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Dating a Single Mom: 20 Important Things You Need to Know | Best Life

Dating a Single Mom: 20 Important Things You Need to Know | Best Life

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  • Open side menu button Skip to content News Health Smarter Living Culture Relationships Travel Style Coronavirus Get the newsletter Relationships 8 Single Moms Reveal the 20 Things You Need to Know About Dating a Single Mom How to win their hearts and be as supportive as possible By Laura Dorwart March 19, 2019 By Laura Dorwart March 19, 2019 If you're thinking about dating a single mom, you might be wondering how it'll be different from dating a woman without children. In many ways, dating a single mom is like dating anyone else, and as long as you treat her with care and respect, you'll be golden. But at the same time, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to be a great partner to a solo parent. W e asked eight single mothers how potential partners could win their hearts and be as supportive as possible. Here's what they told us everyone should know about dating a single mom.  Understand her priorities The number one thing many single moms want potential partners to know is that the kids come first. While a romantic partner can play an integral role in a single mom's life, there shouldn't be any competition between you and her children. And if you're dating a single mom and find yourself growing jealous or competitive, examine the root of your feelings, and consider ending the relationship if that jealousy feels toxic.  " My kids and I are a team," says entrepreneur Monicha Wimbley.  "And since I'm the general manager of the team, I look out for all the team members. Although you will not meet them right away, my children are my priority. They don't rule the roost, but their feelings carry weight. Their health and well-being are the most important thing." Be flexible about scheduling Single mothers are often juggling busy schedules, managing everything from parenting and household management to work and sometimes school. That might mean they aren't able to be as spontaneous as you'd like. And if that's the case, be patient. " Please be understanding when I cancel a date at short notice," says Nashima Harvey,  executive director of The Little Green House Educational Services . " Sometimes my child may get sick or may have an issue that requires me to stay home, such as a sitter cancellation. Flexibility and understanding then become extremely important. Ingenuity does as well. Maybe we can improvise at home and bring the fun to us." Embrace the fun side of dating a single mom Sneaking around the kids for a secret rendezvous doesn't have to be something you dread. In fact,  it can be  kind of fun, says Katie Tomaszewski, director of Drynamics, a sober-curious support group. "Sometimes dating can feel like high-school dating," she says. "You've gotta kinda sneak it in at times." Embrace a bit of risqué romance and go with the flow! Don't worry about jumping in as a father Don't feel pressured to jump in immediately as a father figure or a second parent, says Keyona Grant of the blog  Professional Momma . "I 'm not looking for you to be a father to my kid, I'm looking for a life partner for me," she says. "That being said, you still have to love her too and want what is best for her." Instead of trying to become a stepparent too quickly, focusing on developing an organic relationship with your partner and her kids. Moreover, don't pressure her to have you meet her kids before she's ready. Relationship-building is a natural process and there's no set timeline for when you should or shouldn't meet a romantic partner's children. Remember that she's more than a mom Your partner likely spends much of her time identifying as a parent. So when it comes to romance, it's nice to be seen as more than a mom. " We are more than mothers," says Grant. "It's nice to take our children into consideration, but also try to appeal to the women we are too." Do that by planning romantic dates, praising her for her work accomplishments and other traits that aren't related to motherhood, and talking about subjects other than parenting. Be upfront about commitment Many single moms want to know upfront what you're looking for in a relationship. That doesn't mean you should feel pressured to make a commitment before you're ready, but be straightforward about what you want. Is it a long-term girlfriend? A hookup? Marriage? Whatever the case, most single mothers would rather know from the start. " Know what your end game is before dating someone with children," says Grant. "Do you want to get married, are you casually dating, or are your just looking for friendship?" she says. "Be upfront, because our time is valuable, and we don't need to waste it." Care about her kids While developing a relationship with your partner's kids will take time, you should show that you care about her children. Be open to having picnics or other outings with the kids and don't always expect an abundance of one-on-one time with their mom. When your partner talks about her children, ask questions and practice active listening. Be there for her emotionally Single moms are often juggling a lot of things both professionally and personally. A supportive shoulder to lean on and a listening ear are always appreciated."M y dream is to date someone who is naturally nurturing," says Nikki Bruno of Catalyst Coaching. "I spend so much time and energy caring for my kids and ensuring their emotional, mental, and physical health that I could use some extra loving care, too." Don't get involved in any drama While emotional support is valuable, getting involved in any drama—especially with an ex or co-parent—is not. If there's any interpersonal conflict in your partner's life, such as with her children's father, try to stay out of it and not get too emotionally involved yourself.  