Hey there Mamas! First, let me say that I am just too thrilled to see that so many women read my recent blog post on “Dating As A Single Mom!” I am just beyond flattered by the many texts, emails, DM’s, and comments that I received from women congratulating me on my new love experience (Yep Noah’s Mama has a new boo!) and how inspired they were after reading my story! You guys ROCK and I definitely appreciate all of the love and support! I am certainly no professional dating expert. I’m just a single mom who finally decided to stop looking for love and instead allow it to organically come to me. My goal for this blog community is to speak on topics that are relevant to single moms like myself and create thought-provoking content that you guys can relate to! So, with that I wanted to offer you guys a few dating tips to help guide you through the dating process and offer you the tools that you need to make your experience as worthwhile as possible!

Here it from Amour Genesis:

  1. Always Be Intentional and Date With A Purpose   

I’m sure you ladies have probably heard the line “Date with a Purpose” many times before. Let’s talk about what that means and what dating with a purpose entails when you’re praying to have someone special come into your life. When I was a single woman back in my 20’s, I was able to date unintentionally and meet up with men just to have fun and get a glimpse of what was out there without necessarily being tied down to anyone in particular or working towards a serious relationship. In my past life, dating for me was an outlet and it gave me such a rush because I was out there doing my thing and enjoying life as a carefree single girl with no additional baggage to worry about. I had the freedom to meet whoever I wanted, go out on dates with men that were physically attractive (even though their characters and intentions didn’t always match), and I was perfectly content with just having a temporary companion because I wasn’t ready for anything more. Plus, I was younger so I needed this time to experience new things and learn a little something from new people along the way- after all, we are designed to grow from our experiences.

Now that I am grown and in turn have experienced a lot of growth over the years, I know exactly what it is that I want out of  a partner and out of my next and hopefully last relationship. I am not out here just simply dating just to date any longer. I am dating with the purpose and intention of meeting my husband and working towards a marriage because that is one of my ultimate relationship goals. Now, don’t get me wrong I am truly grateful that I did have the chance to experience my season of singleness and had the experience to meet different men because they all gave me valubale learning opportunities that showed me what it is that I ultimately wanted out of life. The men that I entertained and dated in my past showed me what to look forward to in the future and what mistakes to avoid. They also taught me how to identify red flags way in the beginning (which we’ll get into later) and know what things to be on the look out for when it comes to dating the opposite sex. The walk that I have now and the journey that I am currently in will not allow me to have anyone in my life that does not serve my best interest. In fact, if I even get a sense that you’re not for me, I am perfectly content with easily walking away and keeping it moving. If I get any inclination that a man and I are not for each other, I would much rather part ways early on, then waste my time and be unintentional. So when I date I date with a purpose and that purpose is to meet someone that is looking for the same things that I am. Of course, we are going to always have differences here and there in our relationships, but overall I want my purpose to be consistent with my partner’s, and for us to both be working towards the same common goal. For me, that common goal must be marriage. I may be a single mother at this present time in my life, but that doesn’t mean that I want to stay a single mother forever. At some point in the near future and when God feels that the time is right, I want to be married. I want to be someone’s wife. And I don’t want to be a wife to just any old someone, but the wife to an amazing man that completes me just as much as I complete him. My intention is to build a bond with an exceptional man that cannot be broken or challenged by any adversities coming from outside because my husband and I are built much too strong for that and the way that our space is set up, there is no room for negative opportunity. (#MarriageGoals)

For example, when I first met JT face to face, I immediately learned what his purpose was and it didn’t take long to learn that his purpose matched mine. Now together, we are walking in our purpose and our growing each day as we continue to reach our goals. I encourage you guys to know your purpose and be sure that your partner’s intentions match that.

