Dating a single mom is always different than dating someone without children.
Let’s get real: everyone comes into the dating game with a little bit of baggage. Now, chances are you met the person for you and there’s a problem; she has a kid or even a few.
If you’re in a dilemma of how to navigate yourself in a relationship with a single mom, then you’re at the right place.
Is it a good idea to date a single mom?
Of course! If anything, you are getting into a relationship with a mature woman with experience. Having a child doesn’t make anyone invalid.
We know everyone has had their share of failed relationships, but chances are you have never been divorced, separated, or lost a loved one, and if you have, it makes things easier because you know what it is to be in those shoes.
The only reason dating a single mom would be a bad idea is if you’re insecure about being with a strong independent woman. But if you aren’t, then be that person who sees a woman more than a mom.
10 Tips You Need to Know Before Dating A Single Mom
Before hurrying into a relationship with that amazing woman you met, here are a few things that’ll come in handy:
If you’re dating for fun, keep it that way
Once in my teenage years, my mother met a man, and I thought I would finally get a father figure. It wasn’t that way; he left and that hurt for a while.
This woman has been through a lot in her life, raising a child, getting through a divorce, and surprise… She’s alive! Do yourself a favor and be clear where things are headed before taking things further.
If things end abruptly, you’re hurting not just one person here, so be careful.
If what you have is casual with no future and you weren’t clear from the onset, you’re only setting yourself up as her ex, and when there’s a rooster of bad men enough to make her give up, you ruin things for those in line so please don’t waste her time.
Don’t expect introductions to the family as soon as possible
Respect a mother’s protective stance for her kids.
Children are smart, and you don’t know what trauma they have been through with their father. The last thing she would want is you doing the same.
Understand that envisioning a future doesn’t equal reality, so take it when she says not yet.
Do not expect the family to accept you
One of the most important tips you need is to be patient. They have seen her go through tough times in life, so don’t expect them to embrace you.
This would be incomplete without the kids, especially when dealing with teenagers; they will never like you, not until you prove otherwise.
And there’s a long way to go in winning them over. That is why it’s important to know that you have to win them over as much as you aren’t dating them. That’s a must.
Dates might not be as spontaneous as you like it
Between their day jobs and being there for their kids alone, single moms are always stressed. We know she’s independent, but she’s no wonder woman.
In situations like this, offer words of support, be flexible with date ideas, and although we can’t promise your support will win her over, we can tell you the little things do matter.
And let’s be real honest, you don’t want the kids calling her over for something important, now do you?
The Kids will always be a priority
If you two are on a date and they need their mom, she’s going to leave you alone, and you have to be ready for that.
Respect the fact that she would choose them over you any time of the day.
Expect this when you get into a relationship and understand you are important but not as much as they are, so next time when you’re on a phone call with her and she hangs up abruptly, don’t get mad.
Ask about the kids
If you are in the early stages of getting to know each other, a brownie point is to be involved. And don’t just listen, be present in the conversation.
Mothers love talking about their children, so when she tells you something, know very well she will bring it up again to see if you were really listening.
And before she does, why not ask about it? Get to know more and be a decent person who continues to be consistent in the process even after getting into a relationship with the woman.
Don’t play dad
Never try to be a father to the kids. Know your role and stick to it. If something happens in the house and you now play an integral role, keep the advice to yourself.
Well, you could dish out your advice if you want an angry teenager yelling at you, asking if you are her father? That’s the last thing you want.
Be prepared, take their sides during an argument with the mother and slowly ease your way into their hearts.
Gentle reminder: that doesn’t mean you get to play dad except if the kids want you to, and that’s when things get more serious. If you’re at this point, expect things to get more challenging.
Be ready for family drama
Granted, from your side you have your own family asking, ‘aren’t there single women out there without kids?’ but that’s mild compared to what you will face with her ex-partner who feels you threaten his position as a father.
When this happens, don’t get involved; never pose as the better man. Remember, the kids always have their ears out.
The best thing is to show support for the woman when she talks about her frustrations. Listen without judgments, and you necessarily don’t have to come up with solutions to these problems; just show her you will be there when she needs you.
Know sometimes that they want to getaway
Single moms are humans too, and nobody likes stress.
Sometimes, it’s nice to know they need you to make them feel like they are their own person. They have issues also going on in their lives, and a bit of time away can do wonders for them.
Get real, talk about the problems you’re encountering and treat whatever you two have as you would with or without kids. This is a relationship, remember? For a while, forget everything.
And if it’s about her, why don’t you order some relaxation oils to relieve stress? It might be just what she needs to recharge.
Accept the fact that you aren’t a legal figure to the children
Things get messy all the time. No matter how things ended up with the father, she needs him when it involves the child.
Keep in mind that she will always have a relationship with the father. It could be when the kid is sick or wants to graduate from school. In situations like this, it’s normal for you to want to be by her side.
But understand that as much as you’re jealous, they had a child together, and this goes for when things become too emotional in the family. They could share hugs or even forehead kisses, but you have to understand and know who you choose to love.
But of course, there’s always an exception, and that’s if the father is absent or dead. If that’s the case, you have nothing to worry about but if it isn’t, be patient.
Why is dating a single mom hard?
Dating is a tough game, and there’s more pressure when you’re dealing with a single mom. You worry about the kids accepting you and if you would be able to tick the right boxes so you don’t turn out like her ex.
Also, there are a lot of expectations from a woman who knows what she’s bringing to the table but being anxious isn’t going to solve anything, so relax and take things one step at a time.
What do single moms want in a man?
She wants you to be yourself and treat her like a woman, not a mom. That role is for her kids.
Secondly, the last thing she wants to talk about is her past. There’s always too much to unpack and she doesn’t need a reminder of someone who hurt her.
Lastly, never assume she’s incapable of solving her own problems. She’s been doing it before you came into the picture, and she’s got it when you’re gone.
Are single moms red flags?
There’s a bad reputation among single moms. A lot of men have misconceptions that they’re broke, gold diggers.
And because you’re smart, I know you wouldn’t assume everyone is the same.
Remember, she’s gone without you and your gold for years so what difference does it make now? But it’s always nice to be on the lookout if one comes knocking.
Is it worth dating someone with a kid?
Pew Research conducted a survey, and about 44% of non-parents ages 18-49 say it’s not too or not at all likely they’ll have children someday.
If you are in that position, isn’t it better you are able to decipher if that’s really what you want or not in the long run?
If eventually you want to be a part of the family, ask yourself if you like this person for who they are because their lives don’t revolve around the kids.
The better question would be, is this person worth it?
Dating is stressful, but with a single mom there could be challenges. But if you’re patient and willing to make it work, then you could be at the start of a great relationship.
But as long as she’s the one for you and you know right in your heart she’s worth it, then go for it. Follow your heart, and maybe behind all the drama, her ex, and kids, you might pop the question, it’s nice to always be prepared.
Whatever comes your way, we’re confident you’re armed with what’s necessary to make it work.