February is traditionally celebrated as the month of love. Statistics report that here in the UK £557 million will be spent going out on romantic dinners, £461 million on presents, £173 million on drinks, £211 million on flowers, £115 million on chocolates and £57 million on cards. So where does that leave single mothers? Some of you will be going out for that dinner, receiving the card and marking Valentine’s day with a happy heart. You may be embarking on a new relationship, in the throes of early lust or love and wondering if he’s Mr. Right. You may even be contemplating introducing him to your children. This Valentine’s day could be a perfect test, to see if he matches up to your romantic expectations! In my book, I give you some suggestions for how to tell if he’s right for you.
You’ve already proved that you can survive as a single mother and look after the children by yourself. So how can you tell if he’s Mr. Right and worth giving up your freedom for?
I kept my original perfect partner list that I wrote all those years ago. Among other things, I was looking for someone tall, dark and handsome (sometimes clichés are created with good reason!), solvent, ambitious and honourable. It was important to me that he got on well with my children, family and friends and also my dog, that he had a sense of humour, could make me laugh and was someone I really enjoyed talking to. I wanted him to be intelligent, compassionate and kind. You may find it strange and unrealistic that I chose to be so specific. When I met and fell in love with my second husband I convinced myself that my list was overambitious as it emerged that he did not tick every box. Indeed, the more I came to know about him, the more apparent this became.
A footnote to this story is that when I met my current husband I realised that here was someone who ticked all the boxes on my list, so I was glad that I’d had the courage to ask for exactly what I wanted (indeed I wished that I hadn’t compromised with my disastrous second marriage–all I needed to do was to wait patiently until the real Mr Right showed up, instead of making do with Mr Mostly Wrong!) Over the years I have learnt a lot about visualising and goal setting and I now know that whilst you should be realistic, you should also be specific. Why don’t you try it now? Start with the words: My Perfect Partner is: …and write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry too much about putting the “right” things down to begin with, just go with the flow. You can always edit it later and when you have the final version that you are happy with, write your list out neatly, adding doodles, colours or decorations if you like. Then put it somewhere safe and refer to it when you need inspiration or clarification. There’s nothing to stop you changing your mind and editing it later, but beware of altering it to better fit someone who, you already know, at some level is not right for you.
excerpt from THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE, available on Amazon
However, you may not be part of the romance this month. Looking on the bright side, at least you won’t be contributing your hard-earned cash to all the millions spent on February 14th! There is another way to celebrate the month of love. Whether you are still looking for Mr. Right or you’ve decided to remain contentedly single, the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. So why not work on falling back in love with YOU? I’ve been invited to speak at a brilliant event called Midlife Mayhem, dedicated to helping women get their mojo back! I’ll be joining a panel of local experts and together we’ll talk to you about nutrition, help you understand how you can manage the menopause and come out of it the other side and learn that looking at your image is one way to break free and get your confidence back.
Stuck in a rut? Not enough hours in the day? No time for you? Want to find a way out of the Mayhem and love your life and your body again? Come along to MIDLIFE MAYHEM 7.30pm – 9.30pm February 24th at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, West Sussex
So I am posting this blog with love and wishing you a fabulous February, whatever you’re up to!