Dating a single mom: what you should know and why it's wonderful
It starts with the right advice. We've found the five things you need to know before dating a single mom – and three reasons why doing so can change your dating life for the better.
- Read more: Dating as a single mom? Learn about single parent dating with EliteSingles
5 things you should know before dating a single mom
1. Know that she’s got a lot on her plate
When you’re dating a single mom, it’s not just about you and her. This may seem obvious on nights when she has her kids – but it’s something to keep in mind during her free time too. For single moms who are juggling dating with a job and kids, free time is precious, and while she will want to spend many of her nights off with you, she’ll likely want some ‘me time’ too. No work, no kids, no dates, just Netflix and a bath (or, let’s be honest, some actual sleep!).2 Give her space to recharge and you’ll find that the time you do spend together is better than ever!
2. Flexibility is key – even on date night
Started dating a single parent? You’ll soon learn the importance of flexibility – and the difficulty of spontaneity. When you’re dating a single mom you can’t just whisk her away for a romantic weekend: not when she has to organize a babysitter, emergency numbers, and replacement routines. Even when you do plan something like a date night in advance, there’s always a chance a single mom may have to call it off to deal with a sick kid or cancelled sitter.3 Be understanding, be supportive, and when she can make it, it will feel all the more precious.
3. Rethink your approach to romance
If you meet on an online dating site or in real life, everyone has a few signature moves that they pull to impress a new date. You cook that spicy penne, you uncork a bottle of red, you put on the latest HBO megashow, bada bada bing! Or maybe you both sleep late then queue for brunch somewhere trendy, because you know that love means buying a girl overpriced avocado toast.
Or at least, that’s what you used to do. When kids are in the picture, late nights and sleep-ins are probably no longer on the cards. However, all is not lost! You just need to rethink what you consider to be romance. That mimosa-laden brunch becomes a rowdy morning at IHOP, HBO for two becomes family shows with the kids. The bonus? You may just find that sitting through yet another episode of Paw Patrol earns you bigger heart eyes than the avocado toast ever did.
4. She has romantic history. Deal with it
Want to be a part of a single mom’s life? Then you’re going to have to deal with the fact that her ex may very likely still be around. She might have a friendly co-parenting deal, she might want her ex to step up more; either way, you’ll be expected to appreciate the presence her ex has in her life. Don’t try to outdo them or replace them and, most of all, try not to feel jealous if she spends time with them.4 Just remind yourself that she chooses you each day.
5. Follow her lead when it comes to you and her kids
One of the most important rules of dating single mom is to let her set the pace when it comes to her kids. When it's early days, it’s vital that you be her partner first and a potential parent to her kids a very distant second. You may not even get to meet them until she’s sure of you, and you need to be ok with that. The flipside? Her introducing you and her kids is a true sign she’s smitten. As The Huffington Post put it, ‘’remember, if you’ve met her children, it’s the sign of all signs that she sees a future with you and most importantly, she trusts you.’’5
- Read more: Interested in dating a single dad? We cover the basics