Single Mom looking for Boaz

Single Mom looking for Boaz

I did a guest post over at DearHubby.com For those looking for “The One” and who need encouragement in the wait, this site is beautifully done and run. Check it out!

And here’s the link to my guest post!

Enjoy!

Men, it’s okay to take a break and heal

Men, it’s okay to take a break and heal

As I’ve been delving into writing on relationships and cohosting a weekly #twitterchat called #destinydating, I have become more aware of how men and women are screwed up. Let me explain. Destiny dating is all about dating with marriage in mind and utilizing Biblical principals in the process. A big block to finding a good mate in the same place as you is the messages men and women carry with them from relationship to relationship. The negative self talk, the clichés, the pain of a failed relationship, or the dissolution without solution. And, so on. The point is we spend a great deal of time helping women heal because supposedly, we are more emotional and fragile. Well, I want it known that men need to take a break and heal as well when they experience breakups. Men need not partake of the usual two days and nights out with the boys, but a real period of not dating in order to reflect and process the good and the bad of that past relationship. As I look at my past relationships, I see hurt men who went on to hurt other women. Not to say every man was damaged, but a few needed detoxing and did not do so. They moved on to me, her, and her, etc. doing what “men do”. If we could have only reached those guys and said, “Heal up dude”, life would be better.

Now, I can’t see the future, but I bet a healed person could end a relationship as needed without inflicting unnecessary pain because they see that it is just not a good fit. However, if one has not healed or learned to deal with things not working out, they will resort to the same ways to medicate or hide the pain, i.e., jump into another relationship. Our boys and men need to be taught to explore their feelings and to heal in peace before adding another unsuspecting soul to the pot. That’s called baggage. Unless the bags get delivered, they just weigh you down.

What no one will tell you is that if you would do the work now to get to know the girl or woman you’re dating, you could avoid some of this pain. No one says that. Instead, they say. “Yeah man, I’d date her if I were you!” They never say, “She’s immature, selfish, out to use you, not looking to settle down, not wife material, etc.” No! They look at what you probably looked at- “the physical”. There is more to a person than their outside appearance. Get to know them. Get to know if you really are a good fit. And yes, you can do everything right and things can still fall apart. You’ve got to live and you’ve got to chase your dreams. Be prepared to forgive and release if it goes south. But, do the work!

So, it’s a short post, but one that I mean from the bottom of my heart. Isn’t it time you changed the pattern? Why not you? Yeah, you can do it. Tell your boys no and do you instead. No new girl. No night out. Just you, your thoughts, and the truth. What do you really want? Who are you? Be honest and live.

Scary isn’t it?

Do It Anyway!

Why Moving On is All You Can Do

Why Moving On is All You Can Do

It’s the new year and new love springs forth, some old loves have fizzled, and the “rock steady’s” are still in love. Wherever you are on the love continuum, remember, it’s a process. Everything is a season, and sometimes seasons end. Sometimes when we’re hurt or sad about and end, we want to wallow in it. Sometimes, we miss the memo that the mourning period is over and it’s (been) time to move on. If you’re there, I encourage you to take time to grieve, breathe, and heal. But then, MOVE ON. All that is meant for you will STAY. You won’t have to beg, borrow, or plead with him or her. It’ll be peaceful. You’ll know it.

Real love won’t leave. Mature people get that. People seeking love and who know how to love they also know how to nurture it, respect it. You won’t have unrequited love or crazy love when LOVE really comes. So guess what, moving on is what you need to do.

If you had a facsimile of love, know that you’re due the REAL deal. See it, believe it, wait on it, and LIVE your life NOW. Sometimes, you just gotta move on and LIVE. Sure, that person was amazing and you messed up. LIVE! What would you gain going back to dysfunctional, depressing, “missing something”, “not quite right”, etc,? I’m waiting… (Taps fingers on desk) Right! Nada! Go on and LIVE! Put on your big boy or big girl undies and move on. Go be you! Take the lessons you learned as guideposts and do better next time around. DO NOT miss life looking back. LIVE! You have love to give. You just gotta find who wants it. And trust me, you have a match out there.

