Single Mom Chic Shares the Secret to Finding Love


I often get asked questions about dating. It’s probably the second most frequent thing I am asked about outside of wardrobe questions. I can see why someone might think I am the resident single mom/single woman dating expert. I did spend 13 years in the field.  I also have a pretty awesome husband now. We are only three years in to be fair, so it still has that newlywed feel.

I don’t think of myself as a dating expert though. I am not sure I really even believe that exists. I have heard people who haven’t been in the dating field for years give soap box dating advice and I have to admit I roll my eyes a little, but we also know of certain famous matchmakers who seem to help others date but aren’t doing it well themselves.

Now, I can give you a lot of advice on the logistics of dating: shady characters to watch out for, where to meet eligible guys, when to introduce your kids and making sure you are ready. I wrote a whole chapter on it. It is one of my favorite chapters in Single Mom Chic but there is a reason it’s last. I believe we spend too much time talking about finding men. There I said it. Sorry to shatter any romantic illusions you might have had about this post. I don’t think people want logistical dating advice as much as they want the secret of finding that everlasting love. Want to know what I believe the secret to great love is? Not looking for it.

I think if we take the focus off of men and turn that looking glass on ourselves we would find that the answer isn’t about finding someone to love. It is about loving ourselves.

Think about anything else you truly want. If you wanted a new career or to run a half marathon you wouldn’t just show up at the CEO’s office or at the marathon start line. You would spend time preparing yourself for what you want. What do YOU need to focus on to prepare yourself for the job or the event? You certainly can register for a half marathon but if you haven’t put in the work you probably aren’t going to have a successful 13 mile run. You can attempt it just like we attempt to get into relationships before we are ready. We usually meet people where we are.

Oftentimes someone tells me that their friend is in a relationship with an unworthy guy. “Why is she putting up with his shady ways?” they ask. “Because she isn’t ready for a real relationship” I answer. “When she wants more, she will leave.”  Now, this doesn’t mean I think it is okay to stay with a guy who treats you like a doormat. But, my real advice to women is not to focus on finding a man until you find yourself.

So here are my suggestions for #datingnotdating

  1. Make a list of all the things you would like in your future partner. Now take a good look at that list and see if you meet those same qualifications. What do you need to work on yourself? Don’t ask for something that you yourself can’t give. Tuck that list away and forget about it.
  2. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish. Post that list somewhere you can see it every day.
  3. Start goal setting and focus on falling in love with YOU
  4. Date for sport-meet new people and enjoy a coffee date, movie or dinner but stop thinking that everyone you meet has to be your future husband. Keep things light and don’t force square pegs into round holes. That’s how those doormat relationships happen.
  5. Remember the saying-“If you build it, they will come.” Spend your time building yourself up and stop focusing so much on finding love outside of yourself.

One thing I am very sure of is you attract what you are. If you want a great man or woman make sure you have taken the steps to make yourself great too. So there you have it! My advice on the secret to finding love isn’t really a secret at all. #loveyourself


What’s the best love advice you have ever received?


Until Next Post,


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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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