You scrolled through a dating app and found the woman of your dreams. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and perhaps just a little bit older And… she’s a single mom. Not a problem, though, just surprising. But do you know that more than 40% of kids are born out of wedlock these days? Then you shouldn’t be that surprised.
Of course, dating a single mom may increase your anxiety. Many questions can enter your head, like will parenting get in the way of your relationship? Will her ex get jealous if you start dating her? Will her kids be interested in having you around as another father figure?
To help you, here we will outline the challenges of dating a single mom, along with advice to get through them and of course our tips for dating a woman like this as well.
“Venture into discussing other topics. Let loose a little and discuss your favorite movies and books, make jokes and talk about silly and controversial opinions like whether a hot dog is a sandwich or not.”
Kate MacLean, the dating expert
Remember that dating single mothers lands you in multiple types of relationships all at the same time. Your presence can have a major effect in both positive and negative aspects and it’s important to take things into consideration as the relationship moves forward.
As you enter a serious relationship with her, it is important to establish a healthy relationship with both your romantic partner and her children. Before you start to date a single mom take these facts into consideration.
To think of this in honest terms, her children were in her life first. She has known them much longer than she has known you, and she likely has a much stronger bond with her children than she does with you.
As harsh as it may sound, her children are her first priority and this should be respected. You will earn your place in the family with time, but you should always recognize the fact that her children are her first priority.
This move requires flexibility, from co-parenting with her children’s father to constantly rescheduling after the first date. As a mom, your partner is very likely juggling a lot more than she is able to handle. This is why one of the most important rules when dating a single mom is to always stay flexible.
As a parental figure, your partner does not have the time or energy to be led on. If they want to date you, they are most likely looking for an active commitment. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule; however, being upfront about your commitment or lack of commitment will show her respect.
Mature women dating aren’t necessarily looking to hook someone into marriage. However, they do expect you to be honest about your commitment.
Remember that when dating a single mom, she’s most likely going to be incredibly busy due to her kids. Be a supportive potential partner and trust that the relationship will move forward at its own pace. So long as you don’t look for a lot too soon.
Related reading: A Guide on How to Be a Better Boyfriend
Whether you just started dating her, or you’ve been with her for a long time, remember to see her as a woman, not a mom. A lot of people tend to forget that moms are more than just mothers. They’re your potential partner, a strong independent woman, and so much more.
There is a reason you are dating this woman, so consider how the kids feel about this. In the beginning, as you are introduced to them, be sure to take the time to get to know them. Communicate with the kids as the emotionally evolved adult that you are – and be thoughtful of how you connect with them. There are so many benefits to having a positive relationship with her children.
Remember that a new person can leave a huge impact on a child, especially when they are at a very impressionable age. While establishing a parent-child relationship is not necessarily a top priority, show yourself as a trustworthy adult while you are dating their mother. That’s enough.
Let the child know that you care for their well-being. That you want to be a positive part of their life, and you care about thoughts and feelings of them and their mom. Also, let the kids know that you are willing to talk about more serious topics when they’re ready. Your relationship will develop with time, but it is incredibly important to establish yourself in a positive position with them while you date their mom.
Related reading: Dating vs Relationship – What Are the Main Differences Between Them?
There are many benefits to establishing a positive relationship with her children without necessarily having to jump into the expectations and responsibility of becoming their father. One of the many ways you can potentially ruin your relationship is to try and force yourself into a parental role.
No matter what their relationship is with their moms’ ex, do not force yourself into the responsibilities of fatherhood right away. Establish a positive relationship with her children and let them decide if they are interested in having you placed in a parental role in the future.
Some people have a hard time seeing that childless men can love children and want to be part of their lives. One of the many challenges many single moms face is finding potential partners that are willing to have the ability to care for their kids emotionally. Remember that it doesn’t matter who you are, her kids’ lives are going to be much more important to her than you are.
Dating a single mom means that you are going to be in the lives of these children and are very likely going to need to establish yourself as a positive influence on them. Children are a lot of fun and if you establish yourself as someone who loves children, you will have a much better chance of being with her.
“Our kids need to see us enjoying ourselves, getting out there, and creating a new life, just so long as they understand that their place is safe and secure in it.”
Lucy Good, founder of Beanstalk, an online community for single mothers
When you enter into a single mom’s life, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what she wants in a man. After all, as a single mother, she most likely does not have the same amount of free time that other single women have. This means that spending time with her can be difficult at times. And you should figure out what exactly she wants from you.
We’re here to list some of the key qualities that single parents tend to look for in their potential partners.
As a single parent, she incredibly cares about her children. So, if she wants to have a relationship outside of their children, that person should care about their children the same way.
Single moms want a partner who genuinely cares about their children and is willing to act as a potential second parent – if the kids allow them to establish that type of relationship with them, of course.
When dating a single mom it is very important for her that you are willing and able to provide her emotional support. Single moms tend to be pushed to the side in a social sense and are often delegated as being only a mom.
Sometimes, you should stop talking and focus on simply listening and asking questions when it is appropriate. While the occasional connection to similar experiences you have had is ok, try your best not to make it about yourself. By being an active listener, you will be able to help her navigate the problem and provide helpful tips.