2. Know That Not Everyone Will Have The Same End Goals As You

Ok Ladies. So as we talk about the idea of dating with a purpose, it’s also very important to understand that not everyone is going to have the same intentions that you will. Not every man is quite ready to pursue you as his wife. Not every man is quite ready to take that next step and propose to you, even if you guys have been together for what may seem like countless years. Not every man is ready to bring you to his family home to meet his mother. And not every man is ready to fall in love or enter into a serious relationship. And that doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or that he doesn’t care about you, he just simply might not be ready. As women, we are so strong and so powerful and we go after exactly what we want. But in so many cases, we tend to rush things and get upset when we don’t get our way and when things are not moving fast enough for us. I am all for marriage and falling in love, but that step has to be right for both parties and it shouldn’t be rushed prematurely just because one person is ready sooner than their partner. Even when it comes to relationships, we have to understand that just because we might have been dating a man for quite some time, does not necessarily mean that he is ready to commit to us. There are some men out here that simply just want to casually date and meet women. with no committments or strings attached. And in their defense, that doesn’t automatically make them bad men. They’re just not ready or maybe they haven’t met the right one yet. If someone is truly meant for you, you will know that they are for you! You won’t have to push them into a certain direction, pressure them into doing the things that you want them to do, or bully them to meet you at the alter. And most importantly your goals, intentions, and purpose will match. Choose wisely and know what your end goals are.

3. Be Transparent & Set The Expectation Early On About What You’re Looking For

When it comes to dating I am super transparent. I want my partner to know what I am looking for, what I expect, and what I am ready and prepared to give him in return. Once again, because I am a single mother I have to ensure that my time is being invested towards the right things and the right individuals. When I date someone, one of the first things that I share is my parental status. I let men know early on that I am a mother first and the reason for this is because it’s important to me that they understand that my son will always be the first priority in my life. If he cannot accept or understand that, then that’s an immediate cue for me to walk away because clearly our intentions do not align and our goals do not match. My expectation for a good man is that he will be someone that will acknowledge and value the fact that I am a mother first just as much as I do. He will expect me to put my child first regardless of the circumstance and he will also expect me to date him with purpose because together, we share that common goal. Everyone has their own set of expectations when it comes to dating. However, dating does not come with an instruction manual and your partner will not know your intent unless it has been communicated, so make sure that you are transparent with your mate and share what it is that you two expect from one another.

4. Stop Bringing Men Around Your Kids That Don’t Even Deserve To Be Around You!

This next tip goes without saying. Ladies, please be clear about who you bring around your children. Just because a man is tall, attractive, has a great career, has some money in his pocket, and maybe even offers the best sex you’ve ever had, that does not mean that he has earned the right to be around your kids! I don’t care how tall, dark and handsome he is, being around your babies is something that he needs to earn and work for. And that should happen when you both feel that the time is right and once again, with the right intentions behind it. Not to mention, if a man is not good enough for you, why should he be good enough for your children? I would never recommend bringing a man around your children that:

A. Doesn’t serve a positive purpose in your life or add any positive value

B. Is not a positive influence and good example for your children (Bring a man around that will be a great leader and will lead by example)

C. Could give zero and a half f**s less about you or your kids (Wait, why is he around again?)

I am a firm believer that bringing a man around your children should be done with intent and with time. Everyone that you date will not always have a long term place in your life, let alone in your children’s lives. Some people are meant to enter into our lives for a season and for a reason. And that does not necessarily mean that meeting your children comes along with that. The last thing that any of us want to do is confuse our children or set a bad example within our homes. Be cautious about who you bring around your kids and consider the additional consequences that may be left behind in the event that things don’t work out between you two. And another thing, I do not recommend your home having a revolving door for men to enter in and out. Let’s not create issues on the homefront by bringing multiple men in and out of our children’s lives. If you happen to date someone and it doesn’t work out, maybe consider giving yourself some time before bringing an entirely new face around. Your children may not ever tell you or express how they feel, but revolving doors with different faces coming in and out, can create a great deal of challenges. So, to avoid that kind of tension, it’s best to keep men away from your family until you feel good enough about them to want to bring them around. Everyone has their own time period when it comes to these delicate situations, but regardless of how much time that you take, just be sure that you are comfortable with your decision and that you are doing the right thing for you and your children first!

5. Don’t Ignore The Red Flags

Ladies, you are way too powerful and far too valuable to settle with a man that is not for you! I will say this time and time again, just because you like someone and they like you, does not mean that you two are meant to last forever. Just because you two have great chemistry together and are attracted to one another, doesn’t mean that they are meant to be your husband. Just because you two have a great level of intimacy and romance, does not mean that they are destined to be your soulmate.

