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Dating as a single mother - how to balance parenting and dating

Updated on January 6, 2016

Where do I find time for dating as a single mom?

Time is a major issue when it comes to dating as a single mother especially if you are a mother to a younger child (under 3 or 4 years old). You may struggle with the idea of leaving your child behind, dropping him / her off at a relative or getting a babysitter while you go out on a date.

Often the concern is that you will be spending time you could be or should be spending with your child with someone else especially when you are uncertain whether or not he is "the one". Do you want to sacrifice time you could be spending with your little one on someone who may or may not stick around for the long haul?

How old is your child (youngest child)

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Are you dating again as a single mother?

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Online Dating

One of the struggles of a single mom when it comes to dating is knowing where to meet people and finding the time to do so.

Yes, you may be lucky enough to bump into some decent people during a playdate, stroll in the park, doctors visit or even during a visit to the grocery store but the truth is for most single mothers, you are hardly dressed up or prepared for any romantic encounters during these outings.

Online dating has many advantages in this regard.
When it comes to having the necesarry time - Online dating allows you to chat to and "meet" people during your "wuiet time" - while the kids are napping, while watching a movie with the kids or while relaxing in a much deserved bath.

Furthermore, the types of people you have access too are not limited and range from a variety of backgrounds, nationalities, locations and proffessions if you so wish.

Another beneift is the fact that you can present yourself as you usually would be should have the time to do your hair and make-up, you draw up your own profile introducting yourself in a way you feel best describved you and you are able to inform all of the types of individuals you would preffer to correspond with,

Online dating also allows you to "get to know" the basis of someone preventing 'waste dates" and allowing you to meet up with certain individuals who already meet certain of your 'dating criteria'.

Yes, there are risks of liars, scams, those only after "one thing" but truth be told you could meet such individuals at a bar or restaurant too. If you do opt for online dating as a way of meeting new people; be wise, be open-minded and do it safely.

How to date without sacrificing time with your child

Sometimes the simplest and most practical solution is to see the person during the time in which your little is occupied - while he or she is at daycare, playschool or extramural activities. This, however, is also likely to be during the time when you are working if you are a working mom. You might need to schedule a quick lunch date during your lunch break or breakfast before work. This is likely to be a good idea until you are familiar with the person and feel that pursuing a relationship may be worthwhile. When you can honestly see the person as being a part of your life for the long haul, then only should you even consider sacrificing a little of your little ones time to be with him.

Another solution may be having dates with your little one present. This would obviously limit dates to child friendly environments and PG activities. It is also debatable depending on whether or not you feel that the individual should have a relationship with your child as per the next point. This does however allow you to spend time with both your partner and your child without sacrificing time with your child. As mentioned, there are pros and cons to this which will be discussed further.

When should I introduce my child to my boyfriend?

This is highly debatable. Some believe that you should wait for a set period of maybe 6 months, a year or even longer while others believe that it should be done as soon as possible in order to monitor interaction between your child and your partner as to avoid investing time and energy in a partner who cannot get along with or tolerate your child.

This is very complex and only you can make the right decision for your child.


What is the easiest way to balance parenting and dating

A fellow writer suggests:

"If you involve your child in activities along with the mate then that should make life much easier for all three of you for instance, the three of you go to the park, church or shopping then you are functioning more as a close knit family. The child gets a father figure and you're not splitting too much time between the two but spending quality time with the two. Of course, for this to work the dating must be narrowed down to one person that you should introduce your child to. Your date should accept that you must raise your child around people with good morals and setting good examples. The balancing should smooth out to blend one big happy family and no one being neglected." - word55

This is a really awesome suggestion. Ofcourse it would only work once you feel comfortable enough to introduce your child to your partner (as discussed previously) and are sure that he or she poses no threat to your child. You alone are capable of making this decision.
Inevitably if you wish for a long term relationship with this person, you are going to need to see what interaction between him and your child is like.

In conclusion

It is entirely up to you to make the right choices for you and your child. You need to decide on the right partner, how to balance dating and parenting and when to introduce your child to your partner. No matter your decisions on all these important issues - it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure that everything is in the best interest of your child.

Don't ever make your child feel like he / she is neglected, comes off second best or is less of a priority. Don't ever make your child feel like you are choosing someone else over him / her. Don't ever disregard your childs feelings, thoughts or emotions. Most importantly, always listen to and believe your child - it's better to have it proven that your child was telling a tale or lying then to disregard what he / she says and have it proven that he / she was telling the truth.



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    • Jade89 profile image

      Jade Monique Taylor 14 months ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Thanks for the tips! :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 23 months ago

      Excellent advice!

      With regard to online sites it's important to note they are not all the same. Generally speaking the ones who charge fees tend to have more serious prospects. It pays to do some research before choosing a site.

      There are also "niche" sites or groups like "parents without partners". Ironically though there are a lot of single parents who prefer to date people who don't have children of their own.

      Another possibility is joining a group on This site is not specifically for dating but rather a hobby/interest site where people have group meetings once a month who share common interests.

      There are bound to be groups designed for single parents to socialize. Gradually you can get to know people at the meetings without the pressure of being on a date. At the very least one makes friends with someone who may know someone that might be ideal for you. Dating is a fun social activity.

      The world may not owe you anything but (you) owe yourself the world!