In most cases, simply being an attentive listener who can handle a bit of venting is key, says Shawn Zanotti, founder and CEO of Exact Publicity . " At times I may want to vent, and [sometimes] it will be about my child," she says. "As a partner, be engaged, be intrigued, listen, respond, and [offer] advice." Respect her work schedule The work schedule of a single parent can often be busy and hectic. Just as you wouldn't try to compete with kids, respect your partner's job or career, too. " Planning is needed," says Wimbley. "It's going to be quality over quantity. Between work, co-parenting schedules, and the kids' school and activities, I only have so much free time. Please be aware that planning for some time together might have to go on the schedule way in advance." Be willing to help out A foot massage, a home-cooked meal, or any other kind of pampering can mean the world to a single mom. Single parents are often used to doing it all on their own and simply having a partner by their side can mean a lot. " Juggling the role of single mom and career woman is tough and extremely exhausting," says Harvey, "especially when you have children under 10. Sometimes a simple back rub or foot massage and a home cooked meal may be a great pick-me-up to rejuvenate the spirit." Be honest about your own needs While your partner's needs and goals are incredibly important, so are yours. Don't allow yourself to grow resentful or avoid issues if a problem begins to develop. Instead of allowing a breakdown in communication to grow, be upfront so you can address any issues together. Make every second together count Solo parents often have limited time for dates and other outings. So when you do have time together, make it count. Try to plan dates and make your time together special. Ask questions and have thoughtful conversations. " Remember that I don't just have 'free' time laying around as a single mom," says Harvey. "When I share my time with you one-on-one it's super valuable and rare, so treat it as such." Find ways to relax and rejuvenate together Think of your time together as an oasis from the stresses of the day. As much as you can, try to relax and rejuvenate together. Get a couples' massage if you can, or hire a babysitter and have a nice dinner out. You could even stay in for a night of cuddling, suggests Sanaa Brooks, editor-in-chief of A Mom That Sleeps . " I'm always tired, so sometimes I don't want to get ready for a date after working crazy hours all week," she says. "[Sometimes it's great to] just order in." Respect your partner's boundaries Respecting boundaries around time with your partner's children, or your involvement in their lives, is key to building a successful relationship with a single mother. Remember, a mother has to protect her children's emotional wellness as well as her own and is therefore careful about who she lets into her kids' lives. Make sure you can bring something valuable to the table "I've done so much on my own, so what are you bringing to the table?" says speaker and success coach Joyce Rojas . " Single moms are very independent and can accomplish so much in very little time, on their own. It's a skill we had to learn. So in the dating world, we tend to look for someone that can enhance our lives. We don't want drama, competition, or dead weight." Single mothers are often juggling stressful work schedules and have to make time for dating in between their many other responsibilities. That means it might not be the best idea to get romantically involved with a single parent if you don't have your own priorities in order. Don't dwell on your partner's past Many single parents have heartbreak in their past, whether that's from a divorce, a break-up, or the death of a beloved spouse. Understand that this might affect your relationship to an extent, and it might take time to build trust. " A single mom has likely gone through heartbreak of some kind, and so have her children," says Rojas. "It's not an easy task to just move forward without emotional scars still lingering. We're not only afraid of getting hurt, but we're afraid of hurting our children all over again. " Listen to your partner if they want to talk about it, but try to move forward toward the future with an open mind. Everyone has a history, and your potential partner probably wants to get excited about the possibility of a future with you rather than dwelling on her past. Do some old-fashioned courting when dating a single mom  Some of your dates might be spent with kids, or might be during the day because late nights on the town aren't always possible for single moms. Embrace the nostalgia and simple fun of old-fashioned courting: Walks in the park, carnivals, or dinners at home can be charming and delightful if you're game. Remember that you have an impact on your partner's children, too Even if your role in your partner's children's life is small, it can leave a lasting impact. Try not to jump too much into the kids' lives if you're not sure about the future of your relationship, and in the early stages of dating a single mom, take your partner's lead on how to interact with the kids and what your relationship with them will be.  