When I was in my teens and early 20′s, I never considered what type of man that I wanted to have in my life, neither did I consider what type of relationship I wanted to be in.  I only focused on one thing – that they liked me.  Now that I’m in my 30′s and with a young child, I have started to develop a standard for myself and what I expect out of a relationship.  I have learned what I will and will not accept, and how to weed through the “riff raff” and making a wise decision in the next man in my life.

I have learned numerous tips along the way, through reading, thinking through my failures from past relationships, and from analyzing other relationships. Most importantly, I have learned the basis of the following quote:

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It is so true – why settle or even waste your time in a relationship that you wouldn’t want for your own children? I never fully appreciated or respected this concept until I had a child of my own.  I want the world and beyond for my son, why shouldn’t I want the same for myself??!! I wouldn’t settle for less with him, so why should I settle for less for myself??!!

If we use this as the basis for our decision making in choosing the next man in our life, some of us would be much better off.

Here are a few more tips that I’ve collected along the way:

1. Know your self and your self-worth.

How can you begin to know what you want if you don’t know who you are??!!  Being a single mom, I tend to lose myself in the midst of being a mom, but every now and then, I have to take a step back and define who I am beyond being a mom.  I ask myself several questions to get me back on track, including:

  • What are my likes/dislikes in myself?
  • What are my personal and professional goals and aspirations for the next 3-5 years?
  • What is important to me?
  • What are my core values and beliefs?
  • Do you realize how beautiful you are? Inside and out?

If you need the time to work on finding yourself again, take it. Don’t rush into the search just because you’ve been alone for some time.  You need to have yourself in the right state and mindset to accept when a great man comes along.

By knowing your self and your self-worth, you will not allow yourself to settle for less than your worth.

2. Define the qualities and characteristics of your next relationship.

Once you have found yourself again and understand your self-worth, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re looking for in a relationship.

Consider these questions:

  • What do I want out of a relationship?
  • What are the qualities and characteristics that you’re looking for in the next man?
  • What are my likes/dislikes in a man?
  • What are some of the good relationships that I have been in? What qualities were exhibited in that relationship that made it positive?
  • What do I want from my next man?
  • What core values and beliefs would I want in the next man?
  • What am I willing to accept? What will I never accept?
  • Am I looking for a provider, protector, or both?

Clearly define your standards; however, consider the things that you are willing to compromise and those in which you will not bend. You don’t want your standards to be so high that it is completely unachievable.

3. Don’t carry around the baggage of your past.

Your past is just that – your past. Use it as a learning experience and move forward.  Don’t allow yourself to get so wrapped up in what has happened to you in the past that you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the future.

This is a tip that I continue to use in my daily life, and it has really worked to make me a bigger, better person.  Yes, I am wary and alert at all times because of my experiences; however, I don’t use it as a crutch or as a block to the happiness that I could experience. You really have to forgive and let go, in order to make sure that you can move forward in your next relationship successfully.

Consider these questions:

  • Am I comparing this man to the previous man which was a negative relationship?
  • Am I overly concerned that you will make the same mistakes in this relationship that you did in your past relationships?
  • Do I still harbor resentment towards the man from my past relationship?
  • Do you feel inadequate or unworthy due to your past relationship?

4. Guard your heart and your mind.

This may sound like a strange tip, but it is very important.  One of the many issues that I hear about from single moms is that they fell in love too quickly and the man turned out to be unworthy.

You must take your time when you’re dating as a single mom. You cannot allow yourself to fall in love with the first man who comes along. Even if he turns out to be Prince Charming and can offer you the world, you have to still guard your heart and ensure that this man is worth your time and your energy.

Honestly, this should be for any single woman, whether a single mom or not. Don’t open yourself up completely to every man that comes along. Take your time to learn about the man and get a better grasp of his mindset.

And allow things to progress as they will…if they don’t, then make sure to let go before you go too far down the rabbit hole.

Consider these questions:

  • Am I fearful that my heart will be broken?
  • Am I panicky about the prospect of a new relationship?
  • Do I constantly share with the next man about my worries, fears, and concerns?
  • Am I feeling insecure about a new relationship?

5. Pay attention to the red flags.

Once you start dating, it’s time to pay attention to everything that happens between yourself and the next man.

If anything seems fishy, ask questions – if he doesn’t respond or comes up with a fishy response, it may be time to cut your losses.

Remember what Dr. Maya Angelou said:


Men tend to show you their true colors from the very start – we just give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t do it!  You will end up with someone that does not fulfill your needs and will be disappointed yet again.  Focus on the characteristics you have defined.

In the past, I would usually be the most trusting person; however, I had to learn to not allow myself to be so trusting when I meet men. Because you have already defined what you’re looking for before you started dating, the hardest part will be to actually stick to them and walk away when it’s not right.

Consider these questions:

  • Does he call you every day? Or is it very irregular? Does he only call you during “business hours”?
  • Does he live with a “roommate”? Or does have his own place?
  • Has he said that he’s looking for a committed relationship? Or has he avoided the question completely?
  • Does he have a full-time job? Or is he “between jobs”?
  • Has he been texting you more often than he has been calling you?
  • Is he more interested in sex than having more dates?
  • Is he interested in having you meet his family or friends?
  • Does he talk poorly about others when he is with you?
  • Does he have a good relationship with his family?
  • Is he focused on your appearance more so than what you have to say?

These all could be a sign of things to follow…you have to pay attention at all times, and make sure that your date is the next man in your life or whether or not you should continue dating. Keep your eyes wide open at all times during all phases of the relationship, and you will help to avoid some serious heartbreak.

6. Be open to numerous options.

Sometimes, I can be very traditional – I’d love to meet the next man at the local Barnes & Noble or the grocery store. I just don’t want to put so much effort into finding the next man.  But being open to numerous options in the search is a great opportunity to find out what will work for you.

I know some people that have met great men on matchmaker dating sites such as and eHarmony. And I know some people that have met and married men that they have met in the simplest of locations – ATM drive thru, PTA meeting, standing in line at the movies or in the groceries and much more. Take advantage of the opportunities because they are truly endless, and you may met the next man very easily.

Consider these questions:

  • Do I want to meet a man using matchmaker dating sites?
  • Am I more interested in meeting the next man locally?
  • Where am I not interested in meeting the next man?
  • What should I look out for in any option to ensure that I am finding quality men?
  • How can I leverage the strategies used from successful relationships to find a man and have a successful relationship?

There are many more tips that I have come up with in the past two years, but I believe this is a good start to get you to start thinking about what needs to be done to walk away with a successful relationship.

Do you have some additional tips that you use or have used to find the next man in your life?

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