Dating 101 for the Single Mom

In Single by Debra Fileta4 Comments

Welcome to #TheSingleLife Series at my blog, TrueLoveDates.com! Single moms are a crowd that’s NEVER addressed in the Church at large. But they are out there, and they’re just as in need of learning how to navigate healthy dating as any other single person! I loved this post because it was a reminder of this group of women (and men- shout out to all the single dads!) that need support and encouragement!! Give this guest post a read, and then catch up on our entire series just for Singles.

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From the moment I saw those 2 little pink lines just over 5 years ago, I’ve been a single mom. I’ve casually dated here and there and even had one knock down drag out heartache during those 5 years. But for the most part, it’s just been me and my son.

I’ve been in and out of church my entire life, but the heartache I went through last spring is what truly brought me to the foot of the cross to surrender myself and my dating life to God. I thought I had my head screwed on tightly about how one should date. Boy, was I wrong.

God began to reveal things to me through the healing of my broken heart. He began to show me the mistakes I had made in the past and the things I needed to do in the future to guard my heart. In an attempt to save other single moms from a lot of pain and suffering, I thought I’d offer 3 tips about dating as a single mom that I had to learn the hard way:

  1. Date yourself first.

The first time I heard the concept of dating yourself, I was just as confused as some of you may be. Isn’t the purpose of a date to get to know someone else sitting across from you at a candle lit dinner table? And that’s when it hit me. The purpose of dating is to get to know the other person you are dating on a deeper level. And in my 26 years of life, I finally realized I didn’t truly know who I was. And as Debra Fileta says in her book, True Love Dates, “if you don’t know who you are, you don’t know what kind of person fits into your life”. 

I am a mom, a daughter, a friend, a coworker. The list goes on. I love being these things, and one day I’m sure I’ll love being a wife also. The problem is that so many find our identity in these things that we do rather than who we are.

Ephesians 1:11 says, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are in what we’re living for.” Your life is not defined by what you do. It’s defined by who you are. And until you find out who you are in Christ, no man will make you feel complete. You will always be left feeling like there’s something missing.

I took myself on plenty of “dates”. I asked myself (and God) who I was now that my life had been drastically changed after the train wreck that was my relationship had ended. Over time, He revealed all of the things that His Word says I am.

I am His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).

I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

I am a child of God (Ephesians 1:5-6).

I am made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).

  1. Date first; introduce your kids later.

This should be a no brainer, right? Wrong.

I know every single mom is different, but my son comes just about everywhere with me that kids are allowed. That means he’s the youngest member of my co-ed college and 20’s small group. That means he comes early to help me serve on Sundays and leaves late after service is over. That means he comes to the movies with me and my friends. You get the picture; he’s basically attached to my side at all times. Given this fact, dating isn’t the easiest.

Once I was finally firm in my identity in Christ, God began to prepare me to date again. I was determined to protect my son in any and every way I could. That meant dates would be few and far between, but God had revealed to me that any man worth dating much less spending the rest of my life with would be willing to agree to these dating terms.

Taking the time to date first before introducing your children keeps your children from having to deal with the constant revolving door of men coming in and out of their lives (they get attached easier than we do). It gives you the chance to learn if this is someone you can trust around your children. And over time, it gives you the chance to learn if this is someone who is going to love your children just as much as you do.

  1. Put your husband before your children…not your boyfriend. 

Yes, I do understand as single mothers, we are still single. But one day, we will hopefully be married to amazing men of God. And when that time comes that you have found someone that loves your children as much as you do, it is very important that you put your husband before your children.

The first time I heard this idea, it seemed so taboo to me as a single mom. It was ingrained in me that my child always comes first. Now, I understand that my child should not and will not come before my future husband. But there’s a time and a place for that.

We teach our children not only by our words, but by our actions. I want the relationship I have with my future husband to be what teaches my son how to love the woman he marries one day. I want the relationship I have with my future husband to show my son how to create loving environments everywhere he goes. I want the relationship I have with my future husband to last beyond the years of when my child is at home.

But most of all, I want the relationship I have with my future husband to model that of Christ and His Church so much that we point my son more to Christ.

As a single mom, is there really any better way to love your child than to bring them closer to Christ?

Shannon graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Communications. She is a single mom who loves to write, read, and serve at her local church in Baton Rouge, LA. You can read more from Shannon at shapingshannon.wordpress.com.

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MORE RESOURCES:

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Comments

  1. Finally a post that I can truly relate to especially the devastating and of a relationship and wish had been written long ago. Thank you for considering the often overlooked group. I have done all that was written and then some and I’m still in the same place and really wonder if God truly cares.

  2. Loved reading this yesterday on Facebook.
    My boys are 20 and 21 and I am still very protective of them meeting anyone or even knowing of an interest I may have. I made some not wise decisions in the past so I try now to be more vigilant.
    Thank you for attending to all of us who are out here looking for God’s best for us! I truly appreciate the wisdom you give us!

  3. Dating For the Single Parent is a great book that really lays out spiritual and practical information. Dating for the single parent is NOT the same. I know this well from the single again status. I highly recommend this book.

  4. Thanks for the encouraging post. Single moms at church are not only overlooked , but also there is a stigma to being a single/divorced mom at church. Well-meaning people seem to swing between pressuring you to find someone and disapproving if you do. Some times you find yourself sitting between two opposing viewpoints on the subject. I find myself to be the only single mom I know of right now. I am studying life science and working as a student intern in a research lab. I am happy with myself and i have a rich spiritual life. So, something i wish pastors, etc. would realize is that I am not interested in being ministered to at church as a single mom category, I am interested in being treated like a normal human being. I just want to be part of normal healthy church culture, not a ministry opportunity. And I would like to find a normal, healthy man to date…but finding someone suitable to choose who is willing to choose me back is a different story. That is why people say they are waiting on the Lord. 🙂 To bring someone along who is willing to choose you back.

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