Dating as a Single Mama

 

I can’t believe I’m writing this post. But I am. It was of course my plan to be married til death do us part but the way we were going the death part was going to be quicker than anticipated and it wasn’t going to be me. So my marriage ended and now I’m out ‘chere in these dating streets. At times I’m living my best life, and then other times I’m like WTAF (what the absolute f___ ) but those are the times that taught me the rules I now date by.

I’ll be honest it’s not easy as a woman of 41 with FOUR kids to date. And because of the type of man I choose to date my pool to select from is shallow. AF. Like I just recently broadened my age range because the men just weren’t making the cut. So let me share my rules for dating and why. But let me give you a disclaimer first – these are MY RULES! I am only explaining what I believe and do and in no way do I a) care if you like them or not b) are trying to make you date like I do. I mean you could but everything ain’t for everybody. AND I’m being very brief because men do find me on the internet all the time and I can’t give them the whole dang playbook!

I meet the majority of men I date online. Thru dating apps mostly. Men approach me in public but not any that I would like to talk to. I usually look a hot mess and then they want to ask for my number. This is a red flag ladies!!! I know you think it’s flattering that he approached you while you were tore up from the floor up but almost all the time that means he’s a dusty (a man who doesn’t mean you any good) and approached you because you looked low maintenance, easy and he could get the most from you for the least. Free game. Thank me later. Before we get into my rules let me say this. I truly believe I am the prize. It was not easy for me to come to terms with thinking that way but through a very difficult journey of self discovery and love I truly feel like I am that prize to any man I may date. It’s not conceit, it’s not arrogance, it’s a mindset you need to have in order to not get played, mistreated, mislead, used and/or abused. Also if I don’t think this way about myself NOONE else will. NOBODY! I put me first. Periodt. I do not subscribe to the idea that women should put themselves last. There is absolutely no honor in being a martyr. Also before you began dating, make sure you create and live a life you enjoy already on your own. Make sure you are happy with you. A man should add to your happiness and life, not be the center of it (you should be the center next to God if you’re wondering).

Bathroom selfie

Let’s get into my Dating Guidebook!

