Being a mom can be tough, but most agree that being a single mom takes the cake. There’s so much to do, and you only have two hands! You’re a rockstar and find creative ways to make it all work, and many times put your children ahead of so many other aspects of life, including dating. I’ve had countless conversations with close friends of mine about dating as a single mom. Here’s a list of dating advice for single moms based on those stories.
1. Only you know when it’s time to date again
Before you hop on the dating wagon again, you probably want and need to take some time for yourself. Jumping into a new relationship too soon can result in missing out on some valuable “you” time. And sometimes a girl just has to take some time to heal the wounds before reigniting the flame.
Dating as a single mom again can be a big decision, so don’t feel pressured to start until you feel ready. The best dating advice for single moms is to trust yourself. Only you know when it’s time to test the waters. Sometimes healing heartbreak and focusing on you and your family is the right move. You might need a little time or you might need more. But don’t feel like you have to rush back into the dating world.
If you find that you want to take time for yourself to focus on what you want in your next beau, that’s okay. Just know that you deserve romance too. And if cobwebs are starting to grow on your favorite date dress, it might be time to consider dating again.
2. Schedule short dates
Does your schedule look like a color coding monster ate your calendar? If so, you probably wonder how you can cram in a traditional 4+ hour traditional dinner and a movie date. Small talk after a tiring day dealing with complaining coworkers, sibling fights, and mountains of laundry might make you squeamish. So consider shortening the date and the lame filler conversations.
After all, finding a free night when you have a full schedule can seem daunting for many single moms dating. But if you’re ready to get back on the saddle, don’t let a lack of time hold you back. No one ever said that long dates are mandatory. Would scheduling a midday coffee work? Who cares if it’s your fifth of the day? Dates don’t have to occur at night when you’re so tired that your cat mistakes you for a sofa.
Although it depends on your schedule, a casual breakfast might work too, or an ice cream date on the weekend. Perhaps you’re even game for speed dating. Not only can short dates be just as fun as long ones, but they also save you time. And dating as a single mom should be fun and not run you ragged.
Let’s be real, most of the time all it takes is a short date to see if there are sparks or ashes. Not only can short dates save time and money, but they can also be an excellent screening tool to find a potential guy who brings back those butterflies.
3. Online dating can be a useful tool
You may be hesitant to try online dating, but it continues to grow in popularity. And today many online relationships result in marriage (not to say that’s what everyone is looking for). There are also more and more single moms dating online. Many of these dating programs have fancy algorithms to set you up. It’s convenient, allows you to find dates with similar interests right off the bat, and again – saves time!
Some dating advice for single moms is not to dismiss online dating. Look into the pros and cons of using some of these programs. You might find that meeting others online can be a useful tool in your busy world. At the same time, there are a lot of creeps on those sites too, so sift through the profiles carefully.
Avoid setting up a date if something seems out of whack with a dude online. If a profile only shows you pictures of a man’s rock hard abs or all the photos look like they are from the seventies, scroll on. But who knows? Mr. Right could be waiting for you on eHarmony. You’ll never know if it works till you try.
4. Take your time to introduce the kiddos
A hot topic for single moms dating is when to introduce your new man to the kiddos. Although tempting, you don’t have to be in a hurry into introducing your boyfriend to the kiddos. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but kids prefer stability. Why not wait to introduce your new boyfriend to the kiddos until you’re getting serious or dating exclusively?
Again, you know what’s best for your situation, but don’t feel pressured to bring your rascals to dinner so soon. Try your best to take some time to nurture that one relationship before introducing the ones that are at the forefront of your life. Kick your heels off and go dancing with your guy and attempt to revel in an adult only conversations for a while.
When you think that the time is right, and the relationship is serious, introduce those kiddos.
5. Be honest
Another great piece of advice for single moms: be honest with your new man. Telling your partner that you have children shouldn’t give you the jitters. The fact is that you’re a mom and that should be celebrated. The right guy will think so too, so it’s better to be honest about your children sooner than later.
Dating someone who wants nothing to do with kids is a waste of time so why not be upfront about your awesome family? If your date makes a b-line for the door, or skips dessert, good riddance! This doesn’t mean that it has to be the conversation starter, but there’s nothing wrong with telling someone on the first date that you have children and what they mean to you.
The right catch will respect you for your honesty, and if he runs for the hills, you’re better off without him.
6. Don’t waste your time
We mamas are told time and time again to trust our instincts. Single moms dating should heed this advice. If you go on a lousy date and feel that it’s not going to work for you and your family, don’t ignore the vibes. Time is money; try not to waste it. Maybe he talks about his hair all night or seems overly interested in Beanie Babies, whatever the scenario, there’s no harm in jetting out early. Saying “something suddenly came up,” and booking it to your car should give your date the hint that there won’t be a next time.
Even If you feel like something’s off – but you can’t put your finger on it, trust your gut. Don’t go on five dates with someone that you feel you should click with but don’t. You can’t force fireworks, but if you wait, the finales worth it.
7. Pay attention to what you want and don’t want
Your past relationships can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. You’ve been around the block and probably have a general idea about what you want in an ideal man. That’s great, but create realistic expectations and be careful about making a mile list about what won’t work in a new boyfriend.
Think about the big picture and non-negotiables. Do you want more kids? Do you want an active guy? Do you want a funny guy who makes you smile? One mom I know told me about a date with a guy who smelled like cat pee – deal breaker! Think about what will and will not fly, then go from there.
So if you feel like it’s time to get back in the dating game, or if you’re already in it, check out what other single moms dating are doing and see if these strategies work for you. We know that you’re doing everything you can to look after everyone else. But what about you? Maybe that means dating as a single mom, or maybe it means taking some more time to be alone.
Whatever the case, tuck this list in your back pocket for the future. And know that you’re a child’s hero, you’re amazing, and someone would be more than lucky to be with you.
Cupid just might have an arrow with your name on it.