Don't make assumptions Assuming that a single mother 'needs' you or wants something particular out of a relationship isn't helping to build a partnership based on trust and honesty. Instead of making assumptions, have respectful conversations and keep an open line of communication to find out if your short- and long-term desires align. Filed UnderDating • Relationship Advice Read This Next The 12 Rules for Dating a Colleague Win the heart of your office crush. January 26, 2017 6 Signs You're Dating a Mama's Boy And yes: You should definitely break up. April 11, 2018 The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make Don't let these simple errors ruin your chances at love. August 28, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Women Over 40 No, it shouldn't feel so daunting. January 19, 2017 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines Everything to type after swiping right. November 30, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40 On the market in your fifth decade? Don't worry! Just follow our helpful advice. January 19, 2018 Dating As A Single Mom Isn't All Bad—Here's Why And why some even bring their kids on the first date. May 11, 2018 40 Ways Dating Gets Easier After 40 Say goodbye to Netflix and chill, say hello to a nice Bordeaux. November 14, 2018 Latest News Smarter Living The State Where You Can Make the Most Money All is not lost, despite the unemployment situation. Relationships Does Your Partner Want an Open Relationship? A study says these are the chances they want to roam. Health This State Needs "Maximal Social Distancing" The White House just advised new safety measures here. Smarter Living This Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice It's easier than you think to send those pests packing. Health This German Law Could Help Us All Curb COVID You can make most places safer very easily. Health More Women Are Using This to Fight Menopause The substance is becoming increasingly popular. Read This Next The 12 Rules for Dating a Colleague Win the heart of your office crush. January 26, 2017 6 Signs You're Dating a Mama's Boy And yes: You should definitely break up. April 11, 2018 The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make Don't let these simple errors ruin your chances at love. August 28, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Women Over 40 No, it shouldn't feel so daunting. January 19, 2017 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines Everything to type after swiping right. November 30, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40 On the market in your fifth decade? Don't worry! Just follow our helpful advice. January 19, 2018 Dating As A Single Mom Isn't All Bad—Here's Why And why some even bring their kids on the first date. May 11, 2018 40 Ways Dating Gets Easier After 40 Say goodbye to Netflix and chill, say hello to a nice Bordeaux. November 14, 2018 Follow Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Follow Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn About Us Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Partner Sites Advertise With Us Get Our Newsletter © 2020 Galvanized Media. All Rights Reserved. Bestlifeonline.com is part of the Meredith Health Group Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest. Get Our Newsletter Every Day! Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice. SIGN UP GET YOUR FREE GIFT SUBSCRIBE


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  • Open side menu button Skip to content News Health Smarter Living Culture Relationships Travel Style Coronavirus Get the newsletter Relationships 8 Single Moms Reveal the 20 Things You Need to Know About Dating a Single Mom How to win their hearts and be as supportive as possible By Laura Dorwart March 19, 2019 By Laura Dorwart March 19, 2019 If you're thinking about dating a single mom, you might be wondering how it'll be different from dating a woman without children. In many ways, dating a single mom is like dating anyone else, and as long as you treat her with care and respect, you'll be golden. But at the same time, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to be a great partner to a solo parent. W e asked eight single mothers how potential partners could win their hearts and be as supportive as possible. Here's what they told us everyone should know about dating a single mom.  Understand her priorities The number one thing many single moms want potential partners to know is that the kids come first. While a romantic partner can play an integral role in a single mom's life, there shouldn't be any competition between you and her children. And if you're dating a single mom and find yourself growing jealous or competitive, examine the root of your feelings, and consider ending the relationship if that jealousy feels toxic.  " My kids and I are a team," says entrepreneur Monicha Wimbley.  "And since I'm the general manager of the team, I look out for all the team members. Although you will not meet them right away, my children are my priority. They don't rule the roost, but their feelings carry weight. Their health and well-being are the most important thing." Be flexible about scheduling Single mothers are often juggling busy schedules, managing everything from parenting and household management to work and sometimes school. That might mean they aren't able to be as spontaneous as you'd like. And if that's the case, be patient. " Please be understanding when I cancel a date at short notice," says Nashima Harvey,  executive director of The Little Green House Educational Services . " Sometimes my child may get sick or may have an issue that requires me to stay home, such as a sitter cancellation. Flexibility and understanding then become extremely important. Ingenuity does as well. Maybe we can improvise at home and bring the fun to us." Embrace the fun side of dating a single mom Sneaking around the kids for a secret rendezvous doesn't have to be something you dread. In fact,  it can be  kind of fun, says Katie Tomaszewski, director of Drynamics, a sober-curious support group. "Sometimes dating can feel like high-school dating," she says. "You've