Dating for Single Mothers
Being a single mother isn’t easy, and navigating your love life at the same time is … well, not a cakewalk. Starting out, dating for single mothers can be scary.
There’s a swarm of doubts and questions that may arise when looking for romance, doubly so for single moms.
I just don’t know where to start; it’s all so much! Take a deep breath, and remind yourself – you can do it. It’s not the easiest undertaking in the world, but you can find love if you have your bearings.
With this comprehensive guide, you can better navigate the tricky landscape of dating for single moms.
From the Right Man to the First Date
There are plenty of men to choose from, and it may seem tricky to narrow it down. And even when you do decide to take your chance on a man, the idea of the first date is overwhelming. What if it’s boring? What if it’s bad? What if I waste my time? Fear not. Keeping the advice below in mind, you’ll be more likely to find the right man and have a great first date.
Finding the Right Man –
Dating for Single Mothers
Who do I go for? Not an easy choice at face value, but it’ll be simpler if you set some basic criteria for a potential partner. If you’ve found man through mutual friends, work, etc., then you already have a leg up on gauging his character. If you met online and have yet to encounter each other in real life, you can still figure out a lot about him before you see him face to face.
Either way, here are some concerns that you should sort through before you even think about the first date:
Does he have career stability?
If you’ve already met this man in person, you are probably somewhat aware of his career status. If you’re talking online, then it’s perfectly natural to ask what they do for work. That’s just a part of polite conversation with a potential partner. If he’s very dodgy or vague about his line of work, then that casts doubt upon his employment status.
At the same time, he may be somewhat concise because he doesn’t want to bore you with the minutiae over text. Use your best judgment to discern this. All in all, you must be sure that he can, at the very least, take care of himself financially.
Surely you don’t want a man who is looking for free housing and a meal ticket; you already take care of your children, you don’t want another mouth to feed!
You Deserve Better
You shouldn’t want a man who doesn’t have his act together. You deserve better. In the case that he’s either unemployed or has inconsistent work, you need to ensure that he has drive and ambition, as well as a realistic plan to improve his prospects.
While you shouldn’t be so blunt that you look like a gold-digger, it’s easy to glean this information by steering the conversation in the right direction. If he mentions that he’s unemployed without saying anything about his search for work, you should err on the side of caution. If he’s a freelance or a contractor, look into his career field and figure out what that entails. It’s not shallow to not want to date a possible financial burden.
Does he treat you and others with respect?
Again, this is easier to glean if you have in person experience. If you’re online, you can still get a feel for this by assessing how he talks to you and how he talks about others. If he’s impatient with you, if he’s crass towards you, if he ignores you, then don’t give him the time of day.
You can’t respect yourself if you allow a potential significant other to disrespect you, and if he’s unpleasant to you, he may be unkind to your kids. If he talks poorly about others and seems too harsh in his judgment of people, then he may be a jerk. At the very least, it indicates a lack of social awareness; who in their right mind talks trash about people to a prospective partner? Not a good look.
Does he have kids? Is he OK with kids?
His attitude towards kids is paramount. Dating for single moms means that you have to take your kids into account. If he doesn’t like kids, then you simply can’t be with him. If he’s acting weird after he learns that you’re a mother, then he’s probably not comfortable with the idea.
You can bring up your kids in conversation pretty organically. When he asks about your day, say something about you and the kids. If he meets your kids down the line, be sure that he treats them with respect.
Do you find him attractive?
Physical attraction is somewhat negotiable; it all depends on what you value. If you don’t find him particularly physically attractive, how does he compensate for this? If you place a high value on sex, will you be able and enthusiastic to engage in sexual acts with this man, or will you see it as a chore that you dread?
In the case that you don’t see yourself enjoying sex with him, that can be a deal breaker. Dissatisfaction breeds resentment, which is not fundamental to a healthy, fulfilling relationship. If, on the other hand, he’s extremely handsome, don’t let his looks blind you to his other qualities. Good looks don’t necessarily equate to a good personality.
When it Comes to Attraction
It has to be more than looks
Attraction to his personality is much less negotiable. If things move forward between you, you will be spending a lot of time with this man. You need to be with someone whom you enjoy talking to. He has to make you smile; he has to draw you in. If you find him man annoying, needy, or odd, it will drive you crazy pretty quickly. You’ll deal with this man on a daily basis. Even if he lacks clearly negative personality traits, there has to be some chemistry there.
