Consider the kids before yourself.

Hello ladies. I hope that you had a pleasing Valentine's Day. This week, we are back on reinventing ourselves, so I am discussing a new man is appropriate.

This topic is broken down into two sections: single women and single women with children. Selection priorities are different for both. As you reinvent your personal self, you also have to change the way you select your mate. In your cocoon state, you are rethinking your priorities to fit what you want your life to become.              

The following questions should be given a lot of thought before dating: Are you looking for a relationship or companionship? What do you really want in a mate? Does he want children? What is the appropriate behavior when kids are involved?

You have to know what type of relationship you are looking for. If it is just casual dating (one to five dates), leave the children out of it. They don't need to see you going out with a lot of different men. If it is a casual relationship, don't bring the man home period.

However, if you are looking for a more permanent relationship the kids must be considered first and foremost. What you want is important, but what they need is more important. They are the ones who get stuck in the middle. Things you should consider are: Does he like children? How does he interact with your children? Then ask him if he wants to have more children because if one person does, but the other does not, then you have hit a major road block. Above all, he has to know that you and the kids are a package deal. You should never overlook your children when selecting a mate. Just because he is good for you doesn't necessarily mean he is good for them. What does he have to offer your family? The man you select should be a good role model of what a real man should be, so that your son or daughter will know what to expect later. Your son will turn into a man you can be proud of and your daughter will marry the right kind of man.

Now you should be looking at his financial status. Does he work, go to school or have a career? Look at his potential to be more than he is now. If he works, is there room for advancement in his job? If he is in school, when will he graduate and then what are his plans? A career may mean you having to move. Are you ready for that? Maybe he is in the military, which is a different can of worms. With the military you have to be prepared to move every two to four years. Plus you have to be prepared for him to leave without prior notice and be gone for God only knows how long.

I know we all want to be with nice looking men, but his personality is more important than that. How does he treat you and the children? How does he make you feel about you and your relationship? What is his credit like? Do you communicate well? These are the types of things you should look at.

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Remember ladies a man is supposed to be an asset not a liability. If it looks like you have to take care of him rather than visa versa, run for the hills.

Consider the kids before yourself.

`Til next week, be safe.