Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Four Key Steps for Finding Love as a Single Mom

Dear friends,

So as you all know if you've only read me once or twice, I basically suck at love.   Yup, there I said it.  I asked my friend, Honorée Corder (author of The Successful Single Mom) for some much needed help.  Here are her 4 steps for finding love, I'm going to take her wise advice.  Please enjoy her piece about her journey to find love again and her great suggestions!


The Single Mom
The Art of Finding Love As a Single Mom

My philosophy on the art of dating is quite simple:

Dating is an opportunity to ask for what you want, say what you’re looking for (your purpose for dating), date lots of people (as many as you’d like), have fun and enjoy the process, have almost zero expectation, and remain unattached to the outcome.

When you engage in the art of dating from the right place physically, mentally and emotionally, you actually stand a better chance of ending up with the person who is the best fit for you sooner. Much sooner.

If you’ve been searching for “the one” and beating your head against the wall, crying yourself to sleep, or lamenting to your BFF how “a good man is hard to find,” well, stop it. You will only get what you want when you make up your mind about what that is, and get smart about your search.

I write all about my journey to finding my husband of five years, my Mr. Wonderful, in The Successful Single Mom Finds Love! Before I found him, before I got smart, I had to kiss a lot of frogs, cry too many tears, and spend countless hours and dollars on men who didn’t deserve the time it took to write this sentence. I want to save you some time, aggravation, heart-ache and babysitting dollars. Are you ready? Then let’s get started.

Ask for, and Get, What You Want

Remember: There is someone out there who wants for you to give him what you want to give and who will give you what want you to receive.

Your role in this process is to speak your truth (state your “purpose for dating”), and sort and keep sorting until you’ve found the person you’re going to date, live with, marry, have children with, all of the above, or none of the above.

Oh yes, and you probably will want to enjoy the process. Therefore, decide right now that you’re going to begin this process when, and only when, you can commit to yourself to enjoying the process and not before.

I make it sound so easy, right? Actually it’s simple, but I recognize it’s not necessarily easy because of the way we are wired and because of the way we’re used to doing things.

Here’s your new dating process:

1.                  State your “purpose for dating” all the time. Tell everyone within the sound of your voice what and who exactly you’re looking to find. They may have a brother, son, nephew, cousin, co-worker, or neighbor who sounds like a good fit. You just never know where your Mr. Wonderful is going to come from.

2.                Have fun and enjoy the process. What’s the point if you don’t have fun and enjoy the process? When all of your energy is wrapped up in “finding,” you won’t be “enjoying.” Inject fun into the dating that you do! Go to new restaurants, indulge in new foods, try miniature golfing, go hiking, learn how to SUP (stand-up paddle), learn a new language, train for a triathlon. All of these activities put you in front of people, many of them new people.

3.                Have no expectations. What if you could just go on a date and the only expectation you have is that you’re going to have a conversation (maybe even a good one) and a nice meal? Wouldn’t that take the frenetic energy out of the date? The energy that holds expectation and hope and even a little bit of crazy? Wouldn’t that be nice? Yes, yes it would. Nod and smile, so I know you’re with me, okay?

4.                Don’t be attached to the outcome. Don’t worry if “he’s the one,” just do your best to have a good time, enjoy your dinner and movie, flirt your ass off, and then wait and see what happens.

There are two other love-finding tips I want to share with you.

First, do what you haven’t been doing: go on more dates or dress differently. Go out with your girlfriends, or even take a weekend away by yourself. In other words, do the thing that scares you the most when it comes to dating. Shake things up. Shake yourself up! You deserve to try something new and get a new, great result.

Second, save yourself for the best fit, i.e., you deserve the best. So no settling! I mean it: this part is where I insist you not settle. Good enough is just not good enough.

This process isn’t about finding Mr. Perfect. He just simply doesn’t exist. This process is about finding Mr. Perfect-For-You. My husband isn’t perfect (pretty darn close), but he is perfect for me. We compliment each other so well, and that makes our relationship harmonious, most days, anyway.  I’m so clear I’m not perfect, but he swears I’m perfect for him. That’s a pretty great feeling, a feeling you, too, deserve to have.

Bio: Honorée Corder is a Personal Transformation Expert, Keynote Speaker and the a best-selling author of The Successful Single Mom book series, The Successful Single DadPaying4College: How to Save 25-50% on Your Kids College EducationPlay2Pay: How to Market Your College-Bound Student-Athlete for Scholarship MoneyTall Order!, and the upcoming Vision to Reality.

Learn more on her website 
here. Visit her Single Mom blog here and her Personal Transformation blog here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Going Deep

Today I’m going to be painfully honest with you and it scares me to admit what I’ve been feeling.  I started this blog as a leap of faith almost three years ago, I honestly didn’t know if I was a good enough writer, funny enough or had anything to say that mattered.  I always wanted to write and leave a legacy of words on the world in my own way.  I wanted those words to make you laugh, inspire, teach, entertain and sometimes even touch your heart.    

