Wise Dating Decisions

I must admit that not every single mom cares to date again. In fact, I think it’s totally awesome when a mom or widow is completely content with her “family” being just the kids and her.

I know when I was a single mom, I did not even want to date for a few years after my divorce. And even when I did think it was time to test the dating waters, I didn’t know what I was doing, nor did I know the pitfalls and dangers to avoid.

That’s why I’m writing this blog. I want you to know a few things that will help you have a successful second marriage if you decide to start down that path. Although it’s true that Rich and I have been married now for over 26 years—yes, a successful second marriage—we learned many difficult lessons early on as we walked through the “jungle” of adjustment.

I want to share a resource I wish I would have had when I was a single mom: Ron Deal’s book Dating and the Single Parent. It’s a MUST-read book, likely answering questions you didn’t even know you had—questions such as:

  • How long should I date someone before marrying him?
  • How and when do I get the kids involved?
  • How can I find lasting love?

Yes! Read this book!

And here are three other pre-dating questions of my own.

1. Why do I want to marry again? Goodness, there could be a million answers to this, but maybe one of these is your reason: 

  • I’m lonely.
  • I want a companion to share life with.
  • I want a “daddy replacement” under the roof.

Beware, my friend, you don’t want to marry someone else as a stepping stone to relieve your pain. You can’t expect someone else to fill your emptiness if Jesus is not already filling it Himself.

2. Have I dealt with my loss? I didn’t realize I had not dealt with my loss until after I married Rich. Neither of us had dealt with our losses. It took us a few years to work through that. If lingering bitterness, anger, or other blind spots linger in your heart, do yourself a favor and get help. That’s why I wrote The Single Mom and Her Rollercoaster Emotions. In it I dealt with God’s answers concerning fear of the unknown, anxiety, loneliness, guilt, and more. You’d be wise to deal with your own baggage before you ask someone else to.

3. Am I surrendered to God and His Plan? Friend, the only thing worse than being single and miserable is being remarried and separated in your relationship with God. Do you need God now? JUST WAIT! You’ll need His wisdom, guidance, presence, and joy even more as your kids grow older and you try to make the transition into a new family unit and enter those integrating years (if you choose that). I fully believe that with God all things are possible. HOORAY! But the reverse of that is, without God we’re in deep trouble, my friend!

So here’s good news. None of us has to walk into the future by ourselves. The Bible says God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. We have His Word! His Holy Spirit! Books written by authors whom He’s empowered with truth! We are not alone in the journey as we move forward. And for that I rejoice!

 Dating and the Single Parent, Ron Deal, Bethany House Publishers, 2012.

The Single Mom and Her Rollercoaster Emotions, Pam Kanaly, Pelican Publishers, 2014.

About Pam Kanaly   

Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.