Life sucks sometimes. Love hurts sometimes. Letting go is hard.

Do It Anyway!

4 Things to Consider When Dating a Single Parent

4 Things to Consider When Dating a Single Parent

Today’s post is courtesy of La Donna Lewis.

4 Things to Consider When Dating a Single Parent

by La Donna L. Lewis

Dating can sometimes become complicated because I don’t always encounter men with the same stats as mine. I’m single, over the age of 35 and I don’t have any children. Once upon a time, I was pretty much opposed to dating men with children. I had that luxury way back when—when I was younger. Now, the older I get, there’s less of a chance for me to encounter men who don’t already have children.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have anything against children. In fact I absolutely love them and still look forward to raising children one day. However, I am a realist when it comes to the fact that dating a man who already has a child/children can make things a little more complicated.  These days, I’m a whole lot more open to the possibilities of getting involved with a man and the other people that may come as a package deal with him. I’ve grown, and I’ve had some experiences that taught me a lot.

Whether you’re dating a man or woman with children, here are some things I’ve learned over the years that can hopefully help you alleviate some of the possible complications of dating a single parent.

Determine Whether You Both Want the Same for the Future

She already has children and you don’t. She doesn’t want more children and you do. This should be a no-brainer but I’ve seen so many people enter into relationships like this and wonder why it fails. Some start dating and never even have the conversation, whereas others have had the talk and still continue even though they know they don’t have the same desires. Communicate and don’t expect to change another person now nor in the future. It’s a recipe for constant conflict and hurt feelings—yours and theirs.

Know Yourself and What You Can Handle

Do you like children? Are you selfish? Are you mature enough to accept children? These are all important questions you should know the answer to before getting involved with someone who has children. If you don’t like children or you’re selfish, then don’t even entertain the thought of dating someone who has children. Just because the children are not living with the parent full time, doesn’t mean the children don’t exist. They are ever present, and circumstances can always change.

I was in my late 20’s and met a guy who was really interested in dating me. When I found out his 3 children were in another state it slowed me in my tracks. It wasn’t just the number of children that played a factor. I was nervous because I couldn’t really get to know what kind of father he was since his children were in another state. He also had a contentious relationship with his ex-wife and it affected the interaction he had with his children. My biggest concern was falling in love with him and then having 3 instant stepchildren I had to consider and take part in raising. I decided not to date him. Fast-forward about 9 months, and the mother of those children unexpectedly passed away. I was glad I had not pursued the relationship because at that time, I knew I was not ready, nor mature enough for it.

Establish Relationship Potential Before Involving Children

One of the biggest difficulties of dating a single parent is the fact that there are more feelings involved other than just your own and the person whom you are dating. Children have feelings that can become much more attached and hurt more deeply when they become involved in the relationship. Know before you go there. Spend enough time with the person to determine if this is even a relationship that has potential before you go any further. Trust your instincts and cut it off if you feel it isn’t something you see as a possibility before bringing the children into the mix.

Decide TOGETHER How You Will Introduce Children Into the Relationship

I was communicating with a guy who had a 10-year-old daughter with whom he had joint custody. I met her early on and had no problem with that. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time with her though because I know how attached I become to children. So we decided to date for a bit and once we entered into a committed relationship we’d share that with his daughter. Well, one day while taking his daughter to school she asked if I was his girlfriend. Children are curious and they always have questions. It’s okay to answer them, and we should do so honestly. Unfortunately, he did not do so. He told her yes, I was his girlfriend. What!!?? As a result, I felt pressured to move into a relationship sooner than planned simply because I didn’t want him to have to go back and tell his daughter he lied. Needless to say, I was not happy about it because he disregarded my feelings and he set our relationship up for division early on. It should have been a flag to me that communication might be a problem. The relationship didn’t last. To this day, my biggest regret is the fact that once my romantic relationship with him ended I lost the relationship I developed with his daughter.