He could be a great guy, but you have nothing in common. He could have a lot to say, but none of it interests you. If you find yourself daydreaming while in conversation with him, then he’s probably not a right fit. If you just can’t wait for him to end his sentence, then it’s time to look elsewhere.
A relationship with a man that you don’t enjoy conversing with is simply not sustainable. Differing dispositions may be a source of tension. Though you shouldn’t just look for a carbon copy of yourself, you need to assess his values to determine if you can get along well. Is he impulsive while you’re reserved? Are you laid back while he’s very active? Is he extremely calm while you’re a worry-wart?
While no single difference has to be a big deal, it is vital to reflect on whether these differences are something that you can live with. He’s not going to become a completely different person for you, and you’re not going to become a completely different person for him. Gauging your compatibility will be easier as you get to know him better, which is the primary purpose of the first date.
The First Date Advice for
Dating as a Single Mother
Starting out, dating for single mothers isn’t much different than for women without kids. Don’t stress too much about this. The purpose of the first date is to get to know him, so bear that in mind when deciding what type of first date you want.
You want to be able to talk to him and gain deeper insights into his personality and character. A few examples of a good date include: a walk in the park, an escape room, dinner, a hike. The list goes on; you just need to be certain that the setting of your first date appeals to both of your interests and personalities.
What you want to avoid is any setting where you’ll have limited opportunity to interact. You won’t get to know him very well while you’re sitting quietly in a movie theatre. That yoga class, while it may sound adventurous, is not the best place to strike up a meaningful conversation. If you leave the date without knowing much more about him, then the date didn’t serve its purpose.
Sex … when should I?
Not the first date, that’s for sure. If you give it to him too early, he may just see you as an easy lay. Rushing to sex will sabotage your efforts to get to know him. It’s important to figure out whether this man wants you or just your body. If he still shows interest after you spurn his advances, then it’s more likely that he’s serious. If he’s frustrated or angry that he’s not getting in your pants quickly enough, then it’s time to cut him loose.
No one is entitled to sleep with you. You’re more than just a body. You have to figure out whether there is chemistry between you, and whether or not a relationship with him is likely and sustainable. There is no set point when you should have sex with him, only when you’re comfortable and a future with him seems feasible.
After the First Date
Continue to get to know the man. Go on more dates and develop a better feel for his character. If things start to get more serious and you’ve determined that you are exclusive, introduce him to your kids. They’ll have to meet eventually. How you go about this depends on the temperament of your kids; you know them best. They may be hesitant at first, but if he’s the right one, they’ll grow to like him. If you’ve been together for a while and they still detest him, then he is not a good fit for your family.
Dating for Single Mothers Red Flags
You may feel like you found a needle in a haystack, but don’t let your attachment to him stop you from holding him to a proper standard. There are many fish in the sea, and you deserve one who treats you and your kid’s right. Sometimes it takes a while for the red flags to pop up.
End it with him if:
- He’s unkind to your kids.
- Is he involved with substance/alcohol abuse problems
- He stops treating you with respect shortly after your first sexual encounter
- He stops treating you with respect after some time of exclusivity
- He’s physically abusive. Even if he only uses physical violence on you, your kids aren’t safe
- If you just have a bad gut feeling about him
- He’s unfaithful or noncommittal
- If he constantly makes false promises to you or the kids
What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. It may seem like you wasted your time, but there is still something to be gained from a failed relationship. Analyze what went wrong. Figure out what can be improved next time.
Learn from your experience, and know that you are better equipped to handle a relationship in the future. If you feel like it’s your fault, accept responsibility and move on. If you’re bitter towards him for doing something wrong, drop it; he’s in the past. Life will continue, and you will find the right man eventually.
Dating for Single Moms – You Got This!
You have something to offer. Someone’s life will be better because you’re a part of it and vice versa. It’s tough. It’s scary. You’ll feel vulnerable, but it will pay off if you put in the effort. You are valuable and deserving of love. Dating for single mothers isn’t easy, but the right man will come along.