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I was a single mom for a thousand years (ok, eight). I went on lots of dates. Then I would lose hope in humanity and take “MAN-o-pauses” as my brilliant friend Lindsay called them. Yeah, I had a lot of fun, but I didn’t meet anyone who wanted what I really wanted, and I would get really frustrated and stay home for a year or two in a row. After a while, I’d decide to put myself out there and give it another go. It wasn’t easy trying to navigate dating and try to have your own life while raising kids alone and running a business. Dating really wasn’t my top priority most of the time, but after a while I was lonely. I wanted love. I wanted to have a partner. And I made every freaking mistake you can make. So I thought I’d put together a list of some tips and things I wish I would have known and things I wish I would have done differently that would have made my life a lot less painful.
I was with my first husband for about 10 years, and I know a lot of you moms were together with your husbands for a long time and maybe dating for the first time in a long time. I hardly dated at all before I got married the first time, so the second time around was nuts. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Here’s what I wish I would have done differently:
First, the very first time you meet someone, schedule it during the day – either lunch or coffee. I wish I had just done Starbucks for every person I ever met because you don’t want beer goggles. Unless you want beer goggles. If you have beer goggles on, chances are, the guy is not going to be amazing once you sober up…from my experience. Everyone seems really nice and really cute after a couple of martinis, right? So when you first meet someone you want to be completely sober so you can pay attention to the signs that I missed a lot. Red flags were thrown all over the place, but I couldn’t see them after a drink, or six. Second, never reach out to them ever. Never follow up with a man. If he doesn’t follow-up with you, he’s not f*cking interested NOR worth your time. Period. I fell for this so many times. We’d have a good time and they’d say “let’s do this again” no matter if they wanted to or not. Or, even worse, he would schedule another date with me, not follow up with me, and I already had a babysitter. That happened to me twice that I can remember. The first time I was supposed to meet the guy on Sunday night and I had gotten a babysitter. So instead of ignoring him and saying goodbye forever like I should have done, I reached out to him and said: “Hey are we still on?” Wrong! Because ladies, if someone wants you, they will not forget a date! They will always follow up with you. They want to take you out. They’ll make sure you’re coming and they’ll confirm where and what time. And if they don’t, they DO NOT want you, and they’re not worth your time. So because I reached out, guess what his response was, “oh sorry well uh I was going to go have a drink with my roommate,”
Guess what I did? I invited myself to be the third wheel.
I wish it weren’t true. I said:
“Oh. Ok. Great well, I already got a babysitter so why don’t we all go out for a drink.”
I just wanted a break. He was communicating (by his NON ACTIONS) to me that:
A) He didn’t want to take me on a date
B) He didn’t want to spend the money or effort on me
C) He would rather hang out with his roommate than me.
Ignored it like an idiot. So I just said I would meet them wherever they were going.
Yeah. Desperate. It didn’t seem like it at the time. I thought he was fun and I just wanted to go have fun and I already got a fucking babysitter Godddammmit!
I didn’t meet someone who was real and loyal and true to his word until I didn’t need a break from single momhood.
Trust in the Strategy
So that’s really the whole point of my strategy, is to create a life that you love so much that you don’t need a break and waste your time with dudes who couldn’t give a shit about you. So learn from me! Third: If and only if after the first date, ONLY if you really want to see him again, then that’s the only time you just say “Thank you, great to meet you. blah blah blah” That’s it. It’s kind of the same thing. Don’t reach out after that. Have him come to you. Here’s another story of a major mistake with same type of dude, different name.
We had plans to go out on a particular evening when he was going to be in town and he didn’t follow up with me so I sent him a text. When you do that you’re making it way too easy, and of course he’s going to say, “Alright sure, let’s have a beer.” It’s so obvious to me now that he doesn’t want to put in the effort to see me. It’s really not that hard to send a text “how about this restaurant at this time?” But he didn’t put in any effort, and when someone puts in zero effort at the very beginning, the effort only gets less and less as time goes by.
Having the person who is actually going to pursue you and make an effort to see you is really important.
I always visualized my real husband saying “I love you, you’re coming with me.” He doesn’t want anybody to date me. He wants me all to himself. He wants to fill up my calendar. I visualized that, however, I thought I liked this one teacher (that didn’t follow up with me) and I was already out, and I already had a babysitter. I should have gone home! Gotten a couple more hours of sleep! I could have woken up earlier to be with my babies! Alas, I didn’t.
If you want to know what someone’s intentions are, look at what he DOES. Before we even went on our first date, John had already asked me out for the second date. He was filling up my calendar! Then, a day later, I told him I was going out of town. So John booked a flight to Austin that second because he wanted to come see me sing. He wanted to spend his weekend with me. He had no idea I could sing! He didn’t know I sang professionally and had no idea I had a YouTube channel and that I had studied vocal performance in college. He booked a ticket thinking I was singing in a choir. So that’s the kind of man you want. They take action, they fill up your calendar, they want to have you all to themselves.
You’re a one in a million beautiful amazing woman and you need a man who treats you like that.
The last sting tip for single moms is to pay attention to what he’s asking, specifically. What is he asking about? What is he curious about? Does he actually listen when you’re talking to him. I had a lot of teachers go “oh so tell me about your kids.” It was almost like this ceremonious question to get the kids out of the way. Then they talk about themselves. That’s a huge red flag. They don’t want someone with kids. They want to take me out anyway, just in case som’in’-som’in’ happens because that’s what they want that. However, you’re always going to find what you’re putting out into the universe. And those days when I wanted a break from single mom-hood, and I wanted to have some drinks and have some fun, and that’s exactly who I attracted! They didn’t want any commitment. They didn’t want to date me. They didn’t want me to be their girlfriend. They just wanted to take me out and see what they could get out of me. And so if you look for the red flags, the number one thing, I think is not listening about who you are because they don’t really want to know.
They might want to get you in bed, but that’s it. And they don’t want to put in any effort, huge red flag, and then you just know. And then when you learn something, you come home and write it on your soulmate list. I’d come home and write:
“My soulmate listens attentively. He cares about every single thing about me. My soul mate cares about my children and wants to be in their lives and he wants to help them and support them and be a good example to them.”
I wrote those things because I experienced the opposite in the dates. And you see these red flags then you can update your soulmate list and edit it and read it again and confirm to yourself that even though you met somebody who is the opposite of the person you want to marry and you deserve to be with, then you can read and edit and pray that your soulmate is manifesting you and is wonderful!!! Check out My Love Playlist to listen to music that inspires the love you wish to find.
Wishing you lots of love and run from red flags!