful, overview of how easy ,calm and peachy me life was.In my head, I always thought that the guy was already pre-judging me off of my single motherhood. I felt as if I made it seem like everything was easy and perfect, I wouldn’t scare him away. He would forget I had 3 kids. WRONG. I was setting myself up for failure. I was creating an artificial connection from the beginning. I wasn’t being real with myself at all. Let the guy you are interested in know your situation. So he knows what he’s getting into upfront. That way he can decide if he’s up for the task. Step 2: Get clarification Another mistake I used to make as a single mom was,not asking for clarification on the terms of our dating situation. I would have these preconceived notions in my head of how I wanted things to be or how they would end up. I ended up disappointed every single time because I never made my desire ans requirements clear. I made no requirement for the relationship.I sent a message to the guy that he could do whatever he wanted because there was no standard to heed to. I dated a guy for like 6 months and was wondering the entire time “Are we in a relationship?” or “Are we just “chilling”?”. I was too scared to assert myself and to bring the conversation up ,in fear that he might have some secret commitment issues. I also thought the entire conversation regarding asking for clarification on his commitment would scare him off completely. So I just kept being confused in the dark. I couldn’t get mad when I saw him flirting on Facebook or Instagram because I wasn’t even sure if we were together? I was miserable. Do you know how dumb I felt? Asking a guy the question “What are we?” Is not unreasonable, you need to know so you know how to move in the world. It also give you a guideline for the relationship and how you want to handle things. Because without the clarification, you could allow him to meet the kids,and family only for it to fizzle out 2 months later. Ultimately, In his mind you guys were only kicking it to begin with! Step 3: Set boundaries Because you have the responsibility of a child, you cannot be available all the time at the drop of a hat. You need to set clear boundaries on how your schedule is and what your primary priorities are so that no one is confused on where you stand. By doing so, your guy will have a clear understanding on what he is getting into. It makes things so much simpler. You know what? If you are upfront and honest and he isn’t ready for that type of lifestyle, one that revolves around your kid, it is better to break it off in the early stages then to get attached and get hurt. Step 4: Know your worth This step is crucial. In most cases as a young woman, you don’t realize that men can sense vulnerability and insecurity. They can tell if a girl is not secure within herself. It is all in your body language, the way you talk and how you allow others to speak to you, and the way you carry yourself. All of these components men subconsciously take mental notes of. “The world will only treat you as good as treat yourself” that saying is so true. If you don’t take care of yourself and invest in yourself. Who will? If you want to be treated with respect then you must treat yourself with respect. If you don’t heed to the idea of self-respect you will be walking down long road of heartache and emptiness. Trust me ladies, I have already been there. Step 5: Stay grounded Never lose sight of yourself and your goals. Too many times us as women, we begin dating someone and make that person our entire world. In that process we lose sight of our goals. We neglect our priorities and we start to lose traction in everything that we do. When dating, make sure that you’re staying on top of your goals ,your children ,your finances ,and never compromise your own independent stability for the sake of temporary feelings of love, lust, or affection. Whatever is meant for you, will always be for you. Remember that. Tell it to yourself every day. I’ve compiled these simple steps because when I had to go through this process of dating and figuring out what was good for me, I made a lot of mistakes along the way. Some of which I will personally pay for the rest of my life. If I can provide a way to help you girls not make the same mistakes and make your life that much easier that’s my life goal and mission! Slay. Read. Work. Pray. 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