10 Things You Need To Know Before Dating A Single Mom

Dating is complicated in general, but it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re dating a single mom. If you’re going to date a woman who’s raising kids on her own, don’t expect the status quo — there are a few things you need to know going in.

  1. Her Kid(s) Will Always Come First, Even Before You. I mean, this should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, many guys think they’ll still come first in a relationship with a woman who has children. If the single mom you’re interested in has to back out on plans due to having no babysitter, don’t whine about it — understand that parenting is tough and when you are one, you always put your kids’ needs first.
  2. She Doesn’t Necessarily Come With Baggage. There are two types of guys who shouldn’t bother trying to date a woman with kids: One type is those who think a single mom will be easy to hook up with because she may be unstable and may be craving love; the second type is those who think a single mom has too much baby daddy drama and either stays away or puts his guard up. FYI, not every single mom has issues with the father of her child. A single mom is probably the strongest and most stable woman you’ll ever date.
  3. She Doesn’t Need Saving. If you think a single mom needs saving, you’re completely wrong. She doesn’t need a guy to take care of her kids — she’s been doing it all on her own for a while now, potentially for her kids’ entire lives. What she could use is a massage or a glass of wine. If you’re offering those, you’re in.
  4. Liking Kids Is Way Different Than Raising Kids. You can love kids all you want, but unless you have your own, you just won’t get it. If you feel the need to suggest ways she should alter her parenting and you just started dating, you’re probably going to find yourself kicked to the curb. Until you’re in a serious relationship and you’re actually functioning as a family, then her parenting skills are literally none of your business. If you want to earn brownie points, however, ask her questions about her kids or parenting. Let her know you’re willing to learn and help out in any way you can. If her kids like you, she’ll probably like you more, too.
  5. Leave All Of Your Stupid Questions Out of Your First Date. “Are you still in touch with the kid’s father?” “Did you ever think of abortion?” “Do you still have feelings for the father?” No, just NO! Do not ask these questions. You’ll never get a second date this way. The only thing that’s acceptable to ask is maybe how old her kids are, but only if she brings them up on the first date. Don’t make the situation awkward; let her lead the way on what she wants to talk about and how much she wants to reveal.
  6. You Have To Learn Not To Be Jealous. When she’s ready to talk about her ex (on her own time) and when you find out he’s still in the picture (as he should be), don’t be disappointed. If anything, you should be happy that her kids still have their real father in their lives. Instead of being jealous, you could be completely supportive. Yes, that means if you ever meet him in the future, be kind. If you were the other man, you would feel reassured that the other man in your children’s lives is a genuine guy, right?
  7. She Doesn’t Have Time For Games. Unless you’re able to handle a mature relationship, you should stay far away from a single mother. Single moms don’t have time to play games; the only game they play is Minecraft with their kids (and sometimes that is a little much). If you still want to sow your wild oats or you have growing up to do, stay away. She’s already raising kids — she’s not interested in mothering you, too.
  8. You’ll Meet Her Kids When She’s Ready. You may totally be okay with her having kids. Maybe you even love kids and want a couple of your own some day. However, you need to understand that you most likely won’t be able to meet her kids until she feels good and ready to let you. Don’t be offended; she’s actually being mature and not letting random guys in her kids’ lives.
  9. Please, Don’t Assume You’re “Getting Any.” No, seriously — this one is so important. Maybe you’ve “scored” with other various dates, but most likely not this one. A single mom is usually a mature woman who’s over that type of dating scene. Never, ever go on a first date thinking that you’re going to get invited back to her house. Her kiddos are more important, and that’s where her main focus is. If you’re totally into her, go with the flow and when the time is right, maybe things will happen.
  10. Just Say What You Feel. Okay, maybe not on the first date, but whenever it’s appropriate, let her know how you feel. If you’re interested in her and developing strong feelings, tell her. Again, single moms don’t play games, so be straightforward and don’t beat around the bush.
Heather Burdo is a freelance writer from New York. She enjoys writing about relationships, parenting, and health topics. Visit her at www.heatherburdo.com