The idea of the ‘traditional’ family unit has changed significantly over the past 20 years. It’s no longer unusual to find families with same sex parents and single parenthood is no longer taboo, says lifestyle coach Olga Levancuka .

The new family model has given women the freedom to choose to be a single parent and as the biological clock starts ticking, this is an option that women are choosing to pursue, either through using a sperm bank or by other means.

Despite this, most of us want to be in a stable, loving relationship before embarking on parenthood, but with increasingly hysterical media headlines about the difficulty of conceiving as you get older, women feel under pressure to meet someone and have a baby as soon as possible. The danger of this is that women run the risk of focusing only on finding a father for their child rather than on finding someone who is right for them.

When a woman’s biological clock starts ticking, she gives up on the search for the perfect man and starts looking for the perfect sperm donor. Even if she refuses to admit it. A lot of women hope that having a child will bring them closer to the man they are in a relationship with or will make them feel more fulfilled as individuals but in fact, it can have quite the opposite effect.

Having a child is the most life changing experience of a woman’s (and man’s) life however, the pressure that a new baby can place on a relationship cannot be underestimated, so it’s vital that the relationship is strong before rushing into parenthood. Thinking ‘I don’t love him, but he’ll be a perfect father’ will only lead to trouble.

Attitudes towards parenting have changed but one thing about human nature that hasn’t changed is that we develop different feelings about relationships as time goes on. Women shouldn’t rush their way into motherhood as it’s so much more than just creating and raising a baby.

If you dating history sends shivers down your spine and you think that you will never be able to find the perfect man to love and start a family with then perhaps you need to weigh up your expectations. Given the fairy-tale stereotypes women (and men) are still being brought up with, the ‘ideal man’ checklist can be a very long one and it’s hardly surprising that women can’t find that elusive ‘Mr. Perfect’

How do you overcome this? Don’t go dating with a shopping list. Be open-minded and forget that ‘Mr Right’ has to be athletic, have a good job or own a home. With many of my clients, I find that their dating shopping list has nothing to do with what they actually seek in a relationship.

Next time you catch yourself thinking ‘This guy could be a great dad!’, ask yourself whether you could happily spend the rest of your life with him. If the answer is yes, enjoy the flirting and the journey ahead.

Olga Levancuka is a leading lifestyle coach with a refreshing approach. She has coached some of the UK’s most prominent entrepreneurs, celebrities from all across the fame spectrum as well as household political names. She is known internationally as the Skinny Rich Coach and is the author of How To Be Selfish and Increase Your Confidence in One Day.