There are so many damaged relationships and ruined marriages out here that have failed miserably and ended in great pain because people ignored the red flags and didn’t want to believe the things that God has already shown them since the beginning. If a man started out lying and being dishonest with someone else, chances are he just might be a liar and a dishonest man when it comes to you, even if it hasn’t happened yet. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, expect for him to change just because he met you. When he is ready to change, he will do it on his own and for the right reasons.

If a man had other children prior to meeting you and you find out that he does not take care of his kids, DO NOT ignore this because this is something that you need to come into terms with before moving forward with him and sharing your own set of children together in the future. If a man has a habit of telling you everyone else’s business and gossiping and his, hers and the third, chances are that he’s probably gossiping about you too and telling other people about your personal business. If a man was previously involved in an abusive relationship and was emotional and/or physically harmful to someone else before he met you, it’s very likely that you may become his next victim. If a man was a former cheater, womanizer, manipulator, player, or whatever title they give cheating men these days, chances are that he may very well cheat on you too! Don’t ignore the obvious signs and please pay close attention to the red flags. Our time is much too valuable to waste so be sure that you are investing it in the right things and in the right people. Not all men are bad men and not all men have ill intentions, but as women we have to take the time out to decipher the good from the bad and decide who and want we want in our lives. Choose wisely and pay attention Ladies.

6. Know Your Value and Respect Your Time

My grandmother always taught me that in order to receive respect you must first earn it by showing respect. I am not free from flaw and human error, but what I am is a damn good woman and I refuse to be taken for granted or treated like anything less than what I am. I deserve to be honored, respected, valued, loved, cared for, provided for, and always treated with class and dignity. I am a no nonsense type of woman when it comes to being disrespected by men. In fact, a man has one time, just one time, to disrespect me before I show him faster than I can tell him what door to walk through and where to go when he gets there. I have experienced too many dates, handful of relationships, and lessen learned experiences over the years to tolerate anything that is going to hinder my goals or lessen my value. My worth is phenomenal and I am way too exceptional to allow anyone to treat me less than what I am worth. And you are too! For me, it’s the little things like being a gentleman that can go a long way. I was raised by a father and a grandfather who opened my doors. I was raised by men who showed me what it meant for a man to take a woman out and make her feel special. I was raised by men who taught me by example how a man should treat a woman that he cares about. And I was led by men who honored women and took the time out to show it. With that being said, any man that I date must be on the same page as I am when it comes to respect, appreciating the value that I add, and furthermore respecting my time. I would only be doing a disservice to myself and my son if I settled for anything less! Date a man that knows your worth and will value you like no other! Good women deserve that and we should be treated as such.

7. Get You a Man That Will Put The Needs Of Your Children First

Okay Ladies! Dating is fun and it can even be refreshing to know that we still got it! But should our children deserve to suffer just so that we can have a good time and entertain the company of a man? In my opinion, I believe that if you are dating a good man, he will be a man that will always put the needs of your children first and look at them as a priority just like you do because he respects the fact that you’re a parent first. So what does this mean?

Here’s a good example. If your beau is spending more time with you than you actually spend with your kids, maybe that’s a sign that you need to pump the breaks a bit on him and instead get in some much needed time with your little ones. Your children should always come first anyway. So if dating as a single mom means that you may not be able to see your boo this weekend because your kids have soccer games and birthday parties to attend, then so be it. If you have to cancel date night because your child is ill then so be it. If you can’t go out all of the time because you have things to hold down on the home front, then so be it. As mothers we are always going to have top priorities over dating and relationships. We have families at home waiting for us and we’ve had these families long before a new man entered into our lives. Let’s make sure that our children are our first and #1 priority and that they receive the time that they deserve. If you have a good man in your corner, he will always understand and will only respect you more for being a great mother and making your children a priority first.

