Single Mom Seeking’s Rachel Sarah Helps Single Moms Get their Date On!
By Melissa Chapman
Candid, brazen author and single mom, Rachel Sarah, is one tough cookie. Besides having single-handedly raised her daughter Mae since she was seven months old after her boyfriend split, she has (almost) no qualms about revealing her dating exploits on her blog – a bookmarked favorite among single mommy daters everywhere, and is the first to admit that having a seven year-old daughter does not preclude her from having a sex drive!
Since moving with Mae from NYC to California to be closer to her family, this spunky single mama is successfully balancing motherhood and dating with abandon and lots of humor, while giving single moms dating advice. She’s decided to let Single Minded Women inside her head, and offer up her insight when it comes to dating with a kid on board!
SMW: How old was your daughter when you decided you were ready to date; was that a difficult decision for you?
Rachel: Mae was two when I decided to date again. I felt very nervous about getting back out there. I’d never really dated before. I’d always just slipped into relationships.
After two years alone, I’d asked myself: “Did I really want to kiss my sex life good-bye just because I was a single mom?” No. But dating as a single mom was a crash course in learning how to date. I’m really good at setting my boundaries now.
SMW: What is your rule in terms of when you should introduce your daughter to a potential suitor?
Rachel: In general, I adhere to this rule: keep your kid out of it. Go with your gut because the last thing you want is to introduce Mr. Could Be.
In my own life, the rule has changed as my daughter has gotten older. We’ve always had lots of friends in our lives, so when Mae was in preschool, I could say “We’re going to meet Mommy’s friend.” (I’d made the rules clear to the man, too, i.e., no hugging or kissing.) We all went out for ice cream or to the park; it was short, low-key, and casual. Most importantly, the focus was on Mae.
Mae turns eight this year; I would never get away with introducing a strange man as “Mommy’s friend.” Today, a man I’m dating does not get the honor of meeting her. He won’t, until I’ve had enough time and assurance to prove that this relationship will work.
SMW: On a date do you tell the man right away that you have a daughter?
Rachel: I always tell men that I’m a single mom. The first line on my online profile says, “I’m a single mom…” Mae is such a part of who I am that I would have to try so hard not to mention her.
SMW: What do you think is the proper protocol in that type of situation- to tell or not to tell?
Rachel: I just asked this on my blog I say, “Always tell your date you have kids!” However, it’s amazing how “the proper protocol” varies so much.
SMW: Have you had any serious boyfriends since your split from your ex?
Rachel: Five years into single motherhood, as I was finishing my book, I fell in love with a sweet, local Israeli contractor. We’d been set up: he was a 45-year-old bachelor who’d never been married. So, when we moved in together — after dating seriously for a year — I should’ve known what a challenge this would be.
My daughter and I had lived in our girls-only estrogen chamber for so long. He was such a manly man who’d never lived with a woman, let alone a woman-with-child. We didn’t work. Mae and I moved out one year ago.
SMW: What do you think are the best ways for single Moms to start dating?
Rachel: Most of all, enjoy being single and get out there. Be open. Do what you love to do: take a poetry class, bring your kids to the beach, go salsa dancing. I think online dating is a great resource, and a great way to practice dating.
But I’m also a firm believer in matchmaking. Swallow your pride and tell all of your friends — as well as the parents at your child’s daycare or school — that you’re single and looking. For most single moms, it’s about time. How in the world will I have time to date? I’m an advocate of the first, quick, coffee date. After 20 minutes with a man, you’ll know if you want a second date.
SMW: Has it been your experience that men respond differently to you as a potential mate, because you’rea single Mom and the custodial parent of a child?
Rachel: My experience has been very positive. It’s an easy call for me: if a man is turned off by the fact that I’m a mom, I bid him farewell. I’m very fortunate to live in such a progressive, open-minded community (the S.F. Bay Area).
Not only do most men here seem very open to dating single moms, there are more and more single dads these days. Wow, they are coming out of every corner.
SMW: Why should single Moms RUN not walk to get a copy of your book, what kind of support will it provide them?
Rachel: If you’re a single mom, you might think of sex as something you used to do — but not anymore. Single Mom Seeking shows you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Your life is not over. Mine certainly isn’t.
I show how, with a bit of trepidation, I learn to flirt again, starting with my UPS man (with mixed results!). I show how I found my tribe. Not only can you whine to your friends after a lousy date, they will certainly look out for you — and your child, but your friends will also been the best, honest bogus detectors when it’s time for a potential boyfriend to pass the test.
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