"No matter what the circumstances, a woman needs time to reassess who she is and what she wants out of a future relationship, in order to prevent jumping back into a bad relationship," notes LaMotte. "She needs to move from being a we to a me."
Single Mom Smart Move: "Ideally, a recently separated woman should wait until she feels adequately adjusted to the separation, and genuinely happy with her independent life before she brings someone else into the picture," LaMotte says. "This way, she'll bring someone into a happy, healthy scenario, rather than a traumatic one." If you choose to ignore this advice, LaMotte says the best thing you can do is take things slowly.
Mistake #4: Becoming sexually intimate too soon. This a doozy, the experts tell me. "Many of my clients have this false conception that sexual intimacy is part of dating and believe that no adult man would be willing to wait for sex. Or perhaps, it's been a long time since they've been intimate with someone and they are craving the connection. What they fail to realize is that the act of sex will bond them emotionally, making it difficult to leave the relationship if it's not a match," says Cantarella.
Single Mom Smart Move: Don't get into bed with any of your suitors until you're ready. If you want to take the emotional connection to the next level, trust your judgment. A good match will wait for you, and you don't want to feel stuck, again, in a bad one.
Mistake #5: Introducing kids too soon. As a single mom, I want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with my children, but I also know making the introduction is a tricky situation. "Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella. "It's not only the woman who can be hurt if the relationship ends, but the children as well." A savvy single mom should wait as long as possible before introducing her kids to the potential boyfriend and never make the intro around the holidays, the experts advise.
"Women should gain a sense of her boyfriend's interaction based on how he treats her and possibly his own children, if he has them," says Cantarella, who suggests erring on the side of caution. "Once the boyfriend is introduced there is no going back, and expectations are raised," she adds.
Single Mom Smart Move: Time is the best measure of knowing when to introduce the children. Traditionally men view the introduction of children to be a big step. When you have talked about exclusivity and are both sure you share the same vision for the future of your relationship, then you can introduce the kids.
Written by Kimberly Seals Allers for Lifetime Moms.
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