In 2021, roughly a quarter of all children lived in single-parent homes. Which means that at some point in your dating journey, you might start dating a single mom. Dating single mothers is different than dating people without children. It can often bring more responsibility, but it can be very rewarding if you’re ready. In this article, we’ll look at some of things to consider when dating a single mom and the benefits of dating single mothers.
When dating a single parent, it’s important to keep everything in perspective. Here are some tips to help your relationship run smoothly.
1. Children are the #1 priority
And that’s as it should be. When you’re dating a single mom, the kids will be their priority. It’s something you should be prepared to recognize and accept, not just tolerate, if you want to continue the relationship.
Single parents have a close bond with their children and respecting that bond is key to any relationship, especially once the children are old enough to have their own opinions and preferences.
2. Be upfront
Good communication is important in any relationship, but especially so when you’re dating a single mother, as it’s not just your feelings and hers that she must take into account. Being honest right from the beginning about what kind of relationship you’re looking for, whether casual or serious, and what your expectations are is a must.
3. Have some flexibility
One of the most important rules for dating a single mom? Plans can change. When you’re dating someone with kids you should be prepared for dates to be cancelled, dates to be cut short because a child needs something, and dates that are more unconventional. Remind yourself to go with the flow and expect the unexpected, and things will go a lot smoother in your relationship.
4. Take it slow
You shouldn’t be acting like the child’s parent on the first date. In fact, taking things slow is more important when dating a parent. You don’t want to rush into things, or start something you can’t keep up long term, especially when children are involved. Follow their mom’s lead when it comes to the kids – she knows them a lot better than you.
5. Trust is key
This is good advice in general, but especially when it comes to dating single mothers. It’s vital for you to show your partner that they can trust you with their heart and with their kids. You don’t have to be responsible for anyone you’re in a relationship with, but you should show her that you can be responsible.
6. Don’t interfere in parenting
This is probably the second most important rule of dating a single mom. Unless she specifically asks you for advice, or to take an active role, leave the direct parenting to her. If you have concerns, discuss them in private with her, while making it clear that you trust her judgement and authority, and respect her boundaries.
7. Treat them like royalty
Yes, they’re a mom, but that’s not all they are, and you should make it a point to show you’re aware of that. This does vary from each person, but few won’t appreciate a break from being a parent– so organize a couple of weeks ahead, get a babysitter and plan a romantic evening out. A bonus is that you’ll set a good example for their children on how to treat people in relationships.
8. Get your priorities in order
She already has kids. Don’t make her look after you, too. When you’re dating a parent, remember there is a lot of pressure from different sources. Make sure that you’re not adding to their stress by expecting them to constantly mother you – in fact, try and decrease the workload.
9. Make every second count
Remember that single moms don’t have much spare time – in fact, they often must carve time out of their busy lives to spend it with you, so treat it like the gift it is. Take the lead on planning outings and dates, but don’t forget to take what she wants into account when figuring out how to spend the time you two have together.
10. Offer support, not judgement
Parents are already judged for everything they do, especially mothers. Rather than passing judgement or jumping in with advice, try to be an active listener. There are books and tutorials that will teach you how to be a better sounding board. Active listening will help your partner feel supported, making them more likely to open up to you, which in turn will strengthen your relationship.
It’s true that dating a single mom isn’t for everyone, but if you’re ready, you can have a meaningful connection. Single moms:
Know what they want. With how busy a single mom’s life is, any addition to their life is there because they want it.
Have no time for drama. Single moms generally aren’t here for dating drama, meaning your relationship could have less games.
Can show love and affection. They’re nurturers and the care they show their kids will extend to you.
Can handle anything. If they can handle childbirth and raising a child, they are apt at dealing with conflict or interpersonal relationships.
Are patient. Having children comes with an immense amount of patience, and single moms have plenty of practice.
Have high standards. Ifshe’s dating someone, it means that they might become a part of her kids’ lives too. This person needs to be truly exceptional if they’re in their life long-term.
Come with a family. When you date a single mom, you might eventually meet the kids or the ex, if there is one.
Are independent. They don’t need you necessarily, but they like your personality, values and lifestyle.
As you can see, dating a single mom offers a special relationship for the right person. Compatibility is even more important when dating a mom with a kid. And this is where eharmony comes in – our unique Compatibility Matching System matches users with potential partners based on personality and shared values. So, sign up for eharmony and get started on your dating journey today!
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