My amazing friend Liza visited me recently, and as conversations among women usually go, we talked about the following in no particular order:
- our kids
- our passions in life
- our kids
- how hot Tom Hiddleston is
- and of course, our love lives
Liza is a single mom, and her kids encompass a large portion of her life. That is the nature of being a mom and doing it all on your own. She divorced a few years ago and her life has changed a lot. Recently, the source of her current love life is online dating. She has had what you might call many “interesting” online dating experiences.
Verry interesting. I can’t even tell you. No actually, she won’t let me. I wish. Gosh Liza.
But what she will let me tell you is what she has learned. You see, being a single mom trying to do the online dating thing is a little complicated. One, many potential dates are scared by the prospect of the “package deal” of a woman who already has kids, and two single moms literally have no time.
Like, zero time.
Hello? Liza works full-time (at a job she hates), carts her kids to their various activities, supervises homework time while making dinner, cleans, shops, takes care of EVERYTHING, and then plops into bed every night feeling close to death, and then wakes up and does it all again the next day.
Let me take a second and high five all you single moms right now. You have a hard job, and you sacrifice a lot to do it. You go, girl.
In those in between moments, when you have a few seconds to reflect on your life, your mind may turn to the possibility of love. You may feel the pangs of loneliness. You may wonder why the love thing isn’t happening for you (besides the fact that you have no opportunities to meet and date). You may dream about how nice it would be to have someone in your life. “Sure would be nice to have some back up,” or “I really need a cuddle right now,” or whatever.
But there is still that time issue. As a single mom, your time is extremely precious. You need to maximize your time. You need efficiency in dating. You need online dating. Really, it’s your best option. It presents you with multiple possibilities at the touch of a button, and you can pay attention to it when you have a few minutes here and there. Then when you are ready to go out on a date, you can set something up.
So ok. You are a single mom and you somehow want to add in the online dating thing. How do you do it? Heck, I don’t know. But I know someone who does it! Liza is doing it somehow. How in the world does she fit online dating into her day?
Let Liza tell you:
- Don’t pretend you are the single person you used to be. You have kids now. Realize that you simply can’t spend a lot of time searching for the perfect match for you online. And that’s ok.
- Work smarter, not harder. Set an easy schedule and follow it. Don’t allow yourself to spend more time than needed with online, and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about it.
- Be upfront with the fact that you have kids. You can’t waste your time on people who aren’t open to it.
- Only maintain one or two online dating profiles and resist the urge to branch out to more. You HAVE to keep it simple. If you want to try a third dating site, you HAVE to delete your profile from one of your existing sites.
- You don’t need live chat online–you don’t have time or a forgiving schedule anyway. So rely on messages instead.
- Hope on your online dating profile when you have a few minutes during lunch, or in the evenings when your kids are in bed. You could even do was Liza does, and put your kids to bed a little bit earlier. She doesn’t require them to be asleep earlier, just to have some down time in their rooms so she can also have some downtime.
- When you have a few minutes to browse profiles, pick out one or two interesting things about that person, then send them a message about those things. Your message doesn’t need to be long–just a sentence or two. Liza once noticed a guy who liked Batman, so she sent him the following: “Which Batman is your favorite? Either Christian Bale or are you wrong?” You can bet he responded.
- Set it up so you get an email when you get a message via online dating–that way you’ll remember to check it and respond.
- See where it goes. No pressure. Keep things light.
- If you want to go on a date, then ask. Always go for a “quick” meet up the first time around. Just coffee or a walk around the park. Like a date preview.
- Don’t give out your phone number unless you feel you can trust the other person. You can always keep up via the dating site, Snapchat, or other app that keeps your personal information anonymous.
- Remember to have fun. If things get too heavy, just pull the plug. Keep things as simple as possible. Your kids are always your priority.