Dating as a single mom is different than dating when you were single. Plus if you’re back in the dating game after a decade or more or after a divorce then you’ll need to check out these 8 tips.
What Single Moms Should Consider Before Dating
1. balancing dating and being a single mom
If you’ve been a single mom for more than a hot second, you’ll know there’s no such thing as balance. You’ll have to choose which comes first: the kids or your dating life?
Just because you chose your kids (I assume) doesn’t mean you can’t date. It merely means you’ll have your priorities straight. If your child becomes sick, you’ll know without a doubt which comes first.
2. Set aside time
Decide how much time you want to be away from the kids to date or if you co-parent, maybe you decide only to go on dates when they’re with their dad.
Also, decide how much time you’ll spend on dating apps, especially when the kids are around if you have young kids. Maybe you’ll set aside 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening when the kids are sleeping.
That may not seem like a lot of time, but dating apps can suck a lot of time from you, and if you’re available all the time for all the notifications from multiple dating apps, you’ll be glued to your phone all the time, which isn’t a message you want to send to your kids.
3. Will a man want to date a single mom?
Make it clear from your profile that you have kids, and they’re the most important thing to you. There’s a ton of single dads out there, too, so chances are you’ll find someone else who already has kids.
Of course, this can make timing difficult for both of you to arrange childcare to get together, but it can be worth it since you both understand what it’s like to have children.
If you’re honest from the beginning that you have children, those who aren’t looking for someone with kids will hopefully pass you by. If not, make sure he knows when you’re talking for the first time you have kids and how important they are to you.
4. Is this the right time to start dating?
Make sure you’re ready to start dating.
I know you’re probably lonely. One of the worse parts about being a single mom is doing everything alone. But jumping into another relationship before you’re ready – before your kids are ready – will set you all back even further.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is let God comfort us in our loneliness instead.
5. What About the kids?
Your kids don’t need to know your dating until you’re ready to introduce them, and even that will be way down the road.
Children naturally want their parents to get back together and harbor secret feelings and dreams of this happening for most of their childhood. As a result, kids sometimes are resistant to their parents’ dating.
However, if you do tell your child, rest assured, they will be okay.
Explain why you’re dating but then tell your child they come first in your life and then give him or her plenty of time to ask any questions they have. Keep the communication lines open and keep it an open and positive experience for you and your child.
6. Be upfront about your dealbreakers
You don’t have time to waste being coy. Be upfront about what you’re looking for in a partner and what you’re unwilling to settle for. If someone is giving you the creeps, then move on.
As a single mom, not only do you not have the time to waste playing games and giving random guys three chances, you also have your children’s safety and mother to watch out for.
7. Be Smart
You can’t be too careful these days. It may have been a long time since you last dated, and the dating game has probably changed a bit. For some red flags with online dating, click here.
Start with a phone call first before you meet your potential first date in person. Then meet in public and make sure someone knows where you are. Turn your phone tracking on and call when you leave and get home.
8. Where to get started
Ten years ago, you’d be more likely to meet someone from a mutual friend or even by going to a bar or restaurant.
But now, 40% of couples meet online. The best advice is to start with two dating apps for about a month and see if you like them enough to pay for it. If not, try a different one. If you like a particular app, maybe try it for three months.
Here’s a recap of the eight things to keep in mind if you’re dating for the first time as a single mom.
- Know your priorities since balance doesn’t really exist.
- Decide when you’ll set aside time to date and don’t let it invade your time with your kids.
- Be upfront that you have kids.
- Make sure you’re ready to start dating and that you’re dating for the right reasons.
- Don’t introduce the kids to your dates too soon.
- Know your dealbreakers and be upfront about them.
- You can’t be too careful with strangers online.
- Take the plunge…online.