gotta kinda sneak it in at times." Embrace a bit of risqué romance and go with the flow! Don't worry about jumping in as a father Don't feel pressured to jump in immediately as a father figure or a second parent, says Keyona Grant of the blog  Professional Momma . "I 'm not looking for you to be a father to my kid, I'm looking for a life partner for me," she says. "That being said, you still have to love her too and want what is best for her." Instead of trying to become a stepparent too quickly, focusing on developing an organic relationship with your partner and her kids. Moreover, don't pressure her to have you meet her kids before she's ready. Relationship-building is a natural process and there's no set timeline for when you should or shouldn't meet a romantic partner's children. Remember that she's more than a mom Your partner likely spends much of her time identifying as a parent. So when it comes to romance, it's nice to be seen as more than a mom. " We are more than mothers," says Grant. "It's nice to take our children into consideration, but also try to appeal to the women we are too." Do that by planning romantic dates, praising her for her work accomplishments and other traits that aren't related to motherhood, and talking about subjects other than parenting. Be upfront about commitment Many single moms want to know upfront what you're looking for in a relationship. That doesn't mean you should feel pressured to make a commitment before you're ready, but be straightforward about what you want. Is it a long-term girlfriend? A hookup? Marriage? Whatever the case, most single mothers would rather know from the start. " Know what your end game is before dating someone with children," says Grant. "Do you want to get married, are you casually dating, or are your just looking for friendship?" she says. "Be upfront, because our time is valuable, and we don't need to waste it." Care about her kids While developing a relationship with your partner's kids will take time, you should show that you care about her children. Be open to having picnics or other outings with the kids and don't always expect an abundance of one-on-one time with their mom. When your partner talks about her children, ask questions and practice active listening. Be there for her emotionally Single moms are often juggling a lot of things both professionally and personally. A supportive shoulder to lean on and a listening ear are always appreciated."M y dream is to date someone who is naturally nurturing," says Nikki Bruno of Catalyst Coaching. "I spend so much time and energy caring for my kids and ensuring their emotional, mental, and physical health that I could use some extra loving care, too." Don't get involved in any drama While emotional support is valuable, getting involved in any drama—especially with an ex or co-parent—is not. If there's any interpersonal conflict in your partner's life, such as with her children's father, try to stay out of it and not get too emotionally involved yourself.  In most cases, simply being an attentive listener who can handle a bit of venting is key, says Shawn Zanotti, founder and CEO of Exact Publicity . " At times I may want to vent, and [sometimes] it will be about my child," she says. "As a partner, be engaged, be intrigued, listen, respond, and [offer] advice." Respect her work schedule The work schedule of a single parent can often be busy and hectic. Just as you wouldn't try to compete with kids, respect your partner's job or career, too. " Planning is needed," says Wimbley. "It's going to be quality over quantity. Between work, co-parenting schedules, and the kids' school and activities, I only have so much free time. Please be aware that planning for some time together might have to go on the schedule way in advance." Be willing to help out A foot massage, a home-cooked meal, or any other kind of pampering can mean the world to a single mom. Single parents are often used to doing it all on their own and simply having a partner by their side can mean a lot. " Juggling the role of single mom and career woman is tough and extremely exhausting," says Harvey, "especially when you have children under 10. Sometimes a simple back rub or foot massage and a home cooked meal may be a great pick-me-up to rejuvenate the spirit." Be honest about your own needs While your partner's needs and goals are incredibly important, so are yours. Don't allow yourself to grow resentful or avoid issues if a problem begins to develop. Instead of allowing a breakdown in communication to grow, be upfront so you can address any issues together. Make every second together count Solo parents often have limited time for dates and other outings. So when you do have time together, make it count. Try to plan dates and make your time together special. Ask questions and have thoughtful conversations. " Remember that I don't just have 'free' time laying around as a single mom," says Harvey. "When I share my time with you one-on-one it's super valuable and rare, so treat it as such." Find ways to relax and rejuvenate together Think of your time together as an oasis from the stresses of the day. As much as you can, try to relax and rejuvenate together. Get a couples' massage if you can, or hire a babysitter and have a nice dinner out. You could even stay in for a night of cuddling, suggests Sanaa Brooks, editor-in-chief of A Mom That Sleeps . " I'm always tired, so sometimes I don't want to get ready for a date after working crazy hours all week," she says. "[Sometimes it's great to] just order in." Respect your partner's boundaries Respecting boundaries around time with your partner's children, or your involvement in their lives, is key to building a successful relationship with a single mother. Remember, a mother