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Eventually, after the fog of said miserable divorce started to lift -- or perhaps precipitated by my intense desire for it to lift -- friends and acquaintances began to set me up on dates.

Early on in the blind date parade, there was the attractive young television director, with whom I shared a quirky lunch date.

Then, just as the silence had stretched to the point of becoming awkward, he would reel himself back in from his mental escape hatch and say something witty.

He seemed to be toying with me, but since I was so out of practice, I couldn't be certain.

I would have to learn them on my own in the trenches.

Men and women seem to cope differently with the collapse of a relationship.

"Once the boyfriend is introduced there is no going back, and expectations are raised," she adds.

What to do instead: Time is the best measure of knowing when to introduce the children.

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In a grand gesture, he ordered several entrees and two desserts and encouraged me to "dig in." Feeling starved of just about everything in life at that time, I did just that and heartily devoured the feast in front of me.Then there was a perfectly nice fellow, a body-builder with a sensitive side who shared lavender cupcakes and tea with me one hot summer afternoon.He asked thoughtful questions and was a good listener, but we had a distinct lack of chemistry.The margin for error you once enjoyed pre-motherhood has radically diminished, and you now have one or more little people depending on you not to screw it up again.Dating someone in similar circumstances saves a lot of time.We sat down at a restaurant on Melrose and began the process of inquiring about each other's lives.He took such lingering pauses before responding that I started to think he'd forgotten the question.Traditionally men view the introduction of children to be a big step.When you have talked about exclusivity and are both sure you share the same vision for the future of your relationship, then you can introduce the kids. I'm hoping to change all that, but the mere thought of entering the dating world in earnest is scary as can be. Waiting too long to start dating GIPHYAs a single mom, you want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with your children — but making the introduction is a tricky situation."Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella.To remedy my fears, I turned to seasoned dating coaches, Julianne Cantarella, MSW, and Elisabeth Lamotte, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert, to figure out the biggest dating mistakes single moms make (and the smart moves that should replace them). "It's not only the woman who can be hurt if the relationship ends, but the children as well." A savvy single mom should wait as long as possible before introducing her kids to the potential boyfriend and never make the intro around the holidays, the experts advise."Women should gain a sense of her boyfriend's interaction based on how he treats her and possibly his own children if he has them," says Cantarella, who suggests erring on the side of caution.

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  1. From finding the time to finding the right person, get seven smart tips from our single parent dating pros.

  2. Apr 12, 2013. Many single parents who are gun shy after divorce go in one of two directions they convince themselves they are better off only dipping a toe in dating, or they deny and minimize their fears, which can lead to a reckless plunge. Here's how to avoid these extremes.

  3. Sep 13, 2017. Dating is a minefield whatever your situation. When you're a parent, things can feel even tougher. Amy Nickell shares her tips for dating as a single parent.

  4. May 18, 2017. Dating is hard — dating as a single mom is harder, especially when you're coming out of a long-term relationship. Here are the top dating mistakes single moms make, and how to avoid them. If you choose to ignore this advice, LaMotte says the best thing you can do is take things slowly. 4. Becoming.

  5. Sep 19, 2013. Dating-as-a-divorced-mother was an entirely new game, one whose rules — despite my eagerness to learn them — remained steadfastly mysterious. There weren't going to be any short cuts, and I didn't know any single mothers to consult for tips. I would have to learn them on my own in the trenches.

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