If you are dating a single mom, it means that you are dating a superwoman. She manages her work, the house, her kids, and their school activities, and still manages to live a full life outside of her role as a parent – a job, social life, hobbies, et all. There is no problem she can’t solve, she is fiercely independent, and will not tolerate anything nasty about her kids. She is full of surprises and the more you get to know her, the more amazed you will be. She is fun and mysterious at the same time and you just can’t stop yourself from falling for her.
Single women are independent, self-sufficient, and adept at multitasking. These qualities are rare to find and men are attracted to them. But dating a single mom isn’t easy. She has her plate full, with bills and responsibilities, and a boyfriend or a new relationship may never be THE priority for her. So, even though she may be the woman of your dreams in many ways, building a relationship with her may take a lot more than just a scintillating romance.
You must follow certain rules for dating a single mom for that spark between you two to materialize into something meaningful. What are those rules, you wonder? We are here to help you decode how to date a single mom, with the help of counseling psychologist Kranti Momin (Masters in Psychology), who is an experienced CBT practitioner and specializes in various domains of relationship counseling.
Relationship Advice On Dating A Single Mom – 12 Tips
How to ask a single mom on a date? If you’ve fallen for a single mom and are wondering about your moves, know that this isn’t going to be like your average dating experience. Dating a single mom comes with its own set of challenges and limitations, and you must be prepared for these expected bumps along the way before you take the first step toward wooing her.
This may make you wonder: Is dating a single mom worth it? The answer to that question certainly depends on what your dating goals are. If you’re looking for something transient and casual, then spending your energies on learning how to date a single mom may be futile. However, if you’re looking to build a lasting and meaningful relationship, then, yes, dating a single mom is certainly worth it.
In fact, statistics of single mothers finding love, based on a recent survey carried out by the online dating platform, Plenty of Fish, indicate that single mothers find partners 10% faster than the average user. This paints a pretty clear picture about what do guys think about dating a single mom. This is purportedly because single moms have less time to waste, which is why they’re less inclined to invest their effort and energies in engaging with and going on dates with people they see no future with.
“Single moms face a unique set of challenges with regard to dating and romance as they must manage the responsibilities of parenthood while also managing singlehood. Single parents may yearn for a romantic connection, but balancing a dating life and parenthood may be exhausting, especially when there is a lack of support from family or a former partner,” says Kranti.
Now that you understand that a single mom doesn’t date lightly, let’s take you through the intricacies of what it takes to build an enduring bond with her. Here are 12 tips on how to date a single mom that will make you ‘Boyfriend of the Year’:
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1. Understand that her children will be her priority
No matter what happens, Mama Bear will always keep her cubs as her first priority. She will cancel on you if something comes up. If she has to choose between her kid’s dolls’ tea party and romantic date with you, she is going to the tea party, no matter how lame it is. For her, her children mean everything. Her entire life revolves around them.
“Parenting takes time, energy and effort. This investment becomes even more pronounced for single parents. Parenting takes priority over re-partnering. Even though they may be interested in finding new romantic interests or getting into a new relationship, caring for the needs of their child invariably takes precedence over their dating life,” explains Kranti.
2. Be there for emotional support
There will be times when everything around her could seem to be falling apart and she will break down. The supermom to her kids will seem powerless. She will need a shoulder to cry on or just a tight hug saying that everything will be okay. Be that emotional support and boost her morale when she feels low. She will feel good to finally have someone by her side in times of distress.
One of the most crucial rules for dating a single mom is to be emotionally available to her. Invest in having those deep conversations and asking and answering the right questions to build emotional intimacy in the relationship. However, at the same time, don’t press too hard to earn about her past relationship.
Your curiosity toward why her relationship failed is understandable. But this may well be a touch topic for her. So, allow her the time and space to open up to you about it on her own timeline.
3. Earn her trust
She could have had a bad past or something she doesn’t want to talk about. Trusting another person with her life and her children is something that is going to take time. You will have to work hard to earn her trust so that she doesn’t feel uneasy about her decision. Make sure that you earn her trust by portraying your true self, without any lies and games.
Whether you’re dating a single mom in her 40s or someone much younger or older, the rules remain the same. You have to understand that she has had her heart skinned once – be it due to a failed marriage, losing a partner she was in love with or having a child with someone who wanted nothing to do with her or the child. This can result in a lot of baggage and trust issues.
That’s why an important piece of the ‘how to date a single mom successfully’ puzzle is to show her that you’re worthy of her trust. Both through your words and actions. Only when you do that, will she let you into her life completely.
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4. Make her feel secure
Insecurity will creep in and doubts regarding you will arise. She won’t want you to turn out like her ex, so she will keep scrutinizing you. Make her feel secure by giving her the emotional and mental comfort she needs. Keep your life like an open book in front of her so that she sees that there is nothing to worry about. Attracting and dating a divorcee is different because she is looking for substance and maturity, not the boyish charm and sweet-nothings.
