10 Tips for Dating a Single Mom

There is nothing that makes a group of men, or any individual man, cringe faster than the notion of dating a single mom.  A consensus for today’s single man is that single mom = baggage, and most men will shy away from it.  On the other hand, for this reason, many men also view the single mom as a great opportunity for a fling. Today’s family has changed.  It is 2008 and the United States Census indicates that America is home to over 11 million single parents.  The chances that you as a single man will find yourself dating one then, are pretty good. This is the age of the blended family, and for every family, that carries a different meaning.

TIP: Visit Match.com to browse photo profiles of single parents.

If you find that you are interested in, attracted to, or seriously wanting to build a relationship with a single mom, there are some things you should know. You can’t play the game the way you normally do.  Dating a single mom doesn’t have to be like walking on eggshells, but in some cases, dating a single mom just isn’t the same thing as dating a single girl with no responsibilities.  The good news? Dating a single mom offers a wide range of benefits.  Here are some tips to help you get the most out of dating a single mom, or even to simply encourage you to give it a shot.

1. You can’t be a player anymore. 

This step is more for your protection than anything else. You certainly can be a player if that is all you are looking for, but unless you know for sure that the single mom you are wooing wants the same thing, this could seriously backfire on you.  There are single moms out there actively seeking a ring on their finger, and if you play games with the wrong one, you will find yourself in a mess that you’d rather not be in.

2. Don’t be fake

Don’t pretend to like her or pretend you are interested, just so that you can have a fling.  You never know, her game plan may be just the same as yours, even if that fling is all you are looking for.  Be genuine and sincere, hint, be yourself, and she will welcome the opportunity to spend some time with you. A man who is sincere and shows genuine interest with no ulterior motive is any girls’ dreams whether she is a single mom or not.

3. Don’t be fake, part two

You can’t just be genuine with her, you have to be genuine with her children.  If it does get to the point where you meet the kids, be yourself once again. Kids are almost smarter than single parents and will know when someone is being fake with them.  Be nice to them, and show genuine interest in them.  It won’t be long before they start reciprocating.

4. Romance Her!

You don’t need to be a single mom to appreciate a little bit of romance, but the single mom will definitely appreciate the romantic attention you provide.  Use your imagination here and be creative.  Romance works best when it is unexpected and not obvious.  That doesn’t mean some flowers won’t go a long way. But send her a sweet text or an email to let her know you are thinking of her, or even just check in to see how the little one’s doctor appointment went.  Small attention to details will sweep her off her feet more than grandiose gestures will.

5. Be  Flexible

Flexibility is key when dating a single mom because she is always juggling a lot at once and has noone to share her responsibilities with.  She may be sure one day that she can make plans with you, but have to cancel at the last minute if a doctor’s appointment comes up, visitation with dad changes at the last minute, or any number of factors that could cancel a date in a heartbeat.  She may not be able to plan too much ahead of time either. Or maybe she can and maybe that’s easiest for her.  Every situation with every single mom is different, but being flexible will make both of your lives a little easier.  You may find you have to meet midweek for lunch instead of Saturday night for dinner, or head to a matinee on the weekend instead of an evening show.  Her priorities may be a little bit different, but that doesn’t mean she’s not looking to go out and have fun. Just be willing to be flexible.

6. Understand her Priorities

In a single mom’s life, she has a lot of priorities.  She may not even be sure which ones are at the top all of the time because they all seem mission critical to her.  That doesn’t mean that you aren’t a priority, but her priorities may shift on different days just depending on how the day goes.  Some days you may find yourself wondering where you fall in her priority list, and this is where flexibility and communication come in.  If she is including you in her life, then she wants you in her life. Be flexible and communicate often, and she will find a way to show you just how big a priority you are to her.

7. Be Considerate of Her Time

The single mom is generally torn between her kids, her social life, and a million other responsibilities that she has no one to share with.  Given this, it’s a good idea to be a little considerate of the time in which she has to do all of those things.  If you call her up on a Saturday afternoon for a date that night, it is very likely she will turn you down.  This will be no reflection on you, but more likely a matter of her simply having something else to do, such as a doctor’s appointment for Johnny.  Find out about the custody arrangement of her kids and you'll know when she's free unless of course she's out with the girls! It shouldn't be that hard to get her to pick you over them. Also find out about when her kids' have vacations and you can be a step ahead planning anything with her.

8. Expect to Have “The Talk” Early

Many men balk at The Talk in any relationship, even if they want the relationship to have some longevity. That’s simply because men and women are wired differently.  However The Talk doesn’t necessarily mean that she wants to get hitched right off the bat either. In fact, The Talk is a great way for the both of you to discover what page you are both on. Who wants to waste time if the person you are with isn’t going in the same direction as you are? It’s okay if you both want different things, and it’s okay if you both want something casual.  By taking care of this conversation early in the relationship, you will both save yourselves a lot of potential heartache, and time.

9. Expect to Be Involved with Her Children

Wow, have you made it this far? You must be really into this woman.  Most single moms or single dads are hesitant to take this step until she is pretty sure you are both on the same path. Treat this occasion delicately, and treat it with the respect and appreciation it deserves.  Be honored that she is including you in the most important part of her life.  The first-time WILL be nerve-wracking for you, and it will be for her as well, but she would not have you there if she didn’t want you there.  She will take the steps necessary to make it easier for you.

10. When the Kids Don’t Like You

Oh well, you just knew there was a wrench somewhere.  Take heart in the knowledge that this is not only possible, but likely. It’s a normal rite of passage for kids of single parents, they feel obligated to have some apprehension at first. Knowing that, don’t take it personally.  Talks will resume between mom and the kids as time goes on, but this is an issue with the kids, not with you. You are a threat to their mom’s time, you are a threat to their relationship with their dad, or you are just simply a threat that they don’t welcome.  Let Mom handle this one. If this relationship has longevity, she will work on them.  Keep being genuine, but most of all, have patience.  With time, those kids will learn exactly why mom is so crazy about you.  Hey, you got this far, didn’t you? Don’t back out now.

If you are considering a relationship with a single mom, it may seem at first like you are taking on the entire luggage claim from the latest Delta Flight. It doesn’t have to be like that, and don’t go in thinking that. Single mothers are among the most mature, responsible, and loving people on the planet.  They are always juggling something, but always looking for some love and friendship and healthy adult relationships as well.  Go in open-minded, patient, understanding, and most importantly, sincere.  If this relationship is meant to be, the rest will fall into place.