  1. The #1 thing I do when I date and really everyday is I embrace my femininity. This is really a new concept for me and other women especially black women. We have been made out to be strong worker bees instead of the queens we are in my opinion. Therefore I put a lot of thought into how I function as a woman. This wasn’t easy and I still struggle sometimes because I am a single mother and head of my household so that causes me to operate in my masculine energy a lot. It’s hard to make the shift from being the action taker or doer, making decisions, being direct to letting go of control and being present, letting a man lead, and not revealing too much of myself too soon (we’ll talk about this more later). I practice being soft, vulnerable, thoughtful (but not overly emotional) and being able to receive instead of do. Let me give you an example: In this dating atmosphere some women initiate contact, ask men out, & simply do too much. I don’t. I’m out here being and receiving lol. I let men initiate most contact, I let them plan dates (yes I let them know what I like), I let them do the texting and calling and I receive it and reciprocate. Does this always work, lol no but if it doesn’t those aren’t the men I want to date anyway. Most men that I have dated don’t mind this, in fact they enjoy being in charge, leading, and putting in some work to get my attention. I had a guy I am currently dating tell me last night, don’t give me anything, men don’t want things easy, let me put in some work. AND I SHALL! LOL. If a man is interested he will do what he has to in order to get to know you. And if he doesn’t well…you get the picture.
  2. Be Mysterious aka stop talking so much! – I used to have the tendency to tell everything about myself way too soon and way too much. One thing people like when being around each other is to enjoy the company and feel good during the experience. Telling all your business doesn’t accomplish this. It’s been said women use 20,000 words a day compared to men who use about 7,000. WE CAN TALK. But you need to learn to limit that when you first begin dating someone. First of all you don’t know this man (shout out to KeKe Palmer). Second you need to leave some things to the imagination. Let a man wonder about you, let him figure out some things about you (stop giving him the playbook ladies because some men will use it against you for their own personal gain). It makes you interesting and a challenge. If you want to gab with someone call your girlfriends!
  3. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket – This is a touchy subject because it’s not something as women we are used to but let me tell you, men do this. They do it well actually. Date multiple people. Key word is date tho. Now I know you are grown but I wouldn’t suggest giving out your cookies to every man you date but hey do you sis.  Just be careful. Me personally I usually date multiple men until one connection becomes stronger than the rest. Dating several people allows me not to emotionally bond with someone I shouldn’t too fast, gives me options (because we know some men are not consistent and will drop off the face of the earth lol) and also helps me know what I don’t want and what I do in the next man I commit to. I don’t make it a secret that I date multiple people but it isn’t something I shout out either. If the subject comes up I do let them know I date. And I leave it at that.
  4. I don’t pre-date – Again another touchy subject. I will always say do what works best for you ladies. But it takes a lot of effort and work to get myself together & get kids fed and settled before I go anywhere. So it won’t be for a drink or a coffee. If you want to date me we can do an activity, have brunch, lunch or dinner but I will not let you test me out to see if you think I am worth an actual date. This whole pre-date thing irks my soul because I honestly don’t see anything wrong with a man asking a woman on a proper date. And before you say I am out here getting free meals like I said, I spend my time and energy getting beautiful, blocking out the stressors of the day to show up and be present and have good time so if I don’t believe I am worth a meal or whatever then I’m not. And I also get the argument what if we don’t have chemistry. Sometimes that happens and I have made a friend. I can honestly say none of my dates have been bad (because we have a conversation beforehand which is what some of ya’ll are missing as well) even if we don’t have a love connection.
  5. Go slow – My last tip is to take your TIME! Stop giving yourself away so quickly! Date, talk, get to know each other and don’t hop in the bed! Yes, I have become more old-fashioned in my later years and I am letting you know for me, I keep the cookies in the jar. Until I am in a committed relationship, I do not have sex. Before I give someone MY BODY he has to have earned it and deserved it and as women in a world where sex is given away so freely I can tell you a lot of men respect and appreciate this. And the men that don’t weren’t looking for a relationship anyway and I am glad to know that sooner than later. Transparent moment – I have been on the other end where things happened too quickly and I was disappointed it. In the end I had to realize that I only had myself to blame because if I would have set standards and boundaries and took my time I would have known that person didn’t deserve me. I am going to say this always, People in particular men since that is who we are talking about here, only do what you allow. Period. So set your standards and keep them. Yes it can get lonely but that is why you always have life of your own you love and live.

So these are some of my dating guidelines. These are things that work for me and protect me and my heart from the BS. Is it perfect, no. Sometimes I’m human, and my judgement isn’t always the best but I can say having standards and sticking to them has helped me not waste my time and end up with a broken heart. It also protects my children from the BS which is my #1 job as mama. But don’t get it twisted, one day these kids will grow up, leave and have their own lives so make sure you have one too! I know I do!

Love Ricki

 

Single Mama Blues & How I deal with them

The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. Some things have went really well like my cookbook (thanks everyone for the support) and my social media is growing. I’ve really felt like I’ve been on my purpose which is to encourage and inspire women in some way, shape or form. However some days I have barely been making it. Baarly (say that like the lady who said she was legally blind lol). This week I was frustrated & stressed trying to get my children to school safely (it was storming and they normally walk) and ended up being late for work. Like a possible write up late. I broke down in the car. I know life has it’s peaks and valleys but it is sometimes too much when they happen in the same day. I cried real tears this week, it was a struggle.

