5 Ways to Let Go of Dating Guilt
Being a single mom is hard enough as it is; you don’t need to feel guilty for going out on a date on top of all the stress of single motherhood.There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an evening out with a nice man, no matter what your brain tells you. If you find yourself feeling guilty for leaving your kids with a babysitter for a night, then there’s a few things you can do to help yourself get rid of that unfounded guilt. Below are 5 Ways to let Go of Dating Guilt.
Guilt rears its ugly head in many ways, but this list will cover a wide range of causes for guilt.
You’re sure to find a solution that works for you. By the end of this article, you’ll be well on your way to feeling better about balancing your dating life with your single motherhood.
Good afternoon Moneyistas,
I know personally how this feels. But, it’s ok to do something for yourself occasionally.
So, here are 5 Ways to Let Go of Dating Guilt
- Plan an activity for your kids.
Maybe your guilt stems from leaving your kids alone with nothing to do. If that’s the case, try to plan something fun for them to do while you’re gone. This can range from renting them a movie, giving them a craft to do, or playing board games. It’s really up to you and your kids. Pick something you know they’ll enjoy—and that will distract them from your absence.
If you can, you should also try to spend time with your kids before you leave. Say you’re going out to dinner with your date and you planned on leaving around 6:00 pm. Try your best to spend at least an hour doing a bonding activity before you go.
Again, you can decide what you’d like to do with your kids based on your favorite activities.
Some good ideas are baking something they can eat after you leave, making hand puppets for them to play with, or something similar. The goal is to provide them with a physical reminder of your presence while you’re away—something you made together.
Mention your plan to your babysitter—if you have one—and ask them to follow through as much as possible. Of course, kids are unpredictable, so they may end up getting side tracked throughout the night, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That just means they’re having fun! And when they’re having fun, there’s no reason for you to feel bad about leaving them alone.
- Put up affirming notes.
Sometimes it can be difficult to let yourself have a good time when you’re a single mom. If you find yourself feeling guilty. Because you feel like you somehow shouldn’t be enjoying yourself—which is completely untrue—then try writing down your feelings and creating phrases to help you combat those negative emotions.
For example, you could write down that you feel guilty for having fun while your kids are alone, then write something like, “It is okay to have fun.
I am a human being and deserve to have a good time.” Take this positive note and stick it to your bathroom mirror. You want to put it in a place you see frequently. This will help your brain rewire itself. The more often you see a positive affirmation, the more often your brain will default to a positive emotional response rather than a negative one.
Make sure to look at these affirmations at least once a day, preferably in the morning. You want to start your day off on a positive note so you can carry that affirmation with you throughout the day.
As for the first message you wrote—the one describing your negative emotion—you can dispose of it in a few ways. Throw it away, put it in a box, anything works. Just make sure to keep it away from you. The goal is to release these negative thoughts and feelings, then replace them with positive ones. You can’t do that if you keep looking at the negative notes!
- Invite your date to dinner with your kids.
This tip suits a date for later on in a relationship, but if you’re in that place, this can really do wonders for your mental wellness. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone; you get to have a nice evening with someone you enjoy being around, and you get to spend time with your kids. It’s a win-win!
If you want to add another layer of intimacy, have your date come to your home for dinner instead of going to a restaurant.
Make dinner together and have your kids help out to bring you all closer together.
It can be scary introducing a new partner to your kids, especially if you and your children have a very special bond, but it’s important for them to know that you are doing everything you can to be happy.
At the end of the day, seeing you enjoying yourself will trump any hesitations they have about this new person entering your—and subsequently their—life. You shouldn’t feel bad about enjoying the presence of another adult, especially if that person genuinely takes interest in your family. By the end of the night, you’ll forget you ever felt guilty.
- Let your kids meet your date.
Introducing your kids to your date can really help put your mind at ease. Unlike the previous guilt-reliever, this tip is perfect for first or second dates. You don’t have to tell your kids that you are romantically interested in your date, but it’s good to get them familiar with your potential partner.
Of course, introducing a bunch of different people to your kids may not be the best idea, but if you are really sure you like someone, it’s a good idea to let your kids say hello.
Introduce them as a friend before you mention anything about dating. You don’t want to end up overwhelming your kids; that’ll just enhance your feelings of guilt. Your date doesn’t have to do anything huge. A simple wave or hello should suffice. You just want to make sure your kids have a general idea of where you’re going and what you’re doing so they don’t think you’ve just left for no reason.
Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest reasons children get upset when their parent leaves for a period of time.
If you are weary of introducing your date so early on, you can also sit down with your kids and let them know the details of where you’re going and who you’re going with. This can be as simple as saying, “I’m going out to dinner with a friend tonight at 6 o’clock and I’ll be back around 8.”
You just want them to get an idea of your night while you’re away so they aren’t sad that you’ve left them by themselves for no reason.
Give them your phone number, and you’re your babysitter your phone number, and let them know that it’s okay to call or text if they need to talk to you. Doing this will let you explain the situation, which should help you let go of any guilt you have towards going out for the night. It’s simple, but it really can help!
- Change your mindset.
This one is a bit more emotionally difficult than the other solutions mentioned so far. It requires a lot of mental determination, but you can do it with practice. Instead of thinking of dating as a change in your family dynamic, try to keep yourself centered in the moment. Identify exactly why you feel guilty and figure out ways to combat those feelings by talking to your partner as well as your children.
Ask your partner if becoming a part of your family is a possible outcome in the future.
Though this conversation may be difficult. But, it’s a necessary one and it will really help you get over your guilty feelings. Knowing that your partner is in it for the long haul will let you realize that you don’t need to feel guilty about leaving your kids alone for a night. If your partner really is serious, there will come a time when you won’t need to leave your kids alone. Because you and your partner will be together with your kids.
Likewise, ask your kids what they think of you dating. Again, this conversation may be difficult—especially if your kids are very young and may not understand what dating means.
But, it will really give you an idea of how your kids are actually feeling. You don’t know for sure if they even mind that you go out from time to time, so ask them.
If they do have any problems with you going out on dates, this is the perfect time to talk about them.
Come up with solutions for their feelings as well as your own. Find a happy medium that you can both agree on and go from there. Opening up a channel of communication with your kids is the key to letting go of your guilt.
So the conclusion of 5 Ways to Let Go of Dating Guilt
Overall, the biggest thing to remember is communication with your new partner and with your kids.
Without an open path of communication, your feelings of guilt will only grow. Talk to those close to you and remind yourself that it’s okay to enjoy an evening out. Especially if it’s someone that gives you butterflies in your stomach.
Please leave me a comment on how this article helped you.
On 5 Ways to Let Go of Dating Guilt