“Single moms may seek a degree of commitment from their dating partner. This becomes a prerequisite every time, given that a child(ren) is involved in the equation, directly or indirectly,” says Kranti. So, if you’re trying to understand the rules for dating a single mom, know that playing mind games to fan her insecurities is a big no-no.
5. Take it slow
How to ask a single mom on a date? How to take things forward from there? And most importantly, how to date a single mom? You may have a lot of questions before getting into this new dynamic, and there is one clear answer for all – be slow and steady in your approach.
A single mom will need time and you will have to give it to her. Taking it slow will help build an emotional bond with her, which will evolve into a romantic and physical bond. Move forward with her when she is ready. Rushing it will only give her the wrong impression about you.
“Single parents also face issues concerning when and how to involve children in their dating lives and introducing potential attachment figures to their child(ren) before knowing how long and in what capacity a partner will be involved in their child’s life. Parents may be concerned about the emotional well-being of their child/children and may postpone child involvement until a level of commitment with their dating partner has been achieved,” explains Kranti.
6. Help her out with her responsibilities
Once your equation ventures out of ‘how to ask a single mom on a date’ and ‘how to date a single mom’ territory and a certain rapport has been established, you must make an effort to lighten her load in whatever way you can. Give her a hand with some of her work.
Juggling so many roles and responsibilities simultaneously must tire her out, so a helping hand will be much-appreciated. If you’re already involved in her children’s lives, you can pitch her by looking after the kids and allowing her some ‘me time’. Helping her out will ease her burden and will make your relationship even stronger. You too will be able to understand her kids better. Besides, dividing responsibilities will give you both more quality time to spend together.
7. Give her surprises
A single mother is not used to surprises. She doesn’t remember the last time anyone did something for her. Surprise her by cooking for her and the kids or taking them out to their favorite restaurant. Get her gifts or brighten her spirits with flowers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re dating a single mom in her 40s or 20s, making romantic gestures for her is the key to igniting the spark in the relationship and keeping it alive.
These thoughtful gestures don’t always have to be grand and larger than life. Something as simple as a foot rub at the end of a long, tiring day is enough to make her heart skip a beat. She will begin to appreciate and cherish you more, and that will go a long way in strengthening you bond.
8. Be ready for play dates
Dating a mom changes the definition of a date too. More than the adult dates, you are going to have play dates with her kids. A date night may involve sitting in the living room with them, playing board games. Even if you hate playing those games now, be ready to act all excited while playing them with the kids. After all, the children’s acceptance of the relationship is crucial for its future.
If that’s got you questioning, is dating a single mom worth it, fret not. It’s not as if there is no room for romance and conventional dates in this relationship. Just that, not all your time together will be spent doing the average coupley things, and spontaneity may take a backseat.
9. Physical romance will become household romance
While your romantic life isn’t going to be dry and bereft of any cozy moments, you may have to keep your idea of romance somewhat fluid. For instance, it is entirely possible that while you may have a candlelight dinner at a rooftop restaurant it ment, you may end up having a play date night followed by dinner because the sitter she had arranged for canceled.
The key to figuring out how to date a single mom lies in accepting and embracing the fact that, in this relationship, you don’t just get yourself a partner but a complete family package – provided your connection reaches that level of intimacy where you’re involved in her children’s lives. Do not resent this aspect of her life or your relationship because this is who she is.
10. Don’t involve yourself with the ex
If the single mom you’re dating is co-parenting with her ex, he is going to be involved in her and her children’s lives, whether you like it or not. One of the most important rules for dating a single mom is to never overstep your boundaries as far as this aspect of her life is concerned.
It is better to stay out when it comes to your girlfriend and her ex. You don’t know their exact story and interfering in their matters could make things worse. Unless she asks you to step in, maintain your distance. You don’t want an angry ex riding on your back.
11. Make the kids fall in love with you
How to date a single mom successfully and build a lasting relationship with her? Remember that you have to woo and win over not just her but also her children. Once you make that breakthrough, you won’t be left second-guessing the future of your relationship or questioning, is dating a single mom worth it.
Women love it when their children bond well with their boyfriends/partners. They feel that they have made the right decision. It is important for the children to like you because their mother will always seek their acceptance before moving forward. Be their friend and the fun boyfriend. Pamper them and win their trust.
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12. Treat her family like your family
Accept it or not, when you date a single mother, you date her family too. You build a relationship with her and her family and it’s like you now have a new family. The key to happiness in a relationship with a single parent is when you start treating their family like your own. It makes the entire thing much easier and they feel they belong.
When you date a single mother, you need to focus on her emotional aspects rather than her physical ones. It is more of an emotional relationship that you have with her and her children which gets them easily attached to you. There will be times when she is too busy to go out with you and you will have to understand it, given the numerous responsibilities she has.
Be patient and understanding and everything will work out. Make sure you know what you are getting into and are serious about it because you won’t want to make them go through another heartbreaking separation. Think thrice before you go for it. Think wisely.