Dating as a single mom is challenging. Whether you feel guilty for wanting to have some alone time, can’t seem to connect with anyone, can’t find the time, or simply fear heartbreak, these things are all hindering your dating life. As a single mom, I have some insights into what I’ve learned that I would love to share with my single sisters!
Love on the Back Burner
Putting your love life on the back burner is something most single moms tend to do. Your kids are your priority, your everything, and sometimes they are even your best friends. But having a loving partner in your life is important. It’s beneficial to your wellbeing and you should never feel guilty for wanting a romantic companion. When your children are young, you tend to focus on what’s best for them – as you should but this doesn’t change the fact that you may need to set aside some time to fall in love again.
Being a Single Mom is Not a Deal Breaker
I’ve learned that most childless men aren’t against dating single moms. Being a single mother doesn’t mean you’re tainted and never to be touched again. Let’s repeat that one more time with feeling: being a single mom does NOT mean you’re tainted and never to be touched again. Having children doesn’t mean you’re a burden.
In fact, many men find moms to be much more grounded, goal oriented and beautiful. Seriously, they don’t think twice about dating a single mom with a runny-nosed toddler! There are men who understand your children’s needs will respect you for being so focused and hardworking. There are men who will respect you for being a single mom dating. It takes a strong, confident man to date a single mom. So keep your heart open and remember that when you find the RIGHT one, being a mom will only make the relationship sweeter!
Dating is Fun
Chances are you haven’t been out on a date in a long time. Many single moms feel like they’ve forgotten how to date. Some of us got married young and never really had much of a dating life before marriage. Remember that old saying about riding a bicycle? It’s the same for riding…well you get the idea.
Who doesn’t love dressing up, putting on heels, and enjoying a night out on the town? Dating is fun and it’s healthy to interact with people other than your little ones. If your date doesn’t turn out amazing, even if it goes terribly wrong, at least you had a pleasant time and good conversation with someone other than your toddler.
How to Date as a Single Mom
Single moms love to go out on dates just as much as the next girl. Some men might not know how to date a single mom because there are other factors involved – like what time you need to be home and what days you are available. Don’t be afraid that you’re asking too much by being home before midnight so you can relieve the sitter. Speak up girl!
If you and your date are scrambling for some fun date ideas try taking a cooking class together, going for the classic dinner and a movie, a quick coffee run and walk in the park, or even go grocery shopping together. Sometimes you won’t have time for a luxurious night on the town, but grocery shopping can be romantic, too!
Time is Precious
As a mom, we know how precious our time with our kids is. We cherish it, we hold it tight in our hands, and we never want to let it go. Some of the best memories of your entire life will be those spent with your children.
I’ve learned that when you’re a single parent, time is even more valuable. That’s because you have less of it. You have less time for your daily responsibilities, for quality time with your children, for nights out with the girls, and for your own self care. I’ve learned you should never waste your time. If you are a single mom and you’re in a dead-end relationship, get out! Your time should be treasured. You don’t have time to waste on less than perfect partners. Now this doesn’t mean to swipe left on everyone, or avoid casual hookups, but it does mean that you should actively work to protect your time!
Falling in Love as a Single Mom
Falling in love as a single mom requires effort from you and from the man you are building a relationship with. A man falling in love with a single mom needs to understand a few things:
- Loving you means eventually loving your children
- Your children are a priority
- There might be involvement with the father and his whole family
- Someday he will be involved in hands-on parenting
This can seem like a lot for a childless man (or even another single parent) to take in, but if he really loves you, these things will fall into place. Remember that relationships take work – whether it’s with a lover, a friend, or your kids, but some things are worth fighting for.
Introducing the Kids
A mom is like a mama bear protecting her cubs – as it should be. As a single mom, you’re more than justified to keep your children safe from forming an attachment to a man who won’t be around for long. Before you introduce your new boo to your little ones, make sure the relationship is exclusive and progressing. Don’t waste your time, or your children’s, on someone who they aren’t going to see again. Trust your gut, and don’t let anyone pressure you into bringing your relationship home. You should only take the next step when you truly believe you and your partner are ready.
Now’s the time to discuss some uncomfortable stuff. There’s a whole subset of men who chase “milfs” (it’s an acronym… look it up) and only want to be dating single moms. While we’re not saying to avoid them altogether (they can be fun for a bit!), you shouldn’t introduce these kind of guys to your children. Trust your gut, add in a dash of common sense, and you’re good to go!
They’re Happy if You’re Happy
Depending on the age of your kids and how long you have been separated from their father, most children are okay with their mom dating. If you have really young children, this might not be an issue at all. Preteens and teenagers will want you to be happy, as long as they’ve had time to process your separation. Every child wants to see their mom happy, loved, and taken care of.
Dating Advice for Single Moms
If you’re just waiting for Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet, don’t! Go out with your girls, create a dating profile, put yourself out there. There are men who will gladly pick you up and hit on you, or at least attempt to. Be yourself, be confident, and be open about your children.
By the way, if a guy says to you, “you’re hot for a mom,” this isn’t a compliment! You’re beautiful anyway, mama!
Most importantly, dating as a single mom is nothing to be ashamed of. Single moms are powerful, strong, and confident. Go out, date, and fall in love again. You deserve it!
If you need more dating advice for single moms, Ask Ali.