"In my coaching practice, I suggest that single moms do the inside work to get really clear about their wants, needs, values and beliefs and get in touch with their intuition," says Kerri Zane, single-mom lifestyle expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the Real One.
Once you've decided that you're ready to date, it might feel impossible to find the time.
Since hitting the bars is out, start by "dating" for friends, Baumgartner suggests.
Look for people who like to do the same things as you do. They offer a casual group setting and regularly scheduled meet-ups, and allow you to do something while you're getting to know the other person.
If activities seem too hard on your schedule or psyche right now, Zane says to look into the Internet dating scene.
"They are fun, flirty, and super ego boosters," says Zane.
And Baumgartner says that single parents need to consider that this may be true.
"I tell clients that having some time for 'just themselves' is important," she says.
"Perhaps a better question than when is why," says Christine Baumgartner, relationship coach at The Perfect Catch. Expecting dating to fulfill all your needs is unrealistic and might attract (or cause you to accept) people who aren't right for you.Instead, focus on topics that are easy to discuss and help you learn about each other.Though you may be excited about a new relationship, be extra cautious about sharing this information with your kids.For the timid or busy, it's a great way to get used to the idea of looking for love without the pressure.Whether you're looking for a fling, a ring, or something in between, remember that dating is part of the journey, not a means to an end, Zane says.