has to protect her children's emotional wellness as well as her own and is therefore careful about who she lets into her kids' lives. Make sure you can bring something valuable to the table "I've done so much on my own, so what are you bringing to the table?" says speaker and success coach Joyce Rojas . " Single moms are very independent and can accomplish so much in very little time, on their own. It's a skill we had to learn. So in the dating world, we tend to look for someone that can enhance our lives. We don't want drama, competition, or dead weight." Single mothers are often juggling stressful work schedules and have to make time for dating in between their many other responsibilities. That means it might not be the best idea to get romantically involved with a single parent if you don't have your own priorities in order. Don't dwell on your partner's past Many single parents have heartbreak in their past, whether that's from a divorce, a break-up, or the death of a beloved spouse. Understand that this might affect your relationship to an extent, and it might take time to build trust. " A single mom has likely gone through heartbreak of some kind, and so have her children," says Rojas. "It's not an easy task to just move forward without emotional scars still lingering. We're not only afraid of getting hurt, but we're afraid of hurting our children all over again. " Listen to your partner if they want to talk about it, but try to move forward toward the future with an open mind. Everyone has a history, and your potential partner probably wants to get excited about the possibility of a future with you rather than dwelling on her past. Do some old-fashioned courting when dating a single mom  Some of your dates might be spent with kids, or might be during the day because late nights on the town aren't always possible for single moms. Embrace the nostalgia and simple fun of old-fashioned courting: Walks in the park, carnivals, or dinners at home can be charming and delightful if you're game. Remember that you have an impact on your partner's children, too Even if your role in your partner's children's life is small, it can leave a lasting impact. Try not to jump too much into the kids' lives if you're not sure about the future of your relationship, and in the early stages of dating a single mom, take your partner's lead on how to interact with the kids and what your relationship with them will be.  Don't make assumptions Assuming that a single mother 'needs' you or wants something particular out of a relationship isn't helping to build a partnership based on trust and honesty. Instead of making assumptions, have respectful conversations and keep an open line of communication to find out if your short- and long-term desires align. Filed UnderDating • Relationship Advice Read This Next The 12 Rules for Dating a Colleague Win the heart of your office crush. January 26, 2017 6 Signs You're Dating a Mama's Boy And yes: You should definitely break up. April 11, 2018 The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make Don't let these simple errors ruin your chances at love. August 28, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Women Over 40 No, it shouldn't feel so daunting. January 19, 2017 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines Everything to type after swiping right. November 30, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40 On the market in your fifth decade? Don't worry! Just follow our helpful advice. January 19, 2018 Dating As A Single Mom Isn't All Bad—Here's Why And why some even bring their kids on the first date. May 11, 2018 40 Ways Dating Gets Easier After 40 Say goodbye to Netflix and chill, say hello to a nice Bordeaux. November 14, 2018 Latest News Smarter Living The State Where You Can Make the Most Money All is not lost, despite the unemployment situation. Relationships Does Your Partner Want an Open Relationship? A study says these are the chances they want to roam. Health This State Needs "Maximal Social Distancing" The White House just advised new safety measures here. Smarter Living This Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice It's easier than you think to send those pests packing. Health This German Law Could Help Us All Curb COVID You can make most places safer very easily. Health More Women Are Using This to Fight Menopause The substance is becoming increasingly popular. Read This Next The 12 Rules for Dating a Colleague Win the heart of your office crush. January 26, 2017 6 Signs You're Dating a Mama's Boy And yes: You should definitely break up. April 11, 2018 The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make Don't let these simple errors ruin your chances at love. August 28, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Women Over 40 No, it shouldn't feel so daunting. January 19, 2017 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines Everything to type after swiping right. November 30, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40 On the market in your fifth decade? Don't worry! Just follow our helpful advice. January 19, 2018 Dating As A Single Mom Isn't All Bad—Here's Why And why some even bring their kids on the first date. May 11, 2018 40 Ways Dating Gets Easier After 40 Say goodbye to Netflix and chill, say hello to a nice Bordeaux. November 14, 2018 Follow Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Follow Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn About Us Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Partner Sites Advertise With Us Get Our Newsletter © 2020 Galvanized Media. All Rights Reserved. Bestlifeonline.com is part of the Meredith Health Group Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest. Get Our Newsletter Every Day! Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice. SIGN UP GET YOUR FREE GIFT SUBSCRIBE


