Dating as a single mom: things you need to know

So many different demographics are drawn to the convenience of online dating, and it has proved to be particularly effective for single parents who want to start dating again. Most females seeking a partner will have a ‘wishlist’ about the type of person they are seeking, and joining a dating site makes it easy to home in singles with these characteristics. Single moms are particularly attracted to the online medium because it gives so much choice. Modern online dating services show that they are not only a viable dating option but a vibrant community where single parents can find a perfect match for their needs. After signing up to a website, they are free to take their time browsing through the profiles looking for suitable guys. As soon as they come across someone they are attracted to, the digital environment is perfect for encouraging conversation. But what else should singles moms know about dating?

Learn to make allowances

As a single mother, your number one responsibility will always be for your child or children. While this is never going to change, you will have to learn to be a little more tolerant when it comes to entering into a new relationship. You might find yourself attracted to a single guy who has always dated people in a similar situation to himself and has no real experience of interacting with kids beyond those of friends, or perhaps nieces and nephews. So this is going to be a learning curve, where he will be finding his feet.

Never take anything for granted

People want different things in life, so another thing you’ll need to accept is that some take longer to adapt to changes. When you invite a new guy into your life, you can’t expect them to alter their lifestyle overnight. The last thing you’ll want to do is come over as being seen as someone who complains about a perceived lack of commitment. If he has been used to a lively social life with his buddies, it will take him time to adjust. Give him that space.

Don’t fixate on finding a new dad

It can be exciting inviting a new partner into your life, and not just for you. Your children will be wondering about this person who has put a sparkle back into their mom’s outlook. There’s no timescale about when you should expect a boyfriend to take on board the mantle of ‘stepfather.’ This will evolve naturally as you become more comfortable with each other. The more time you spend together, the more relaxed he will become. After your initial dates, you can consider suggesting family outings. The key point is not to pressurize him, and certainly don’t see his primary role as to become a replacement dad. If he’s good and honorable, he’ll willingly enter into the spirit of his new position and enjoy being with a ‘father figure.’

Look beyond your ‘mom status’

Don’t let being a single parent define you. There are responsibilities and priorities when you have a family, especially if the kids are young, but also try to view your life through the prism of being a woman, not just a mom. When you take the trouble to arrange a childminder so you can enjoy a date, let your hair down and live a little! Rather than being the mom who is constantly texting home and asking the sitter if everything is going alright, put the phone away and enjoy the evening. Focus on having fun with this guy.

Plan your future

Finally, when dating as a single mom, look further than just the next date. Consider the prospects for this partnership. If you get any hint that this person is looking for something different, and might not be as keen on committing to anything meaningful or longer-term as you are, perhaps you should question whether to persevere. Unless you’re only looking for ‘no strings’ amusement yourself!

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