10 Dating Tips for Single Mothers
As if you didn’t know already, dating as a single mom can be difficult, so I thought I’d provide some support on the do’s and dont’s:
If you are dating recreationally (for pure companionship and pleasure), being a parent is irrelevant to your date so dont bore him with the details of how tough parenthood is. If you are dating in search of a committed relationship, being a mother is a non-negotiable issue to be exposed on your first date.
Many women delay in telling a potential partner about their kid/s until they feel the time is right and that he is a likely candidate for full time partnership. This strategy is not helpful or beneficial to anyone. Becoming emotionally and/or physically attached before you have shared your news, only to find out that he is children averse or that your kid/s don’t like him is disastrous. To be fair and respectful to everyone involved, a man needs to know key information upfront that will impact on him in assessing his potential future with you. If you are ready to assess whether this is the right guy for you, then you might as well see if he is right for the kid/s. A man who is told weeks down the line has good reason to feel angry or betrayed. Lying (withholding the truth) is not the way to start a new relationship.
To be fair, a man dating a single woman has additional responsibilities to consider:
- financial implications if any
- the potential drama of dealing with the kid/s’ father
- being lower in priority (children usually come first)
- potential animosity from the children
- being squeezed in (time and context wise)to suit you and the children
Obstacles to consider:
Dating in search for a committed partnership means that you are not just looking for a mate for yourself, you are trying to form a union with a man who is also willing to play a role as head of the family. You and your child are a package deal. He is either going to be excited and see that as an opportunity or run for the hills. If he is not open to the idea early on it is unlikely that he will suddenly become convinced. Do not force that role on anyone. It has to be embraced. If he does not embrace you all as a package, move on. There is a man out there who will see the value of a responsible, mature woman.
10 Tips for single mothers in the dating game:
- Be honest and upfront about your single mother status early on
- Know the value you bring and do not accept/settle for second best
- Become financially and emotionally independent- neediness is not appealing
- Feel proud of being a single parent, do not hide it or make excuses for it
- Do not engage in conversation about your ‘ex’
- Introduce the children to your man in a natural, causal, social setting (not as mommy’s boyfriend)
- Allow him to see who you are as mother (excluding that part of yourself from view helps nobody)
- Create opportunities for him to experience who you are as a mother as well as a woman- both are equally important
- Pay attention to how he behaves with your children. He will need to prove he is worthy of stepping into that role.
- Remember: it is better/kinder and braver to be alone than modelling to your kid/s a toxic, destructive, desperate relationship