When Dating Single Mothers
Dating can be a lot of fun. If you’re an old pro, you’ll agree the thrill of the chase can be exhilarating. From the initial encounter to the go-to moves, the dating process is exciting. However, dating a single mom is something entirely different. A single woman, as can be expected, will date trying to find for someone who suits her personal needs and desires. For a single mom, however, it’s a parent and child affair. In fact, oftentimes it is the child’s opinion that comes first. So when a child feels uncomfortable with a new person, mom will reject that person and continue the search for a man who matches both her needs and that of her child. Another complicating factor with single mothers is that they likely carry baggage from that past relationship. Whether it be a painful divorce or a rough breakup, the stories of women raising a child on their own are complex.

If you’re a guy in search of a meaningful relationship and not initially scared off by the challenges you'll face with a single mother, here are some things to remember:

  1. Help out whenever you can. Listen when she talks about the stressors in her life, and try to pick up on signs that she needs help. The single mother is time-constrained and torn between her kids, her work, her social life, and a million other responsibilities. If she is overwhelmed, now is the time to offer your assistance.

  2. Compliment her strength. Take a moment to consider her ability to run a household financially, physically, and emotionally. It's likely that being a single mother wasn't in her original life plan, so think about just how well she’s adapted to motherhood and how well she's handling her situation. Single motherhood is often a difficult lifestyle to maintain in a healthy fashion, so take the time to remind her of her own strength.

  3. Don’t fast-track long-term plans. If your ideas for your future together are meant to happen, they’ll come in time. Remember: a lot of single mothers have just gone through an emotional roller coaster in their earlier relationships, and they may feel hesitant or doubtful when asked to plan a new future with someone. When rushed, single mothers may become uncomfortable, so at this point, patience is best.

  4. Be sensitive. This probably extends to all relationships, but it is especially relevant when entering into a relationship with a single mother. Single mothers are strong, capable women, but it's likely she's had her ups-and-downs and self-doubts when it comes to solo parenting. Be sensitive to her unique situation. If you are harsh with her or harsh with her children, you will immediately kill any chance you had of being with her.

  5. Be flexible. Most single moms don’t have all the time in the world. Between raising a child and possibly going to school or and pursuing a career, time is a valuable commodity. So when you get turned down, don’t immediately assume she’s not interested. Be flexible, and let her pick the time and date that suits her schedule.

  6. Don't be critical. Single mothers will invite you into their lives and eventually want you to meet their children. Be honored that she is including you in the most important part of her life. Whether you have your own children or not, there may be moments when you disagree with your new love interest's parenting style. However, this is not the time to offer parenting tips and suggestions – she's been handling things just fine on her own, and she will be resistant to your immediate judgment of her parenting skills.

  7. Show her respect. Respecting her means respecting the relationship. Your days of playing the field may be over. A single mother won't be interested in a man who can't commit – it's not only a commitment to her, but also a commitment to her children. If you're hesitant to make that commitment, be honest and upfront with your intentions. She'll view this as a sign of respect toward your relationship, and as a result, toward her family.

  8. Romance her. Like all women, single mothers appreciate a little attention and romance. It's not always about the grand gesture but the little things that make a difference in the daily life of your love interest. A small gesture, like writing a note with a message of your feelings for her, goes a long way.

  9. Develop a positive relationship with her children. This may not be easy because the children may be apprehensive and may have been hurt by past relationships. No quick tips will cover all the complexities of bonding and interacting with children, and those seeking more guidance should check out the books listed below.

Entering into a relationship with a single mother offers its own set of difficulties to overcome and happiness to enjoy, but many men are unsure of how to navigate those waters. Keep in mind you're not only trying to be in her life but in the lives of her children, as well, and they have their own role to play in the development of this relationship. Be kind to the family welcoming you in, and you'll no doubt secure yourself a place in the heart of your new love interest.

Good luck!