When you are a single mother it ALL FALLS ON YOU. Now don’t get it twisted I have help which I am grateful for but at the end of the day I am the decision maker, boss, executor of tasks, ALL OF THE THINGS. I am blessed to be in the position to be several people’s mama but I am also still stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted sometimes. But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to feel this way. I posted on my social media earlier this week how the first thing someones says when describing a black woman is that they are strong. And I don’t like that. Don’t get me wrong I am strong, I believe it’s an inherent trait built in ALL women (I mean we bear children and that shit hurts!) but it is not our defining characteristic. In fact the description of strength we have been given has somewhat been our downfall. As I’ve talked about before we think of ourselves as Superwoman and have thrown on this imaginary cape and all it’s really doing is choking the life out of us. I am not here for any of that. I was put on this earth to be an example of God’s love, to love my children unconditionally and live an abundant life. All this other stuff that we’re trying to live up to so we can shout about being strong to whoever is listening (nobody) doesn’t do anything but stress us out. Plus from the Bible I read it says something along the lines that our strength lies in God. Not us. And that’s what I had to remember this week when I was overwhelmed from trying to do everything on my own. Especially when I don’t always have to. I got my self help tools out and took some of my own advi´┐╝ce to get myself together and get back on track again. I am sharing my tips below:

  • Cry – This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like this whole strong woman definition. It makes us think it’s not okay to feel. We are feminine!!! We were made to feel emotions, to be soft and vulnerable and loving and nurturing. It is therapeutic to cry. It helps us get out emotions we may not know how to put in words. It also cleanses us. It’s okay to cry. I give you permission to do it but more importantly give yourself permission to.
  • Ask for help – You knew that was coming right? I know what you’re going to say tho. If I had help I wouldn’t be in this situation. You probably have help you just haven’t asked for it. And usually it’s because we are ashamed to (trying to keep up some image), we don’t want to be disappointed, and we don’t like giving up control. We need to stop thinking we were created to be islands in this world. We all need each other at some point and it’s usually not a one time thing. When you have to ask for help look at it this way, you are giving someone the opportunity to be a blessing to you and in turn one day you can be a blessing to them. Simple as that. So stop being prideful and ask for what you need. It’s way better for someone to be able to throw you a life preserver now than try to perform CPR after you’ve already drowned.
  • Take a break – Whether it be from social media, TV, a bubble bath with the door locked, or a fast food meal in Walmart parking lot, take a few minutes or more for you. Even if you have to steal them from somewhere else. As women and especially as mothers our lives move super fast. We are always going and doing and never taking the time to slow down, hell sometimes we just can’t for whatever’s reason. However we cannot keep going if we don’t take some time to break away from the busyness of life and breathe. So even if it’s a 15 minute break before you lift the garage door and all the kids run out telling you who did what to whom, take it!!!
  • Talk to someone- I am grateful for my family and friends because I know when I need to sort the thoughts running thru my mind or just express what I’ve been feeling, I can call and do that without feeling judged or like I’m being a bother. And they can do the same to me. It is vital that we do not hold things inside. It only hurts us, not just emotionally or mentally but physically. Also there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with speaking to an objective third party, aka a therapist. Sometimes we just need to talk and let it out or get an opinion or make sure where headed in the right direction. We may not have a person we trust, so that’s where a therapist can come into play. Shoot they even have them online. Whatever you have to do tho, get those thoughts out to someone.
  • Prepare & get organized- This is something I don’t like to admit but we often cause our own stress by not being organized. By not packing a lunch the night before or figuring out what we are going to wear. We run thru rushing in the morning, hollering unnecessarily, forgetting things and just making life harder than it has to be. Do yourself a favor and when you have time use it wisely by getting prepared for what you know is coming. You know you have to go to work and school so stop looking like a deer in headlights and save some time and stress and make it easier on yourself.

Those are some of the things I do when I start experiencing the single mama blues. But you don’t have to be a single mother to do these. It applies to all women just out here trying to live our best lives. We play so many roles as women from daughter, sister, wife, auntie, mama, caretakers, business women, teachers, lovers and on and on we have to learn to preserve our most important role – YOU.

Love Ricki