Related reading: How to Be a Better Lover – Inside and Out
Sometimes the best way to be emotionally supportive while dating a single parent is by giving them a break. Go to her house and make dinner for her and the kids, or offer to watch them for a day if she allows you to do so. These are just a couple of ways that you can be emotionally supportive of her. Remember that we all win when the lives of single mothers are improved.
When it comes to dating a single mom, she wants nothing less than a man who is honest and upfront. You may not know all of her experiences, but it is safe to say that being honest with a single mom is a great quality for a healthy relationship with her.
Be upfront about your intentions. As a single mother, she likely does not have the time or energy to put into a relationship that will most likely not go anywhere. Also, make sure that your actions and words match up reasonably. By being seen as someone trustworthy and dependable, you establish yourself in a positive outlook in both her life and the life of her children.
Single moms do not have the same amount of free time that others people you’ve dated may have. As a single parent, she most likely has to juggle her own social and work schedules as well as the schedules of your partner’s children.
As a single mother, her plans may change constantly due to her family. This may mean that she has to occasionally cancel on you. We are not going to say that you are not allowed to cancel on her – however, single parents may require more notice of cancellation than those who are not parents.
A big mistake many people make single parents is to try and include the kids in everything they do together. Indeed, for the most part, single mothers want you to be a positive part of their children’s lives. However, it’s also important to remember that they are more than a single mum.
See her as a person with her own interests who may want you to herself from time to time. So, always make sure that she spends time with just you and doesn’t have to worry about her kids.
Here are a few more things to consider when you reach a point when the single mom you are dating feels like you are ready to become a more prominent part of her life and decides to introduce you to her kids.
When you invite her to your place, the most you probably have to do is clean up a bit and maybe ensure that both she and your pets feel safe around each other. In fact, it may be a while before she’s ready to have you over.
However, this fully depends on the age range of her kids. As a single parent, she may have to take more steps than you do to prepare for your visit.
Cleaning the house, establishing rules and boundaries during your visit with both you and her kids, taking care of her kids on top of being involved with being able to spend time with you.
Most single parents have a lot more time constraints than any other woman and you need to understand that when you visit her home you may be involved in a lot more chaos and should not expect the night to always be a romantic evening.
Understanding these factors of time and stress a woman in her position may find herself in and offering your assistance wherever you are able shows her that you are patient, understanding, and reliable.
When dating a single mom of kids it’s important for you to be aware of the fact that introducing you to her kids is a huge deal. It shows that she has gotten to a point where she trusts you enough to actually consider you to be a part of her life in a more intimate way.
As a single parent, she is responsible for the safety and well-being of other humans and it should be considered an honor to be able to become close to her and her kids.
When entering relationships with women who are single mothers just as it can be easy to ignore the feelings of your partner in favor of her kids it can also be easy to ignore the feelings of your partner’s kids as well.
Remember that great partners will always do their best to ensure that everyone involved with who you are dating will feel comfortable, accepted, and most importantly respected and positive during your relationship while you are dating.
Do not take issue if her kids tend to compare you with her ex. Do not bring the idea of marriage to the table until you feel like everyone is comfortable with the idea of it. Talk openly about your dates with their mom, or at least the parts of the dates you feel comfortable making public.
As an adult you are responsible for establishing yourself as a reliable adult and some kids may react negatively to a new adult in their lives especially if the relationship or break up between their parents was not good.
When dating a single mom it is always a good idea to have some ideas for your next date. After all, single moms tend to want to be able to relax with you without having to worry.
A relaxing lunch date in the middle of the day is a great way to make your partner’s day. Take them away from the stress of work during a time of day they are free and help them relax.
Being a single mom can be stressful, therefore when you are dating a single mom it is important for you to help them relax. When they come to your house make them a nice dinner. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a fancy meal. So long as you put in the effort and make something you know she will like she will appreciate it.
Are they constantly complaining about the time they spend on their feet between work and parenting? Offer them a foot massage. Are they stressed out by their job keeping them busy with last-minute assignments? Offer a back or shoulder massage. Are they feeling depressed because they feel like the late nights are making you question dating a single mom? Offer her any kind of massage you can give. Remember that dates don’t need to take place somewhere fancy. They just need to be a way for you to be around each other.
When it comes to being a single mom many of them tend to associate things as being for children only that they forget that they can also enjoy those places as well. When you are dating a single mom take the time to make note of places such as the zoo, local amusement parks, museums with interactive displays, and more. Remind her that single moms are also allowed to enjoy these sorts of places
Here are some of our final thoughts when it comes to dating a single parent. Always remember that aside from having kids a single mom is just a regular woman who wants to date and feel special to someone.
Offer her your advice but only when she asks, show her that you care about her and her kids. Be very careful about involving yourself in conversations between her and her ex involving the kids. Don’t be a go between. Stay in your lane while also being a positive presence. If there is another parent respect their role.
Dating a single mom has its challenges however if you work at it you will be rewarded with a partner with charm and experience as well as a great personality. As long as you are self-aware and sensitive to any potential complications, you can enjoy a great relationship with mom and her kids (eventually).