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  • Open side menu button Skip to content News Health Smarter Living Culture Relationships Travel Style Coronavirus Get the newsletter Relationships 8 Single Moms Reveal the 20 Things You Need to Know About Dating a Single Mom How to win their hearts and be as supportive as possible By Laura Dorwart March 19, 2019 By Laura Dorwart March 19, 2019 If you're thinking about dating a single mom, you might be wondering how it'll be different from dating a woman without children. In many ways, dating a single mom is like dating anyone else, and as long as you treat her with care and respect, you'll be golden. But at the same time, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to be a great partner to a solo parent. W e asked eight single mothers how potential partners could win their hearts and be as supportive as possible. Here's what they told us everyone should know about dating a single mom.  Understand her priorities The number one thing many single moms want potential partners to know is that the kids come first. While a romantic partner can play an integral role in a single mom's life, there shouldn't be any competition between you and her children. And if you're dating a single mom and find yourself growing jealous or competitive, examine the root of your feelings, and consider ending the relationship if that jealousy feels toxic.  " My kids and I are a team," says entrepreneur Monicha Wimbley.  "And since I'm the general manager of the team, I look out for all the team members. Although you will not meet them right away, my children are my priority. They don't rule the roost, but their feelings carry weight. Their health and well-being are the most important thing." Be flexible about scheduling Single mothers are often juggling busy schedules, managing everything from parenting and household management to work and sometimes school. That might mean they aren't able to be as spontaneous as you'd like. And if that's the case, be patient. " Please be understanding when I cancel a date at short notice," says Nashima Harvey,  executive director of The Little Green House Educational Services . " Sometimes my child may get sick or may have an issue that requires me to stay home, such as a sitter cancellation. Flexibility and understanding then become extremely important. Ingenuity does as well. Maybe we can improvise at home and bring the fun to us." Embrace the fun side of dating a single mom Sneaking around the kids for a secret rendezvous doesn't have to be something you dread. In fact,  it can be  kind of fun, says Katie Tomaszewski, director of Drynamics, a sober-curious support group. "Sometimes dating can feel like high-school dating," she says. "You've gotta kinda sneak it in at times." Embrace a bit of risqué romance and go with the flow! Don't worry about jumping in as a father Don't feel pressured to jump in immediately as a father figure or a second parent, says Keyona Grant of the blog  Professional Momma . "I 'm not looking for you to be a father to my kid, I'm looking for a life partner for me," she says. "That being said, you still have to love her too and want what is best for her." Instead of trying to become a stepparent too quickly, focusing on developing an organic relationship with your partner and her kids. Moreover, don't pressure her to have you meet her kids before she's ready. Relationship-building is a natural process and there's no set timeline for when you should or shouldn't meet a romantic partner's children. Remember that she's more than a mom Your partner likely spends much of her time identifying as a parent. So when it comes to romance, it's nice to be seen as more than a mom. " We are more than mothers," says Grant. "It's nice to take our children into consideration, but also try to appeal to the women we are too." Do that by planning romantic dates, praising her for her work accomplishments and other traits that aren't related to motherhood, and talking about subjects other than parenting. Be upfront about commitment Many single moms want to know upfront what you're looking for in a relationship. That doesn't mean you should feel pressured to make a commitment before you're ready, but be straightforward about what you want. Is it a long-term girlfriend? A hookup? Marriage? Whatever the case, most single mothers would rather know from the start. " Know what your end game is before dating someone with children," says Grant. "Do you want to get married, are you casually dating, or are your just looking for friendship?" she says. "Be upfront, because our time is valuable, and we don't need to waste it." Care about her kids While developing a relationship with your partner's kids will take time, you should show that you care about her children. Be open to having picnics or other outings with the kids and don't always expect an abundance of one-on-one time with their mom. When your partner talks about her children, ask questions and practice active listening. Be there for her emotionally Single moms are often juggling a lot of things both professionally and personally. A supportive shoulder to lean on and a listening ear are always appreciated."M y dream is to date someone who is naturally nurturing," says Nikki Bruno of Catalyst Coaching. "I spend so much time and energy caring for my kids and ensuring their emotional, mental, and physical health that I could use some extra loving care, too." Don't get involved in any drama While emotional support is valuable, getting involved in any drama—especially with an ex or co-parent—is not. If there's any interpersonal conflict in your partner's life, such as with her children's father, try to stay out of it and not get too emotionally involved yourself.  