A single mom has to think twice about everything- once for herself and once for her child. She needs a man who is on top of his game, but who doesn’t play games. Her time is valuable, and any man who wants to date her needs to know these things first.
1. Her child will always be her first priority.
She may love you, but her child is her flesh and blood. They will come before any and everything, no matter how long you have been together. It takes a secure man to be able to take a back seat when necessary, so make sure you’re on that level before entering a relationship with a single mom.
2. She can’t always be spontaneous.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship, and that may mean wanting to go on adventures at the drop of a hat. This isn’t always possible for a single mom. She has responsibilities that a woman without a child doesn’t have, and those responsibilities have to come first. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be spontaneous, but be aware of her schedule before bringing up any surprise adventures.
3. It’s not all about the physical stuff for her.
Single moms crave intimacy just as much as the next person, but it’s not all she craves. She has a lot on her plate, and she needs a man who is going to lighten the load for her. Show her that you’re there to support her emotionally first and the physical portion of things will come naturally.
4. You might have to change some things about your life in order to be with her.
There may be custody arrangements in place that prohibit her from moving certain places or doing certain things while her child is young. Be aware of these things up front and be completely honest with her about whether or not you’re willing to make those changes in the future. She’d rather know up front than you waste months or years of her time.
5. You’re probably going to have to deal with the ex on a regular basis.
Unless she’s raising her child on her own, there is an ex in the picture somewhere. That man is her child’s father, and that means he’s going to be a factor in your relationship whether you want him to be or not. If you can’t handle her communicating with her ex about their child, walk away now. You can certainly set boundaries in terms of your comfort level with the communication between them, but he’s going to be in her life forever, whether you like it or not.
6. Don’t give her parenting advice unless she asks you for it.
No one wants to hear unsolicited advice from someone else about their parenting, especially from someone they’re dating. It can cause some tense disagreements. It can be hard knowing when to speak up and when not to, but the best advice is to just be supportive while keeping your opinions to yourself, unless she asks for it. As you progress in the relationship and become a part of her child’s life, you’ll be able to have more of a say in the parenting portion of things.
7. You don’t have to jump right into being a stepparent.
Yes, you’re dating a woman with a child so you may be a stepparent one day, but it’s not going to happen right off the bat. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the idea of stepping into a father-figure role at the very beginning. As you get to know her more and eventually get to know her child, your place in that child’s life will develop naturally and the role of a stepparent won’t feel so overwhelming.
8. She’s going to need a lot of reassurance.
Clearly the relationship with her child’s father didn’t work out. That can leave her feeling abandoned and insecure. She needs to know that you’re in it for the long haul, and that means you’re going to have to reassure her over and over again. Try not to get frustrated with this, because as she learns to trust you, she’ll need less and less reassurance.
9. There’s more to her than motherhood.
Putting her into the box of a single mom can diminish all the other things she is. She also has a career, friends, hobbies, goals, and so much more. Ask her about those things and encourage and support her in all that she does. Single moms can easily become consumed with taking care of their child and sometimes she needs someone to come along and remind her that she’s an individual, too.
10. She needs to hear that she’s a good mom.
Doing it all on your own can leave you doubting yourself. Even the strongest single moms will appreciate the validation that they’re doing a good job. When you see her feeling overwhelmed, make her stop for a second and remind her that she’s rocking this whole mom thing. She’ll appreciate it more than you know.
11. Sometimes all she needs you to do is listen.
You don’t need to have all the answers when she vents to you. Sometimes all she needs is a supportive ear and a shoulder to cry on. Be the one that she can turn to when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Knowing that you’re there to listen, without judgement, will bring her so much peace.
12. Be her drama-free zone.
She’s already dealing with enough drama being a single mom, the last thing she needs is more drama from you. Make your relationship fun and romantic. Let it be her escape from the stresses of everyday life. No relationship is perfect, but she needs you to bring more happiness than drama to her life.
13. Expect schedule changes last minute, and don’t make her feel bad about it.
When you’re a parent, things come up that may change plans. Stomach bugs, school functions, and problems at work will take priority over whatever plans you have. It can be disappointing, but try to put yourself in her shoes and understand that she’s just as disappointed as you are. The last thing she needs is for you to make her feel guilty about having to cancel or reschedule something.
14. The little things matter to her– a lot.
That pile of dishes sitting in the sink? Wash them. Her feet laying on the couch next to you? Rub them. The garden that’s becoming overrun with weeds? Weed it. Help her out. She’s doing this all on her own, and while she doesn’t expect help from anyone, if you step up now without her asking, you’re going to earn her trust, respect, and love a lot faster.
15. Be honest about what you want.
Her time is valuable, as is yours. She would rather you be honest with her up front about what you’re expecting out of this relationship rather than sugar coating things and leading her on. If you just want a hookup, then tell her that. If you’re looking for a serious relationship but are unsure about whether or not you can handle the whole dating-someone-with-a-kid thing, tell her that. Let her decide if she’s willing to take the risk and give you a chance or not.
16. If you don’t like kids, don’t date a woman with kids.
Maybe you have a few nieces and nephews who you enjoy playing with at family gatherings. That’s very different than actually being a parent. If you can’t imagine yourself having children- particularly raising someone else’s children- then you shouldn’t even consider dating a single mom.
17. A needy man is the last thing she needs.
She already has a little human that needs her attention 24/7. The last thing she needs is a clingy man-child. Show her you care, but don’t get upset if she doesn’t text you back right away or can’t see you every single day. She’s got an entire life already established, and it’s going to take some time to figure out where you fit into it.
18. Make the most out of your time together.
You probably won’t see each other every day, especially at the beginning of the relationship, so make every second that you do have together count. Give her your complete attention and use the time that you do have to build something solid. You don’t always have to plan a grand adventure for every date. Sometimes just snuggling on the couch is the best way to build a connection.
19. Remember that she doesn’t need you, she wants you.
She’s taking care of an entire household, so make sure you’re bringing something to the table that’s actually going to add value to her life. A strong, independent female needs a man who’s got his life together. She may want you, but she doesn’t need you. If you don’t want to lose her, make sure you’re giving her a reason to stay.
20. She will give you real love.
She knows what it’s like to be hurt, so she’s going to do all she can to never make you feel that kind of pain. Loving her will be unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Make sure you’re ready for it, because that kind of love will change you for a lifetime.
Dating a single mom takes a secure man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get it. Knowing what to expect before you enter into a relationship with a single mom will give you a better chance at making it the long haul.
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