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Dating for the single mother

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd August 2008 03:00 AM

Her last relationship involves a two-year-old, a fact Regina feels, reduces her chances of finding true love. The moment she brings up the subject of her daughter, prospective suitors reconsider pursuing a relationship with her.

Her last relationship involves a two-year-old, a fact Regina feels, reduces her chances of finding true love. The moment she brings up the subject of her daughter, prospective suitors reconsider pursuing a relationship with her.

By Susan Muyiyi

Her last relationship involves a two-year-old, a fact Regina feels, reduces her chances of finding true love. The moment she brings up the subject of her daughter, prospective suitors reconsider pursuing a relationship with her.

“It is like a plague,” she says, raising hands as though in defeat. “After the disclosure, some guys don’t call. If you accidentally meet at a supermarket or church, they fidget with imaginary phone calls, some even hide behind their shades and pretend that you are a stranger passing by.”

Regina’s dating experiences have exposed her to all sorts of men.

There is a category that thinks, single mothers are easy prey for hit and run affairs because they assume that they are doing one a favor by dating her.

Other men loathe the idea of dating a single mother because of what people say and also having to look after another man’s child.

In addition, as if finding the right man after a breakup is not hard enough, people’s opinions regarding a single mother dating stop her in her tracks.

Jessica, a mother of a three- year –old is met with warning gazes whenever she reveals that she is dating.

“For some reason, some people find it odd that you have moved on. My mother always cautions me not to repeat the same mistakes I made,” Jessica explains.

Name tags are yet another uncomfortable hurdle a single mother is subjected to.

“I cry when people refer to single mothers as, “egaali ezikozeko (off layer),” Regina says.

Away with the inevitable hurdles, you are single and have children, how does dating mix with your new profile?

Angela Kalule, a musician and radio presenter, also a single mother of two boys, has found her feet on the dating scene.

“I was pregnant with our second child when the relationship with the father of my children ended,” she says.

Naturally she was disappointed, hurt and inevitably, her self-esteem hit rock bottom.

Although she didn’t go to a counsellor for therapy, her family and friends offered her the support she needed.

“They told me to consider the breakup as a step to something better. For sometime I reflected on the relationship and let go eventually. you can’t move on when you are carrying baggage from a past relationship.”

With the gloomy period behind her, Kalule changed her look and resumed going out with friends.

Her advice: “hang out. where else are the men to find you? you surely don’t expect them to come knocking at your door.”

Her policy was to tell a guy she agreed to go out with for a date about the ‘two other guys,’ (her sons) in her life on their first date. This tactic helped her tell the genuine guys from the fake ones.

Unlike Kalule, Regina stopped, “revealing her secret.”

But there are some hard questions from children that a single mother, like Kalule has to answer.

“My elder son asks when they will get a daddy. My kids don’t understand the reasons their parents are not together,” Kalule adds.

She, however, ensures that they know that the man in her life is not their father. “They call him uncle.”

The other hard part is introducing the love of your life to your children.

Kalule didn’t have to tell her sons.

“My seven year old is very inquisitive so he knew the man in my life was special but when he asked, I eventually told him that he is mommy’s very good friend.”

Kalule doesn’t expect the love of her life to become her children’s father, “because it is a big responsibility,” she says.

Dating when single with children has been a learning experience for Kalule, which has made her adjust her schedules appropriately.

“I have me time, time with the children, my work and time for the love of my life.”

Kalule has come to the conclusion that there is always a second chance at love.

You shouldn’t settle for less just because the first relationship didn’t work out.

TIPS
- Heal from the past relationship before moving on.
- Don’t believe the lie that you are disadvantaged when it comes to finding love. You will need loads of confidence.
- You can find the right man and still look after your children.
- Avoid talking about the children all the time while on a date. what else do you have to offer?
- Go out. If your ideal man is at church, reach out.
- Don’t be too quick to reveal that you have kids even before the relationship is solid. It is possible to mistake a hot steamy phase for a potentially long term relationship.
- Introduce your children to your date when you are sure that the relationship is leading somewhere. Too many ‘uncles’ will confuse them. Not every guy who takes you for a movie should meet the children.
- Get your priorities right. are you looking for a companion or a father for your children?
- Don’t fall in the trap of leaning on your new love too soon by expecting him to shoulder your parental obligations.

Dating for the single mother

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