You just put your child to bed after a long day of patty cake and picking up toys, and you're still in the stained large t-shirt and substantial fleece sweatpants you put on at 6 a.m. You look in the mirror and shudder to think about going out on a date.
I vividly remember when I first became a single mom trying to rediscover who I was again separate from my husband and was catapulted into this thing called dating. I had a closet full of oversized, black mommy tops, a bunch of nursing bras and neutral colored Birkenstock sandals. All of my clothes were too big, too black and too boring. This image was not very sexy to say the least. But more importantly, I wasn't feeling attractive, and I didn't know how to give signals that I was even interested in men.
I then started going through my metamorphosis. I lost weight, which led to a new wardrobe that fit my body and was date friendly, got my hair updated, visited the make-up counters frequently and poof the tired, frumpy mom turned into a sexy mama, well sort of. The truth of the matter is that wearing attractive clothes with confidence and doing things that make you feel good about yourself allows other people to respond positively to you, especially men!
It can be scary to think about getting back out there and making possible changes. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to take your time and have fun rediscovering the new you. Here are some simple tips you can begin to take so that you can start to feel dateable again:
1. Embrace the benefits of being a single mom. It is easy focus on the negative part of the heart brake and emotional turmoil of divorce. Instead, embrace the positives of dating the second time around. Many men say the actually prefer dating a divorced parent as they are more confident, mature, caring and less anxious. Parents are content with having children, so there is less urgency, desperation and fear of biological clock ticking. You also have the freedom to take your time and have fun without needing to get too serious. Men like when there is less pressure in the beginning phases of dating for a serious relationship.
2. Exercise the mind. Stimulate and challenge yourself mentally. Acquire a skill and learn about things you might not have been able to master when married. Discover a new career, go back to school, take classes, learn a language and read books. By doing this, you might tap into a new part of you and have more to talk about when you are on dates. Men love women who are interesting and can carry on good conversations.
3. Feed the spirit. Create a calmness, balance and inner peace within yourself by finding you time. As a mom, you are constantly taking care of others. It's important to do things for yourself and allow others to take care of you for a change. Pamper yourself by getting your nails done, receiving a massage, taking a vacation or going to a yoga class. Maintain old friendships and cultivate new ones with other single women so that you have a social life outside of parenthood. Having a good social circle will allow more opportunities to do more things and increase your chances of meeting men.
4. Take care of your body. Uncover your body in different ways. Many times as a parent, you don't carve out time or have the energy to exercise. But exercise is a great way to re-focus your energy, lose weight and have that you time. Also, you sleep better and have more energy for your kids.
If you truly have difficulties finding the time to exercise, make it a part of other activities. Run around with your kids, walk with a friend to motivate you and schedule the same time in the day like you do with work/errands. Moreover, get sexy with your body and out of your head by taking a salsa class or pole dancing to regain your body confidence. Remember that 90% of communication is nonverbal, which is extremely important in capturing a man's eye. Men love women who are comfortable in their body and sexuality.
5. Get a great dating image. Your date clothes should look different than your mommy clothes. Overall, your dating image should be fun, youthful, sexy, flirty but still honors who you are. Really study and know your body type and what colors and styles look good on you. Clothes speak volumes as it tells men what kind of person you see yourself as (i.e. conventional, flamboyant, sexy, modest, trendy, traditional, etc.).
Make sure you look at your wardrobe and see if it makes the statement you want and what you want to attract. Always go out looking your best whether you are going to the grocery store or walking your dog. Dress so you feel attractive because you never know who you might meet. Finally, get rid of the flip flops and oversized mommy sweats, and instead dress feminine by wearing a pair of heels, a dress and soft, touchable hair.
Of course, getting back out there into the dating world as a single parent can feel overwhelming and exhausting. But try and have fun, enjoy receiving and think of it as an opportunity to find yourself again!