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Things You MUST Know Before Dating A Single Mom

George: How many numbers you got?  

Erin: Oh, I got numbers comin’ outta my ears. For instance: ten.

George: Ten?

Erin: Yeah. That’s how many months old my baby girl is.

George: You got a little girl?

Suggested read: How to get your mojo back – dating tips for single parents

This is a scene from the movie, ‘Erin Brokovich,’ that perfectly captures a single Mom’s difficulties, and not just with respect to dating! The man, George’s, response is quite typical too – when you’re trying to date a woman, finding out that she’s a single Mom changes everything. For some, it is a deal breaker, but for others, this information only makes the lady in question more intriguing and desirable!

Single Mom

Image source

Now, dating a single mom is a whole different ball game compared to dating a single woman without kids. A single woman may make you look like the sole important person in her life, but when entering into a relationship with a single mom, you know that she’s already got her little superstars! There’s no two ways about it; if you’re dating a single mom, you either accept her kids and take it to the next level, or realize it’s not for you and move on before it’s too late. Kids can really change the dynamics in a relationship; whether for better or worse, depends a lot upon how you handle things!

Aspects of dating a single mom

Well, saying that you should handle things intelligently is one thing, but how does one go about it? Now that’s why we’re here!! First of all, you need to realize that no two single moms are the same, and while there are many common points, each mom’s requirements and readiness towards the relationship may vary. It’s purely a personality thing, and does not mean that you are a bad person! Here are a few things that factor in a relationship with a single mom:

1. Reason for single status

mother and daughter

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

A widowed woman will be dealing with emotions different from a woman who’s been divorced. In the former case, there are probably issues with grief, especially for the child. In the latter case, there is bound to be a certain level of resentment, especially if the divorce was far from amicable.

2. Age of the children


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Very small children and adult kids usually tend to have fewer problems with their mom dating again, but it’s the in-between crowd with whom things can get tricky! Your age may also come into the picture here, as it can have an effect on how well you can bridge the generation gap.

3. Duration of single status

This is very important in the case of all single women, but doubly so for single moms. Again, older children can probably understand that their mom needs someone, but for younger kids, it can seem too soon and they can feel like someone’s trying to replace their dad.

Single Mom Sign

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Okay, now this needn’t scare you away, we’re just telling you what you need to know!! Actually, dating single moms can be pretty awesome, and here are just a few reasons.

Why dating a single mom is awesome

1. No games – Single moms are very busy people with a lot to think and plan. And the last thing they have time or energy for, is playing the usual dating games. After a series of women who try to manipulate you with their feminine wiles, a single mom will feel like a breath of fresh air!

2. No rush – Single moms have already done the marriage-babies thing, so they’re in no hurry to set up house with you and start a family. They’re more likely to take it easy and be relaxed, which is definitely better than a girl who’s constantly buying bridal magazines to give you a hint!

3. No weakness – Single moms are strong – there’s no other word to describe them. They’ve been through a lot, and have come out on the other side, probably broken but with their heads held high. That is not something you can say about a lot of girls, and being with such a person is sure to be an amazing experience.

mother and child1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Alright, so now you’re not as scared as you were! But there’s more on how to date a single mom – your current ‘child status’ makes a big difference when you’re thinking about a relationship with a single mom. So different in fact, that for you, we have a separate list of tips for dating single moms! But first, let’s consider the scenario of a single man with no kids dating a single mother.

Suggested read: Things you MUST know about dating a single dad

Dating a single mom when you don’t have any kids

Okay, so you’re a lone wolf, a single guy with no commitments and you’re just cruisin’ along your life. But you’re immensely attracted to a smart, sexy single mom, and you’d like to take things forward. But before you do, be sure to consider the following.

1. Be absolutely sure.

As we’ve already mentioned several times, dating a single mom is NOT going to be like the other girls you’ve dated previously. Be sure you know what you’re getting into, else just stay away. Don’t waste your, and more importantly, her time if you don’t think you can accept her child as part of your relationship. You need to understand that by diving in halfheartedly, you’re messing things up for not just two, but more people, including those with impressionable little hearts.

2. Accept second place.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

For any mom, her kids will always occupy center stage in her heart and life, and you’ll have to find a way to be okay with that. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be invisible when her kids are around, but it does mean that she’ll give up a date with you in favor of a sick child, and just ask yourself, do you really want to be with a woman who does otherwise?

3. Be civil with the ex.

If the lady in question is a divorcee and her ex lives in the same area, chances are that he features prominently in her kids’ lives, especially if they have a shared custody arrangement. He might come around to pick up the kids and drop them off, and we agree, this creates a less than ideal situation for you! But finding a way to be nice about the whole thing is critical to ensure a good working relationship with the kids and less stress for the mom.

