Tips for Dating a Single Mom
There is nothing that makes some men, cringe faster than the notion of dating a single mom. A consensus for today’s man is that single mom is baggage, and most men will shy away from dating a single mother. Before you make the decision to date a single mother, be sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. When dating a single mom, asking the right questions and understanding each other's expectations can make a huge difference.
If you find that you are interested in, attracted to, or seriously wanting to build a relationship with a single mom, there are some things you should know. Be sure that you are taking the children into consideration when you make the decisions to date their mother; so consider whether you even like kids. On the other hand, for this reason, many men also view the single mom as a great opportunity for a fling. Unless she has specifically said she’s looking for something open ended or casual, consider whether you want to be a stepfather and have an instant family because there are single moms out there actively seeking a ring on their finger, and if you play games with the wrong one, you will find yourself in a mess that you’d rather not be in.
I wrote this piece with the intention of supporting the man interested in a woman with children. To offer him a peek inside what he is going into, and to help him understand the situation better.
Most single moms are hesitant to introduce their date to their kids until they are pretty sure you are both on the same page. If she is initially reluctant, do not push the situation. Coddle her a bit. Make light of her ineptness and remember she's on a learning curve after a failed relationship-- it won't be like this forever. Moving too quickly into a role within the family can be harmful to the children if things don’t work out. Treat this occasion delicately, and treat it with the respect and appreciation it deserves. The single mother will decide when, where, and how you’ll first meet her children. Of course, in many cases, this will depend on how old the children are, and whether or not their mother has discussed her dating life with them.
When the Kids Don’t Like You
If her kids don’t like you, take it to heart because this is not only possible, but likely. Remember not to force the situation. It’s a normal rite of passage for kids of single mothers; they feel obligated to have some apprehension at first. There is nothing more irritating to the child of single parent than a pushy man who is eager to get the child to be his best friend. If the kids do not connect with you immediately, don’t worry. Their mom will talk things out with her children, it her issue with the kids, not with you. Give them some time and let them come around to you when they are ready. As far as they are concerned, you are just simply a threat that they don’t welcome. You are a threat to their mom’s time, and a threat also to their relationship with their dad. Forcing the situation only makes things worse. Let their Mom handle the situation. With time, those kids will learn exactly why their mom needs you in her life.
Do your research. When your partner finally makes the determination to introduce you to her children, be sure you do your homework. It’s likely that if you’ve been dating for a while, you’ll have heard countless stories about what is going on in her child/children’s life or lives. Making the extra effort to get to know a little bit about her kids before you actually meet them will go a long way in preparing for what to expect. Don’t make assumptions about their likes and dislikes find out what they are.
Be open-minded. You may not have seen yourself involved with a single parent but when you do, it can change your perspective greatly. Single mothers are among the most mature, responsible, and loving people you may ever meet. They are humans who are also looking for some love and friendship and healthy adult relationships as well. Single mothers bring the added benefit of the opportunity to love and be loved by a child or children, and that could be an awesome experience. Go in open-minded, patient, understanding, and most importantly, sincere.
Respect your boundaries. Respecting your boundaries is also critical when you are dating a woman who has children. Of course, it is primary up to you and your partner to determine what role you’ll play in her children’s lives. Don’t overstep your boundaries and attempt to discipline her children, regardless of how unruly they may be. She is the expert when it comes to her children. She is connected, interwoven with the lives of our children. She’s responsible for their well-being and daily survival. Hang back if there is a dispute between her and her child. Your place is as her partner and lover, not as a parent, at least not until you walk down the aisle or commit to a long-term partnership. If you’re invited to spend time with her kid(s) too, don’t discipline her children without her permission and never more strictly than she does. Mothers know their kids and that kind of thing undermines her authority and values. If, on the other hand, you think she’s being too permissive that’s also something you should raise tactfully.
Understand her Priorities
The single mom is generally torn between her kids, her social life, and several other responsibilities that she has no one to share with. When women don't have anyone to answer to, come home to, or care for, they can handle any schedule. They can be as spontaneous as they want. But for a single mom, her priorities may shift on different days just depending on how the day goes. Some days you may find herself wondering where you fall in her priority list, and this is where flexibility and communication come in. A woman with children can't, nor could she even if she wanted to, go a spontaneous date. She has a schedule. Daily life is planned out because children need to be taken care of, and she needs to maintain her sanity. Given this, it’s a good idea to be a little considerate of the time in which she has to do all of those things. Find out about the custody arrangement of her kids, when her kids have vacation and you'll know when she's free and you can be a step ahead planning anything with her.
The bottom line is that her children from a previous relationship undeniably have grown accustomed to maintaining a certain relationship with their mother. It is important that they know that although you’ve established your presence, it doesn’t mean that their relationship with their mother will change. They need to know that she loves them no matter what, no matter whom, she is dating, or how her relationship with you progresses will help the situation.
Make sure that you are considerate and understanding when it comes to your partner’s children. It is important for you to remember that single mothers often have to work hard, typically at their place of employment in addition to the countless hours they put in to care for the children at home when they get off of work. Do whatever you can to take a load off of her shoulders when you can. Pick up her day cleaning if you get off of work earlier and help with some domestic chores.
Give Listening ear
Endeavor to listen to her; chances are, she's been lonely for a very long time. She hasn't had the opportunity to share her thoughts or feelings with a loved one for years. Be silent and give her your attention and time. Listen to her talk about her day and the kids did; the good parts, the bad parts. Just by listening, you are building trust and intimacy. It will mean so much to her. “We listen and listen, but who is there to listen to us?” a single mother said.
Plan for emotional intimacy
Small attention to details will sweep her off her feet more than grandiose gestures will. Romance works best when it is unexpected and not obvious. Send her sweet texts or emails to let her know you are thinking of her, or even just check in to see how she is coping with her kid(s). Most single mothers are in their sexual prime, and some of them haven't had meaningful or passionate sex in years, so plan to have emotional intimacy with her. They will want sex; not with lots of people, but with someone who they love and trust. After the day is over and she's tended to her kids’ needs, she will want to express her sensual side and be passionate. Women don’t need to be single moms to appreciate a little bit of romance, but the single mom will definitely appreciate the romantic attention you provide. Be creative.
Don’t pretend to like her or pretend you are interested, just so that you can have a fling. Be genuine and sincere, hint, be yourself, and she will welcome the opportunity to spend some time with you. Don’t add to her problem by using and dumping her. A man who is sincere and shows genuine interest with no ulterior motive is any girls’ dreams whether she is a single mom or not.
Flexibility is the key when dating a single mom because she is always juggling a lot at once and has none to share her responsibilities with. She may be sure one day that she can go the party with you, but have to cancel at the last minute if any of her kid has doctor’s appointment, or any number of factors that could cancel a date in a second. She may not be able to plan too much ahead of time either.
If you are a man interested in a single mom, allow her space to heal before you become involved. It will only improve the well-being of your relationship. Be her friend first. You will instinctively know when she's ready and when she is, your dating can be on the way.