In most cases, simply being an attentive listener who can handle a bit of venting is key, says Shawn Zanotti, founder and CEO of Exact Publicity . " At times I may want to vent, and [sometimes] it will be about my child," she says. "As a partner, be engaged, be intrigued, listen, respond, and [offer] advice." Respect her work schedule The work schedule of a single parent can often be busy and hectic. Just as you wouldn't try to compete with kids, respect your partner's job or career, too. " Planning is needed," says Wimbley. "It's going to be quality over quantity. Between work, co-parenting schedules, and the kids' school and activities, I only have so much free time. Please be aware that planning for some time together might have to go on the schedule way in advance." Be willing to help out A foot massage, a home-cooked meal, or any other kind of pampering can mean the world to a single mom. Single parents are often used to doing it all on their own and simply having a partner by their side can mean a lot. " Juggling the role of single mom and career woman is tough and extremely exhausting," says Harvey, "especially when you have children under 10. Sometimes a simple back rub or foot massage and a home cooked meal may be a great pick-me-up to rejuvenate the spirit." Be honest about your own needs While your partner's needs and goals are incredibly important, so are yours. Don't allow yourself to grow resentful or avoid issues if a problem begins to develop. Instead of allowing a breakdown in communication to grow, be upfront so you can address any issues together. Make every second together count Solo parents often have limited time for dates and other outings. So when you do have time together, make it count. Try to plan dates and make your time together special. Ask questions and have thoughtful conversations. " Remember that I don't just have 'free' time laying around as a single mom," says Harvey. "When I share my time with you one-on-one it's super valuable and rare, so treat it as such." Find ways to relax and rejuvenate together Think of your time together as an oasis from the stresses of the day. As much as you can, try to relax and rejuvenate together. Get a couples' massage if you can, or hire a babysitter and have a nice dinner out. You could even stay in for a night of cuddling, suggests Sanaa Brooks, editor-in-chief of A Mom That Sleeps . " I'm always tired, so sometimes I don't want to get ready for a date after working crazy hours all week," she says. "[Sometimes it's great to] just order in." Respect your partner's boundaries Respecting boundaries around time with your partner's children, or your involvement in their lives, is key to building a successful relationship with a single mother. Remember, a mother has to protect her children's emotional wellness as well as her own and is therefore careful about who she lets into her kids' lives. Make sure you can bring something valuable to the table "I've done so much on my own, so what are you bringing to the table?" says speaker and success coach Joyce Rojas . " Single moms are very independent and can accomplish so much in very little time, on their own. It's a skill we had to learn. So in the dating world, we tend to look for someone that can enhance our lives. We don't want drama, competition, or dead weight." Single mothers are often juggling stressful work schedules and have to make time for dating in between their many other responsibilities. That means it might not be the best idea to get romantically involved with a single parent if you don't have your own priorities in order. Don't dwell on your partner's past Many single parents have heartbreak in their past, whether that's from a divorce, a break-up, or the death of a beloved spouse. Understand that this might affect your relationship to an extent, and it might take time to build trust. " A single mom has likely gone through heartbreak of some kind, and so have her children," says Rojas. "It's not an easy task to just move forward without emotional scars still lingering. We're not only afraid of getting hurt, but we're afraid of hurting our children all over again. " Listen to your partner if they want to talk about it, but try to move forward toward the future with an open mind. Everyone has a history, and your potential partner probably wants to get excited about the possibility of a future with you rather than dwelling on her past. Do some old-fashioned courting when dating a single mom  Some of your dates might be spent with kids, or might be during the day because late nights on the town aren't always possible for single moms. Embrace the nostalgia and simple fun of old-fashioned courting: Walks in the park, carnivals, or dinners at home can be charming and delightful if you're game. Remember that you have an impact on your partner's children, too Even if your role in your partner's children's life is small, it can leave a lasting impact. Try not to jump too much into the kids' lives if you're not sure about the future of your relationship, and in the early stages of dating a single mom, take your partner's lead on how to interact with the kids and what your relationship with them will be.  