Rules For Dating A Single Mom You Need To Follow

According to the U.S. Census, there are 7.8 million single mothers. That means if you’re in the dating pool, you could come across some single mamas on the market. Dating a single mom can be intimidating, but that’s only if you don’t know what you’re going to encounter. Here are some things you can expect when you’re dating a single mom.

  1. Stay flexible. No matter what, you’re definitely not going to be your date’s top priority at all times. Their kids come first, and they deserve to have someone who will understand that their lives are always a bit chaotic. Sitters cancel and kids get sick or injured constantly. Showing that you’re willing to go with the flow and change plans to accommodate childcare will show you’re a solid person to date.
  2. Take things slow. Remember that a single mom’s first priority is her kids, not her dating life. She may have trust issues from past relationships or is worried about bringing someone into her life who won’t be sticking around for too long. Prove you’re willing to stick around and show patience. It’ll mean a lot to her. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk to her about milestones in your relationship, but don’t badger her about taking things too slow.
  3. Don’t feel bad if her kids aren’t immediately friendly towards you. Trust is hard for many people. For kids of single moms, trust means everything. They’re worried you won’t treat their mom right or might even try to take attention away from them. If their mom hasn’t had the best relationships in the past, they are trying to protect her from more heartbreak. Don’t take it personally. Instead, be patient. Eventually, once you prove that you are loyal and treat their mom right, they’ll start warming up to you.
  4. Be honest. If you’re not sure about parenthood, you need to be honest from the beginning. Spare your date the time if you’re even a bit hesitant about raising kids. Because even if she’s co-parenting, her kids will always be in her life. If she’s part of your life, so will the kids. The same applies if you dream of being a parent some day. Will you want your own kids or be willing to accept her kids as one of your own if the time comes? Discuss of all these things with your date. Never make assumptions about the relationship.
  5. Don’t try to parent her kids. This is a big N-O, especially if you are just starting to date. No matter if it’s been six days or six months, if you haven’t been given an explicit role as a parent figure in her children’s lives, you shouldn’t be doing any kind of parenting. This includes discipline. If you’re concerned about the kids, you must talk to the single mom first, not after you “intervene”. First and foremost, they’re her kids. They were there before you showed up. Dating a single mom doesn’t mean giving your two cents on how she raises her kids.

More guidelines for dating a single mom

dating a single mom

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  1. Don’t be judgmental. Unless there is something that is actively harming her children without a doubt, you shouldn’t be judgmental of her parenting, routines, and other approaches to parenting. Reading a parenting magazine versus actually being a parent are two very different things. It isn’t your place to decide what the best way to parent should be.
  2. Be ready to have spontaneous dates. Single moms know that any downtime is valuable. She may not feel like doing an extravagant night out after a long day of working and taking care of her kids. Instead, turn those moments into opportunities to show up and care for her. Bring her food and wine, give her a massage, and draw a bath. Sometimes all she may want is some alone time, so check in and then get out so she can have a moment of peace. It’s nothing personal.
  3. Listen to her. Being a good listener is great for any relationship, but this is especially true when dating a single mom. Single moms need an emotional outlet. Without the extra time or money to schedule a therapy session, it can be extremely difficult for her to feel heard. Being an active listener takes things up a notch. Active listening means you repeat what they say for understanding, provide a judgment-free zone and affirm her feelings.
  4. Know that she may still interact with her ex.  If she’s divorced or had kids with a former S.O., she may be legally obligated to communicate with her ex. If you’re dating a single mom and your relationship makes it that far, it’s likely you’ll have to do the same thing. Ask yourself: are you confident and willing enough to talk with her ex? If there’s a situation that gets nasty, are you willing to go through the drama alongside her? If she’s friendly with her ex, are you secure enough to not become jealous? Remember that her kids deserve to see what a healthy relationship looks like, even relationships that didn’t work out the way they were planned.
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