4. Be nice to the kids.

Single Mom Kid

Image source: Flickr

Hello, understatement of the year!! Of course, you need to be nice to the kids; they’re a part of your life too since you’re dating their mom! This can be tough for someone who doesn’t have kids or is not naturally a ‘child’ person, but when in doubt, just remember that being honest and genuine is important. Kids are innocent and can spot insincerity from a mile away; so don’t go professing your love from the first meeting onward.

5. Be completely honest.

family (2)

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

With a single mom, don’t even bother lying, she can see right through you. Remember, she’s most probably been there, done that and thrown it out! And she doesn’t have the mind space or energy to deal with it all over again. So skip the mind games and the pointless playing around; get to the point and lay your cards on the table. That’s how she prefers it.

6. Don’t compare schedules.

man waiting

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

When you’re dating a single mom, you have to be prepared for a good deal of cancellation of plans. Kids are very unpredictable creatures, especially the younger ones, and the best laid plans can be brought to a halt by something as small as a tempter tantrum! Don’t put the blame of this on her, saying that you were able to make time while she didn’t. She is working real hard to make things work, and you don’t know the half of it!

Suggested read: How to make your marriage stronger as new parents

Dating a single mom when you’re a single dad

Things get a little more complicated when you’re a single dad dating a single mom; but you know what they say, ‘the more, the merrier’! Anyway, single dads have a hard time getting their girlfriend to get along with their kids, but now they have to ensure their girlfriend’s kids get along with them, as well as their kids! But what appears to be an impossible situation does have its benefits, but you need to consider a few things beforehand.

1. It’s not a competition.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Okay, now we have two sets of kids, so the first thing for you to remember is that they’re just that – kids. And that’s the way they’ll behave, and it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Both your kids hold equal importance from the relationship’s perspective, and while it’ll take time to actually get there, it helps to clear the view from the start.

2. Balance the exes.

If you thought dating a single girl was tough because of your ex, now you have her ex to deal with as well! Minimal access and maximum diplomacy is the best path to follow, especially at the beginning, when everyone is treading on unfamiliar ground. When both of you have kids, both exes are likely to be in the picture, so it’s worth getting to accept this fact right away.

3. Treat the kids with respect.

family time

Image source: Shutterstock

For any kid, meeting what he thinks is a replacement for his mom or dad is not easy. Some kids might think of it as a betrayal to their absent parent, while others might despair that this means their parents are never getting back together. Either way, it’s important to treat all the kids with the respect they deserve. Allow them to voice their feelings and consider them carefully, rather than just ignoring it for now and hoping for everything to fall into place at an indeterminate future.

4. Plan, plan, and plan again.

Dating a single girl when you’re a single dad requires a good deal of planning, so when you’re dating a single mom, be prepared to step it up! Time is in very short supply here, especially when there are very young kids involved, so trying to find opportunities to work on the relationship requires intensive planning of both parents’ work  & home schedules as well as school calendars. Sorry, but spontaneity will have to wait a while!

5. To each her own.

a new family dynamic

Image source: Shutterstock

Regardless of all the discussions on parenting that go on in the internet ether, there is really no right or wrong way to parent a child. So you do things a certain way with your kids, and your single mom girlfriend does it differently. Let it be the way it is, and don’t go up offering your opinions unless asked for (and probably not even then). The last thing the kids need here is a new parenting policy!

6. Accept the new normal.

Blended Family

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

By any standards, you are not a traditional family, so quit trying to be one. You don’t have to take over as your girlfriend’s kids’ dad right away, and neither should you expect her to become mom 2.0 to your kids from day 1. Having such expectations is neither reasonable nor wise, so just let things play out as they go. Remember to be good and kind to everyone, and you’ll soon find your groove as a blended family.

Suggested read: The most important lessons I learned during our marital separation

Now, while these are generalized things to know when dating a single mom, you need to realize that not all single moms are made from the same mold. And in spite of all the planning and scheduling that goes on, a girl likes a spontaneous surprise once in a while, but keep it a little low key, like a lovely spa hamper or a foot massage. When getting her a gift, it’s a good idea to get the little people in her life something too, and don’t think of it as a bribe. Kids are drawn to naturally honest and sensitive people, so even if it looks like her kids hate your guts now, they’ll soon come around when they see that you’re not so bad after all. Persistence is one quality that you can’t afford  to lose when you’re dating a single mom!!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Things To Consider When Dating A Single Mom
Dating a single mom means that kids are now involved, which changes everything! Here are a few things to consider when dating a single mother.
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []