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Tips for dating as a single mother

Updated on July 18, 2016

Dating as a single mother

As a parent in general, your focus falls on your children - what is best for them, are they seen to, are they provided for, are they happy, etc. We concentrate our attention on making sure that they have the best in every possible way. Parenting is a full-time job and even when you're physically not doing anything; your mind is still parenting as it thinks about the future and how to best see to your child's needs.

Single parenting can be ten times harder. When a parent in a relationship, you have the support of your significant other (hopefully). Usually you both understand that the children require attention and make time for each other in the quiet periods in between. As a single parent, although you have the love and motivation in the form of your little one; at times you may still feel like something is missing and crave that attention, affection and support in the form of a romantic relationship.

Dating as a single parent has a lot of concerns and stresses. There are numerous things single mothers think about and worry about when taking the step back into the dating world.

When to inform your partner of your child

Immediately. It is just that simple.

If you are interacting with or have your eye on someone who you think might be put off by the idea that you have a child or that you need to keep your child a secret from for any period of time - then as a single mother you are interested in the wrong person. To the right person, having a child will make no difference at all.

In addition to this, a relationship should not have any amount of secrecy or lies. Starting a relationship off with secrets is very likely not to end well.

What is the hardest part of dating as a single mom?

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When to introduce your child

If you introduce your child to your partner during the early stages of your relationship, you are able to monitor your partners interaction and see whether or not he makes an effort in getting to know your child. If your child is a little older you can also judge your child's feelings about the person as children do have their own intuitive instincts. Another advantage is that you are able to spend time with your partner and your child without sacrificing time with your child to be with your partner.

An additional reason why this might be a good idea is the fact that if you choose to have a relationship with this person, they will inevitably need to have a relationship with your child. Starting the bonding process and monitoring whether or not your partner is ready to have a child in their lives is important. Again, the last thing you want is to discover after 6 months or a year that your partner does not want to be a part of your child's life, is not interested in your child or ready for such a commitment.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to have your partner introduced to your child at an early stage, or a later one - you should never keep your child a secret from your partner for any length of time. You do not want to tell your partner you have a child after a few months and then face rejection if he wasn't expecting it or not willing to be in a relationship with a single parent.

Be upfront and tell your partner from the get go - it always works out best this way.


Is Online dating a good idea for single parents?

Many people find online dating as one of the best ways to meet people or start relationships for single parents.

Below are some of the reasons why:

- You can be a little more open

Many people find it easier to "bare it all' via text verses in person. ASomwtimes it's easier to say things you would usually ne a little shy to say in person to someone over the phone or via text. You can also think things out clearly before putting them down instead of fumbling over your words in person if you were nervous.

- Find similarities

When looking through peoples online profiles (if they are being honest), you are able to choose people with similar likes or dislikes. On condition you have this in your profile, you will also be conversating with people who already know that you are a parent and that your child is of high importance to you illiminating one more thing you wuill need to inform a propspective partner of.

- Build an emotional connection

Sometimes forming an emotional connection first is a whole lot better than a physical one. You get to know someone on a personal level and form more of a friendshi[ allowing you to decide whether or not your personalities match before meeting with them. It also illiminates the idea of numerous first dates with no second dates due to a first date discovery that you have nothing in common or don't get along well enough.

- Sort through time wasters

By being able to make it clear that you are not in search of a fling or one night stand, you can cut out a large number of time wasters or players (again this hoping that they are honest with you)

- Convenience: It allows you to meet people easier
You don't need to leave your house or drop your kids off at a babysitter to have a chat with someone new or introduce yourself to a good-looking stranger. The biggest advantage is that you can chat to other people while being with your kids, doing something fun with them or bonding with them. You do not have to leave the comfort of your home or sacrifice time with your children.


The most important thing to remember when dating as a single mother is TO ALWAYS PUT YOUR CHILD / CHILDREN FIRST NO MATTER WHAT!

An awesome movie for ANY SINGLE MOM!


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    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      2 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Yes it really is very tricky. More often then not it's like a "damned if you do - damned if you do" type of situation...

      I guess when the time comes you just have to go with your gut and do what you feel is best for your child and your partner. But as a single parent myself - My child will always come first.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      2 years ago

      You made an excellent point about not knowing for sure if someone you date is going to be around for a long time.

      In all honesty I believe what's most important is knowing how mature your child is and their understanding that dating is "normal" for adults.

      As you noted the child's own life experience with divorce is proof that relationships aren't an exact science and there are no guarantees.

      Truth be told when it comes to love and relationships most of us (fail our way) to success. Very few people hit a homerun their first, second, or third time up at bat. If this weren't so we'd all be married to our high school sweethearts! :)

      It's a difficult balancing act when it comes to preparing children for "real life". Oftentimes we try too much to shield them from painful realities of life even when they have reached an age where they can process it.

      A pet gold fish dies and we quickly attempt to replace it with a similar without the child knowing. A pet dog or cat dies or has to be put to death and we tell the child the pet ran away from home or something similar. When a child reaches puberty many parents avoid having "the birds and the bees" conversation because the parents are either uncomfortable having the talk or they believe not doing so will preserve their innocence.

      Lastly there is also the person you're dating to consider. Imagine if you were dating a man who had children and 3-6 months had passed with him professing his love for you and yet he refuses to introduce you to his children. On some level you might wonder is he really serious about you.

      Some women might even wonder if he's cheating when he says he can't see them because "he has the children for the weekend". Others might fear he's still hooking up with his ex or they resent the fact that he can't be with them during the holidays because he is going to be with his kids.

      You almost feel like you're his mistress or worse a "booty call".

      It's no wonder why some people say don't bother getting involved with single parents. You'll end up spending a lot of time (alone) or having to always play second fiddle. This may cause them to decide to breakup with the single parent or become receptive to cheating on them.

      There really is no easy answer for what's best for single mothers.

      Personally speaking I dated several single mothers during my 20s and early 30s. To my surprise many of them didn't hesitate introducing me to their children and oftentimes were comfortable with me spending the night under their roof. Maybe it was one of those "California things".

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      2 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Hahahaha Thanks Dashingscorpio. Your comment made me laugh lol. It's so true though!!! A lot of good & helpful points. Thank-you :)

      You are so right about listing what you don't want and the players still responding anyway hahaha But it's so sad though. It's always boggled my mind how there are so many girls out there willing to sleep around with married men or men in relationships because they have low morals or it makes no difference to them and yet instead of being honest and open and finding those girls men will choose girls with higher standards who wouldn’t be okay with a one night stand or an affair with a committed person and lie to her etc.

      I think the major downside to online dating is that it is so easy for people to lie to you face to face and in person making it a million times easier for someone to lie via text or online.

      I agree about not introducing your child to tons of different people. It’s still really tough because whether it’s 4 people in 1 year or 4 people in 4 years – that is still a lot to a child. How do you know when a relationship is serious enough to introduce your child? What if you wait a year and then introduce your child and the relationship fails 5 or 6 months later? What if you get into another relationship and introduce your child after 18 months and a year later it then ends too? If people get divorced and relationships end after 3, 5, 10 and even 15 years how confident can you be in a relationship lasting “forever” ? Either way there are no guarantees and you still risk your child having different men in and out of his / her life. I mean even their biological father would be an example that no-one is guaranteed to stay. How do you avoid that risk without closing yourself off to relationships all together?

      It’s a very tough spot to be in.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      2 years ago

      A single mother has to decide why she is dating.

      If she's dating for fun or if she is dating in hopes of finding love.

      Either way I think she should be up front about having children.

      If you're dating for fun then there is no reason to ever introduce your children to guys who are casual flings. You don't want you child meeting 8-10 guys in single year even if you're not having sex with them.

      Your love life is really non of your children's business. They really would prefer not to know their parents even have sex! LOL!

      If you're dating for love or have a causal relationship that has "evolved" into something special and exclusive then you might introduce them.

      Lastly for online single mother daters don't waste your space listing all the things you DON'T WANT! for two basic reasons.

      1. It makes you sound like a "negative person" or someone who has had a "string of bad relationships" and probably cynical about dating.

      Use that space to list what you're looking for.

      2. Assume there is a "player" scrolling down a list of profiles and sees your beautiful sexy face. He starts to read your profile and it says:

      "No liars, no cheaters, no players!"

      Do you really believe a "player" is going to say:

      "All snap! She ain't got no love for the players! I guess I had better move on to the next profile." (Trust me that NEVER happens!)

      Simply put there aren't any profiles of women that state they ARE LOOKING for players, liars, and cheaters!

      In fact in order to earn the title "player", "liar", or "cheater" a person has to betray someone who trusted them!

      With regard to one-night stands they usually happen when the person is seeing someone else or the sex simply wasn't that great!

      Even with that if the sex was mind-blowing and the guy was married he'd have a hard time not coming back for more!

      The flashbacks would torture him if he didn't.

      One of the reasons I suspect people are told to form a relationship prior to having sex is because if it sucks it's harder for them to walk away from someone they are emotionally invested in.

      There is an emotional obligation to attempt to "work" on it.

      Had a woman known early on that his penis was smaller than his thumb or he can't last for more than 30 seconds she probably wouldn't try to "work" on sustaining a relationship with him. He'd be a one night stand!


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