If you’ve found yourself falling for a woman who calls herself “Mom,” you could be uncertain about whether this is the right relationship for you. The good news is that dating a single mom isn’t much different from dating other women. Her priorities may be different and she will obviously have more responsibilities and obligations to her family, but that doesn’t mean she’s not still capable of spending time with you and perhaps even falling in love again.
Here are some tips and insights to help you when it comes to navigating the world that is dating single moms. If you’re willing to make it work, it can be a worthwhile investment of your time and emotions.
Dating a Single Mom Tips You Should Know
1. Dating single mothers means accepting their commitments and responsibilities.
These aren’t women who will always be available to go out on the town. They’ll probably prefer nights in, where the kids aren’t around and they can just relax and unwind. And if they’re busy with their kids and other obligations, they expect you to understand. Don’t be too needy—they’ve got a whole life already. They just want someone to share it with or to distract them from it.
2. Most single moms aren’t looking for a “new dad” for their kids.
When you date a single mom, you’re not vying for the role of Dad. That’s already been filled, in most cases. Some single mothers want a new father figure because their children’s dad is no longer around, but that’s usually the exception more than the rule. Consider a single mom just another woman- accept her kids as part of her life but don’t start reading parenting books just yet.
3. Dating a woman with kids may require more patience.
Single moms have busy schedules and hectic lives. Plans can change at the drop of a hat. Kids get sick, need things, and so on. You can’t get frustrated every time she breaks a date. If it takes you two months to get around to spending any good quality time together, well, hopefully, you consider that a worthwhile investment of your time. This isn’t going to be easy, but it can be very rewarding in several different ways if you are willing to commit to the patience required for dating a mom that has other obligations that come first. [Read: Things to Say to Your Girlfriend to Make Her Heart Melt]
4. Single moms are generally more confident and self-assured—you’ll have to chase them harder in some cases.
Being a single mom has to do a lot for herself and her kids. She doesn’t have time to feel bad about herself or think that she’s incapable. Her kids need her, so she shows up, every single time. She’s got confidence for days and she’s not worried about needing a man to take care of her. She wants a man to spend time with, so make sure that you’re the kind of man she’s looking for. Chase her as hard as you have to. Make those first few dates and conversations count. Give her a reason to keep coming back. Plus, be confident yourself and watch how much more attractive you become.
5. Many single mothers are independent and used to being on their own.
This, again, means that you’re going to have to work harder to get their attention and give them a reason to date you. These women aren’t typically the type that wants a man to “take care of them,” so don’t take that approach. You’re someone that can fulfill her life in different ways and that she can enjoy spending time with. You don’t want to be another obligation or expectation in her life. She may never consider getting serious, or if she does it may take a very long time. [Read: A Full Guide to Find a Sugar Momma: Sites, Benefits & Tips]
6. You’re not competing with her kids for her attention.
Too often, men start to get jealous of the kids and the time that they get with their mom. This can be ugly and it’s not a good way to go. It isn’t a contest. Her kids do and will always come first. You’re fortunate enough to get her attention outside of that, so you should be grateful. Don’t think of it as “you versus them”—it’s about adding something to her life, not making it more complicated.
7. She doesn’t need to you be jealous of her ex (or kids’ father, etc.).
This is a common problem for single moms, and they talk about it freely online. Check it out for yourself if you want, but the gist is this: jealousy isn’t welcome. Regardless of the relationship they have with their ex or the father of their children, it’s between the two of them. If they’re seeking dates and relationships, it’s up to you to trust that they’re ready and fully committed to you and not still dreaming of “putting the family back together.” [Read: How to Make a Guy Fall in Love With You]
8. You have to be flexible.
Just like patience, flexibility is a must. Kids get sick at the last minute, babysitters cancel, plans change. You have to be willing to be flexible and accept that dates might get canceled time and again. But, she will make it worth it in the long run if she’s a compatible match for you. The kids will always come first and when life throws up a random obstacle, the first thing to go will be her social life (AKA the dates with you). Be prepared for that and provide the support she needs.
9. Don’t discipline the children until or unless given explicit consent.
This is an obvious one. Those are her children. You can’t just walk in and start bossing them around. If she asks you to fill that role or if it’s discussed that it’s permissible, that’s fine. Until then, though, you’re just a friend of mom’s, not a new disciplinarian. [Read: How Does Tinder Work? Ultimate Guides For Beginners]
10. Be honest and upfront about everything.
Single moms have enough to deal with without having to decipher what you mean and how you feel. They don’t want to play games or beat around the bush. Just be upfront when you start talking and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
You can find tons of tips to help you know how to date a single mom, but these are perhaps some of the most important ones to keep in mind.