Everyone doesn’t have the same experience when it comes to relating to children. Parents also tend to have different thoughts concerning timing and methods. Some feel it is important for children to meet and get to know you from the start regardless of whether you’ll be around in the future. Others are very protective and don’t want you anywhere near their children until they know for sure what role you’ll be playing. All of it must be discussed and decided upon together, ahead of time. Once you communicate and have the conversation to determine how you will move forward, just be sure to stick to it!

As an experienced educator and counselor, La Donna is passionate about positive relationships of all kinds. She enjoys helping people by providing an objective perspective to highlight the stumbling blocks, obstacles and barriers that may be hindering successful relationships. La Donna is a  hopeFULL romantic with a beautifully creative mind and she is the creator of DearHubby.com

What about the kids when you break up?

What about the kids when you break up?

Sadly, I am living this right now. About 5 months ago, I parted ways with a boyfriend of a few years. He had become a member of the family. On some level, I thought I’d marry him, but it turned out we were just not the right fit. It happens. I’m over it. My kids still mention him. I have noticed that my nonchalant way of mentioning that I ended things has not been so easy for them. I mean, they played COD with him, laughed at me with him, sided with him, etc. You know, immature boy stuff. And I find they miss him. But, I want no part of him, no mention of him, and don’t think about him. But my negative experience was not their experience. I have to accept snd redpect that.

In light of this, I sat down and had a real honest talk with them. I said “I know you guys like him, but he wasn’t a good fit for me. I tried 3 years and he couldn’t get it together. Don’t I deserve to be happy? Should the new guy in my life have to compete with an old boyfriend because you guys are still connected?” After that discussion, they saw things my way. True, they have no choice because I’m the grownup, but it is important to note their feelings and the level of discomfort it creates for me and potential mates. I also know they will have those fond memories because I allowed the ex in my life and theirs. My doing.

So, this post is to say kids do get attached to the people we date. But, we can’t stay mismatched and connected for the sake of our kids. They need to know sometimes stuff doesn’t work out. I had become so unhappy because he did not support my dreams. You all know how important chasing dreams is to me. Oh no! He had to go! 🙂

So, may the following lessons I learned bless you:

1. Watch the length of time you date

Sometimes, we just prolong relationships. You must learn to have the gift if good’bye. Everyone isn’t for you no matter how you try. Be willing to check the temperature of the relationship and make the hard move to move on as needed. Only you know the answer.

2. Make sure you both are on the same page

Faith is my most defining value. We have to share the same faith. Discipline and child rearing are important points if contention in relationships and we’re in ours. I’m not saying to run if uou and your boo disagree, but to watch out for non negotiables.

3. Do not remain in relationships that drain you

Draining, depressing, limiting… I can go on. No one should live like that. Let them go. Sign no 1 you are not with your Boaz.

4. Be quick to move on when you know you are not a good fit

I had clues that the fit was iff, but people in my ear combined with his smooth talking and better than the previous guy M.O. had me bound. I admit it. But, I have learned to watch the fruit if who they are not the image we want.
5. Be careful who you let your kids get attached to

Even I can stand to be reminded here. The ex had all the chivalry a woman could stand, all the right mives, and language but didn’t deliver one to one. Was neglectful of us, tried to be demeaning (notice tried. I don’t play that.), and just had signs of being a manipulative … But, he and my boys bonded, had a good time, and he cared for them and they liked him. BUT WE DID NOT FIT. So, now I know from that lesson to really make sure the fit is there first. I let him meet my boys within 2 months. I used to wait 6. There is no perfect timing but we must be cautious and realistic.

6. Keep conversation open with your kids
Of course, here, my language is child appropriate and not too detailed. But, I let them know I want God’s best for me and them. And if I make a move like that to end a relationship, I had good reason.

I, in no way, am trying to place the ex in a bad light. Truth is truth. We were and are not God’s best fit. I knew it. I had to let go. But, he was the first guy I actually introduced to my boys and let be around them for this length of time. He was better in some areas than any guy I had ever dated. That was blinding to the fact that we were not a good fit. It happens. When you see this in your relationships, don’t force it. Let go. We have too many examples of unhappily married folks to continue on with badly fit partners.

Life sucks. Relationships are hard. Single parenting and dating is hard. Breakups are hard.

Do It Anyway!