7 top tips for dating as a single mom

tips for dating as a single mom

7 top tips for dating as a single mom

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The relationship with your child’s other parent has ended, and you want to date again. Here are my top tips for dating as a single mom.

The dating world has changed. Last year, I got out of a 12-year relationship. Back then, I would go out and meet people in bars. There was no meeting people online first. In fact, online dating was a questionable way to meet people—not that I found it questionable, but others did and it was very new and risky.

Now, it’s all about the dating apps. I’ve not had much luck, but that’s actually on my part. I realized quickly that I didn’t actually want to date. They’re great for hooking up, but I’m not interested in landing another long-term partner. I’m pretty happy with things the way they are.

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You may want another partner. There’s nothing wrong with that. But dating now is different to the past, and dating as a single mom is even trickier.

Here are my seven top tips for dating with children around.

Make it clear you have children right away

I’ve often heard women say they’re not upfront about having children because they don’t want to scare men away. Well, guess what. My not telling them you have kids, you’re lying. If this is going to be a long-term relationship, they’re going to find out anyway. What if they don’t want kids?

You’d want to know if they have kids, right? Why are you hiding it from them? If it’s because you think they won’t want to deal with you being a single mom, then they’re not right for you. It really is that simple.

So, be honest. Tell them you’re a single mom, and what that means for you. One of those is that your kids will always come first.

This doesn’t mean you’re introducing the children right away. You just want to make it clear that you have kids. Protect their identities and hearts, but make sure a potential partner knows that you’re not alone.

Know what you want when dating as a single mom

Next up is making a list of what you want. This isn’t about the way your potential partner looks. It’s about qualities that you want in the relationship.

What is important to you in a relationship? It sounds cliche, but trust is the most important thing for me. I also need respect—for me and my boundaries. I also need patience. If someone doesn’t have those three qualities, then that person is not for me.

What are your qualities?

Also, what do you want to get out of your dates? Do you want something casual, or are you looking for something serious? Be honest about that.

MORE: 5 tips to work from home and homeschool at the same time

Spend time messaging and talking

When you match with someone on a dating app, spend some time getting to know them on there. There’s no rush to meet up. You want to know if there is any compatibility through text first.

Then you’ll want to upgrade to phone calls. Most apps offer the ability to call through them so you don’t need to hand out your phone number. Don’t hand out your number until you’ve met someone in person. There’s no need to before then.

Once you’ve done some chatting, you can meet someone in person. Opt for a place that is around other people just in case you are catfished or stood up.

Let someone know where you’re going

Now it comes to going out on the date. When dating as a single mom, you need to make sure other people know where you’re going. Let a few people in your life know where you’re going to be and the time you’re going. This way, if you disappear, someone knows the last place you were spotted.

It’s awful to think of people picking women off dating sites and luring them to somewhere unsafe, but it does happen. Even if it’s not dangerous, sometimes, you just want your friends to know where you’re going. If the date goes badly, at least friends will be able to get to you.

I also have a friend who will check in with me during the date. If it all goes wrong, I can text her and she’ll call me to get out. You never know how someone is going to react to rejection. There are too many horror stories not to take them seriously.

Pick a coffee shop first when dating as a single mom

There are a lot of people who will opt for dinner or some other sort of date the first time. This isn’t necessary. When it comes to first dates, the best thing you can do is go on a coffee date.

Opt for a time during the day. It’s a safer time to meet someone. You’re then also likely to only have an hour or two at the most. It helps to keep the date short but long enough to get to know the person well enough to see if there’s second date potential.

If you really want a dinner date, keep the time limit to just dinner. You don’t need to stay for longer if you’re not feeling it. Nor do you need to go anywhere else after the date.

Be empowered in dating

There is a common misconception that single moms are desperate. They just want someone to take them and their children. That’s not the case at all. It doesn’t have to be the case for you.

You’re not looking for someone to let you escape your life as a single mom. This isn’t about looking for another parent for your child. It’s about finding someone to add to your life and your current happiness.

This will help you change your mindset on dating as a single mom*. It’s going to change the way you look at your dates, and even the type of life you want to have. Be empowered and you’ll ooze with confidence during that first date.

Trust your gut when dating

Finally, listen to your gut. When it came to my ex, I wish I’d listened to my gut a lot sooner than I did. Had that been the case, I would have been out of the relationship years earlier. However, I ignored it and let abuse continue. I allowed my ex to continue to overstep my boundaries.

Now when it comes to dating, I listen to my gut. If someone sets off alarm bells, I listen to them. These alarm bells have been set off for a few reasons:

  • Someone stuck in a messy divorce
  • Someone just not willing to be alone
  • Someone not over his ex at all
  • Someone’s actions making it clear he didn’t respect my boundaries

Someone saying some derogatory things about women and people of color

Get used to listening to your own gut. You can get red flags for all sorts of reasons. They could involve something feeling off about a place the date wants to meet you, or there could be some of the wording they’ve used in messages.

MORE: Why you need to step away from work as a WAHM

What are you struggling with when it comes to dating as a single mom? Is it something you’ve just started, or have you been at it for a while? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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