Dating is hard enough, but dating as a single mom adds a whole new level of complication.
Speaking as a single mom I find myself pulled in so many different directions. From working, carpooling, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, being woken up in the middle of the night, calling off for sick kids… It’s really not for everyone. Single moms have a lot of responsibilities.
Is dating a single mom too complicating? The answer to this question can ultimately come down to your expectations and how much attention you require in a relationship. While many people find that dating single moms is a thrilling experience, others may not be able to handle it.
For us single mamas our kids come first. It is important you understand that. Mothers are protective. We care for the safety of our children ahead of ourselves. It may feel strange to know that someone else's care comes before yours, but you also need to understand that as a single mom, it is our job, by putting our children and their needs first.
There are many reasons why women end up as single moms and divorce is definitely one of them. Co-parenting is hard enough with an ex as it is but don't assume they are talking about anything other than the kids. The relationship with the ex goes far into the past, and there may be things you don’t completely understand. Ask questions don't assume!
When you are dating a single mother, it's important to respect the boundaries placed. She has more than just herself to look out for. Which means that the boundaries placed are to protect herself, and her kids.
As amazing as children are, they can definitely lead to a change in plans. We may receive a phone call from school, the other parent can't pick up the kids on their scheduled date, sudden fever, or a sitter canceled last minute. Life happens to all of us, but single moms have to juggle managing more than one life at a time. Something to remember if she ever cancels plans is that she probably feels just as bad for having to cancel plans. It doesn't mean that she likes you any less. Life happens. Reschedule.
Be open to learning more about her life as a parent. What her kid's interests are, and what she is looking for in a relationship. Talking to her about these topics and being honest about how you feel is the best way to gain a better perspective of what you want.
Our partner's emotional health and comfort in the relationship are just as important. Don't hide your feelings. If things are starting to scare you let us know. Don't avoid conversations that are on your mind. Be upfront so you can address any issues together.
Are you looking to hook up or interested in a long-term partner? Is marriage a possibility? Do you see yourself co-raising kids? Whatever the case, it's best to be honest and communicate as you start dating so you don’t waste each other's time. Honest communication right from the start. It will bring the two of you closer.
As a single mother, we lose trust, we may be hesitant to rely on you or anyone. We have taught ourself to be the primary caretaker. Set yourself as someone trustworthy. Be responsible. Trust is an important foundation for any relationship. You can build it by being a reliable partner and keeping your word, which will reinforce your partner's feelings of trust toward you.
Actions speak louder than words!
Be aware of all the challenges of dating a single mom. It involves a lot of caution because there’s so much more at stake. It takes a special kind of man to make room in his heart for a single mom AND her kids. For choosing to step up when he didn’t have to.