8. Be Clear & Upfront About Your Views On Sexual Intimacy

We’re all grown here so let’s dive right in. Just like men, women have needs too. And we are no strangers when it comes to sex and intimacy. However, let’s be clear about the fact that everyone moves at their own time and should participate in things when they feel ready and when the time is right. Now keep in mind, my personal opinions are not intended to judge anyone or make anyone feel bad about their personal choices. When it comes to dating, I make it clear in the beginning what I’m looking for and I’m very transparent when it comes to sex. I have no problem telling a man in the beginning that I am not ready to jump right into sex nor will I be used as a quick booty call because I know that I have so much more to offer a man than just simply sex. I believe that there is a time and place for everything. When I’m ready to have sex I can express that and make the decision on my own to take the next step. But being pressured into something that I’m not quite ready for is not what I’m going to do and being unclear about my expectations when it comes to sex will simply not work for me. Again, everyone is different and we have the freedom to create our own rules. So when you’re ready for intimacy that’s your personal choice. However, for my lifestyle choice, sex is not something that I want to necessarily feel the need to jump right into when getting to know someone. And just because I am a mom with a child from a previous relationship does not mean that I am a passing out the goodies from the free throw line (LBVS). I deserve to be respected just like everyone else and if anything, I’m even more cautious now that I have a child because I have someone else to worry about and that is learning by my example. So, whenever you choose to have sex is completely up to you, but just make sure that you do it when the time is right for you and not for someone else.

9. Don’t Be Afraid To Set Some Ground Rules If You Need To

When it comes to dating I try not to operate and live my life by a bunch of rules because after all, many of these restrictions that society has placed on us have derived from misogynistic views from patriarchal, privilege males that I just can’t quite agree with. However, I have created my own set of a few basic rules that I live by when it comes to dating that I want to share with you guys:

  1. Don’t bring men to my home too soon (My home is my personal safe haven and it’s a place where I rest my head. I cannot have everyone in my personal space and in the comfort of my home until I feel that the time is right)
  2. I am not dealing with any baby mama/baby daddy issues (sorry but not sorry). I know that sometimes things happen and if we lived in a perfect world we would probably all be married to our child’s other parent and not have to worry about divorce, co-parenting, family breakups, etc. But its 2018, life goes on, and sometimes two people just aren’t meant to be. If a man has multiple children by multiple different women, chances are that most likely he’s not the man for me. I am not judging him for his past, but unfortunately this is not exactly the situation that I want to have in my future. And I definitely do not have the time or patience for outside co-parenting matters that involve any drama or confusion. So my golden rule is to stay clear away from other people’s family drama and focus on minding my own business.
  3. Don’t bring a man around my son too soon (This can only happen when I feel that the time is right and when the man in my life has earned the right to develop a relationship with my son and one that will be long term).

What are your rules when it comes to dating as a single mom?

10. Date Yourself Before Dating Anyone Else

Be sure to date yourself first before dating someone else. Before you can fall in love with anyone else, you first have to fall in love with yourself right? That means that you have taken the time that you needed (however long that may be) to court yourself and become intimate with yourself as an individual. Sometimes after we experience a failed relationship we lose a piece of ourselves and at times even struggle to find ourselves again. Relationships can take a toll on us and damage us emotionally. Before you enter into anything with a new mate, make sure that you take the time out that you need to really focus on you and identify what it is that you want out of life and in an ideal partner. In so many cases, we end up having these avoidable, but yet failed relationships because we rush into things too soon and don’t always take the time out that we need to work on us and be our best selves first. Consider this, how can you possibly love someone else when you’re lacking love for yourself? How can you possibly invest time into someone else, when you haven’t even taken the time out to invest in you? Before you enter into anything with anyone else, ask yourself if you’re truly ready to share yourself with someone else. If you feel any hesitation or doubts, than you probably are not ready and might want to consider taking some time to take care of you first! Self-care is everything! Before you can care about someone else, make sure that your self-care has not been placed on the back burner. And if a man is interested in pursuing you, but you’re not quite ready, he will either wait for you or re-appear in your life when the time is right!

Questions on Dating As A Single Mom? #AskAmourGenesis (Please LIKE, SHARE, AND LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS BELOW!)

Until Next Time,

Talk soon!