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Re-entering the dating scene is rather scary, but as a single woman, mom of four, I decided it's time to play the field. After all, who wants to grow old single and alone? So, I consulted a few friends, an online dating service, and several single women I knew ? but ultimately most of them are "satisfied with single". I decided to go straight to the source, the most interesting single person I know, who has interesting, challenging, and adventurous dates, knowing full well any advice I got would be direct, to the point, and daringly attractive to the kind of men I'm interested in: adventurous, intelligent, professionals, with a family oriented bent.

After a few moments of dating discussion, revealing conversation about the state of men who date, and laughter over the possible prospects in my neighborhood, she offered up some incredibly good advice.

Ten tips:

1. Don't date. But, if you must?

2. Play hard to get ? make your guy chase you.

3. Shock him with something daring ? a new haircut?

4. Let it be known that you like to play the field and are not interested in commitment.

5. If he's still around at this point: every couple of days call and ask what he is doing? Most will be busy the first couple of calls, but after the first calls, he will begin paying attention to you (small gifts, dinner, treats).

6. When he calls to ask what you are doing --- ALWAYS be busy, explain but don't tell him you will be alone.

7. Once you've reeled him in, on a nice 'girly date', compliment him a couple of times, but don't give him a BIG head.

8. Throughout the entire time you're allowing him to pursue you, fish for compliments. If he doesn't compliment you profusely and with abandon, he isn't worth your time. Dump him now.

9. Never call him, make him call you from this point on.

10. Ask the big question ? what do you want from me? See if he answers correctly, based on what you want at the moment.

The challenge of dating as a full time mom who loves her children and desires to have an interesting personal life as well as a great family life is to find men who are interested in similar things, with like values. A challenge, not impossible, that I took seriously through a series of options that led to a few dates.

A few tips for those of us who are a bit older:

1. Verify his intentions in the first few conversations. (If he's got different goals than you have, in the dating process, chances are he won't change them.)

2. Be sure you know your own boundaries ? and tell him.

3. Remember everyone has a life, all lives have baggage, and nobody wants to carry your load too.

4. Be yourself and be comfortable.

5. If he's not your type, cut him loose and let him fly. If you're not his type don't take it personally.

More than anything, have fun, don't get serious too fast, and pursue your own life interests ? NOT his.

Copyright © 2005 ? Jan Verhoeff

Dating can be a great social event. Challenge yourself to meet new people, have a lot of fun, and go after what you want. You only have one life to live too. Visit my site at Work At Home Mom's Co.

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