While none of those goals changed, my circumstances did, drastically.   I can’t even read some of my first posts today because I don’t know who that woman was, she sure isn’t much like me today.   Ouch, I can’t believe I really wrote that and haven’t backspaced it yet.  Yikes.    When I began writing this blog, although I just got dumped and fired I had no idea that life was about to suck even more.

I’ve written some about these hard days and I don’t want to rehash a bunch of that stuff, but to review, life got increasingly more challenging after I started writing this blog.  What I’m about to say sounds corny, but I truly think some of those experiences shaped me to be a better writer.  While they sucked on ice, I’m also grateful for them because they helped me go deeper and have more to share.

This time in my life forced me to realize that if I was going to inspire YOU, then I had to get my shit together first and put good stuff in my dome.   It was a downside of having an audience, in a small way I felt responsible to put some good crap in your heads, my writing had to have more substance than high heels, lip gloss and making out.  It had to.   Fortunately, I’ve attracted an intelligent audience who likes to be entertained and wants some depth with it.    I realized that this blog couldn’t just be a cheap lap dance, but it could still be sexy.  

In the beginning, I was naïve.  I thought I write these fun little dating tales and it would be fun for both of us.   I’d eventually end up meeting someone terrific who would worship me silly and you would clap and cry tears of joy.  Eventually, I’d bore the crap out of you as all I had to share was our boring trips to Home Depot to pick out tile.   Spoiler alert: that shit didn’t happen, now did it?   Nope.    Almost three years of dating and writing and I’m closer to going cat lady crazy than shopping for tile. 

The last two and a half years have been extremely difficult to endure.   There were many nights I went to sleep hoping I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.  I didn’t know how I’d get through another day, let alone another week. 

The two reasons my life has become so challenging  were financial struggles and that my ex stopped being a parent to the boys.   Before this, I could at least count on being a wild and crazy bachelorette every other weekend and having some time to catch my breath.  Now, I don’t have that at all.  It’s been harder to have a life, be a good mom and to maintain a job, to be quite honest with you.   I hate admitting this but I need a break from being a mom, a weekend, an overnight, anything.    I feel like a failure for thinking that let alone writing it, but it’s the truth.  I don’t feel like I’m my best and therefore not able to give my best to the boys. 

In some ways I also feel like I’ve failed you, my reader.   I want to be writing happy, sexy posts consistently.  Heck, I’ve barely been able to write at all.  But hey guess what, life isn’t always what we expect and I know you understand.   But I’m hard on myself, harder than I’m sure you are.  

Another reason I feel like I’ve failed you is because I haven’t found love.  I haven’t written that perfect walk into the sunset, holding another hand.   Sometimes, I wonder what is wrong with me but lately, I’ve realized that it goes deeper than that. 

This deep dive into self-improvement and all my hardcore personal development, especially this year has caused me to pull away from many potential relationships with men and be more picky about who I truly let in.  Yet, I can date more casually for fun, more for the experience of meeting new people, but it takes me much longer to get attached.   I’m also starting to look at why I’ve attracted a certain type of man into my life and then why I was even more of a dumbass and slept with that dude, over and over again.  

A lot of my answers lie on my own shoulders.  I realized that I’ve welcomed men into my life who had some kind of handicap that would keep us from becoming too serious.  Ouch, that’s pretty painful to admit.   A great example of that is the most recent man I dated this summer,  who was much younger.  I wanted companionship but I didn’t want him crowing my life.   The fact that he was younger was a built in hurdle, so that we wouldn’t become extremely close.   What is wrong with me? 

I haven’t truly loved anyone since “The Reader”.  You don’t know how hard that is to admit, especially since he may still read my blog sometimes.   On the other hand, the time that has passed since being involved with him has shown me that although losing him from my life was painful, it was absolutely for the best.   Today, he’s not a man I would be attracted to; I’ve changed so much, it’s almost staggering.  

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten as close as one can to falling in love, without completely falling over the cliff.    Truthfully, I’m scared of the weak little girl I am after a difficult breakup, so scared in fact that it keeps me from fully immersing into love.  So my choices are simple, I either let someone in partially or I stay disconnected totally until I find someone worthy of taking the risk.   I’m meeting a lot of men and flirting, but haven’t met anyone who is worth risking my sanity.

I was very fortunate this year to find a book that has drastically shaped my life and my future.     I highly recommend, The Successful Single Mom for anyone going through a difficult time in life.   It’s an excellent book for a single mom or anyone actually who needs a jump start in life and career.  I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with the author of this book, slobbering all over her, thanking her for writing this book.   Her advice literally changed my life for the better,  I use some nugget of wisdom from her book every single day.  It also forced me to look harder at myself, my inner circle and my thoughts.  I’m truly a better person for reading this book.  

In the next few weeks, I’ll share an experience this summer that has made me swear off online dating, at least for now and more from my dating life.  As always thanks for reading and for all your encouragement, it really means a lot!  


The Single Mom