Don't make assumptions Assuming that a single mother 'needs' you or wants something particular out of a relationship isn't helping to build a partnership based on trust and honesty. Instead of making assumptions, have respectful conversations and keep an open line of communication to find out if your short- and long-term desires align. Filed UnderDating • Relationship Advice Read This Next The 12 Rules for Dating a Colleague Win the heart of your office crush. January 26, 2017 6 Signs You're Dating a Mama's Boy And yes: You should definitely break up. April 11, 2018 The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make Don't let these simple errors ruin your chances at love. August 28, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Women Over 40 No, it shouldn't feel so daunting. January 19, 2017 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines Everything to type after swiping right. November 30, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40 On the market in your fifth decade? Don't worry! Just follow our helpful advice. January 19, 2018 Dating As A Single Mom Isn't All Bad—Here's Why And why some even bring their kids on the first date. May 11, 2018 40 Ways Dating Gets Easier After 40 Say goodbye to Netflix and chill, say hello to a nice Bordeaux. November 14, 2018 Latest News Smarter Living The State Where You Can Make the Most Money All is not lost, despite the unemployment situation. Relationships Does Your Partner Want an Open Relationship? A study says these are the chances they want to roam. Health This State Needs "Maximal Social Distancing" The White House just advised new safety measures here. Smarter Living This Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice It's easier than you think to send those pests packing. Health This German Law Could Help Us All Curb COVID You can make most places safer very easily. Health More Women Are Using This to Fight Menopause The substance is becoming increasingly popular. Read This Next The 12 Rules for Dating a Colleague Win the heart of your office crush. January 26, 2017 6 Signs You're Dating a Mama's Boy And yes: You should definitely break up. April 11, 2018 The 11 Worst Dating-App Message Mistakes Men Make Don't let these simple errors ruin your chances at love. August 28, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Women Over 40 No, it shouldn't feel so daunting. January 19, 2017 20 Best Dating App Opening Lines Everything to type after swiping right. November 30, 2017 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40 On the market in your fifth decade? Don't worry! Just follow our helpful advice. January 19, 2018 Dating As A Single Mom Isn't All Bad—Here's Why And why some even bring their kids on the first date. May 11, 2018 40 Ways Dating Gets Easier After 40 Say goodbye to Netflix and chill, say hello to a nice Bordeaux. November 14, 2018 Follow Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Follow Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn About Us Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Partner Sites Advertise With Us Get Our Newsletter © 2020 Galvanized Media. All Rights Reserved. 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    Menu Verywell Mind Dating a Single Mom: 8 Success Tips for Making It Work Mental Health A-Z Addiction ADHD Bipolar Disorder Depression Race and Identity PTSD View All Self-Improvement Inspiration Stress Management Happiness Meditation Brain Health Relationships View All Psychology Theories History and Biographies Student Resources Therapy Emotions Sleep and Dreaming View All News Coronavirus Mental Health About Us Editorial Process Our Review Board Search Search Clear GO More in Relationships Spouses & Partners Marital Problems Violence and Abuse Practicing Empathy Remote Dating The News and Mental Health Coping With Joblessness Mental Health A-Z Addiction ADHD Bipolar Disorder Depression Race and Identity PTSD View All Self-Improvement Inspiration Stress Management Happiness Meditation Brain Health Relationships View All Psychology Theories History and Biographies Student Resources Therapy Emotions Sleep and Dreaming View All News Coronavirus Mental Health View All About Us Editorial Process Privacy Policy Contact Us Visit our other Verywell sites: Verywell Health Verywell Fit Verywell Family Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved Relationships Spouses & Partners Dating a Single Mom: 8 Success Tips for Making It Work By Jennifer Wolf twitter linkedin Jennifer Wolf is a PCI Certified Parent Coach and a strong advocate for single moms and dads. Learn about our editorial process Jennifer Wolf Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD on February 01, 2020 facebook twitter linkedin Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.   Learn about our Review Board Carly Snyder, MD Updated on February 03, 2020 Print Uwe Krejci / Getty Images More in Relationships Spouses & Partners Marital Problems Violence and Abuse So you've got your eye on a ​single mom. She's smart, strong, and beautiful, but also a bit of a mystery. How can you make this relationship work? And how do you let her know that you're not just playing games—without getting overly involved too soon? Before you start dating a single mom or explore taking your relationship to the next level, set the stage for success. Recognize that dating a single mom is different from dating someone without kids. A mom's time is limited, and much of her energy goes toward taking care of her kids. But she’s also much more clear about what she wants in life, and that's an attractive quality!Accept that her top priority will always be her children. In other relationships, you may have been able to gauge a woman’s feelings for you by how much time and energy she put into your relationship. When you’re dating a single mom, this isn’t necessarily the case. She may not have the time to see you as often as you'd both like. Learn to look for other expressions of her feelings for you.Avoid disciplining her children. When you’re dating a single mom, let her handle 100% of the kids’ discipline. The only exception to this rule is if she specifically asks for your support or help. If you have concerns about the kids’ behavior, talk with your girlfriend about it privately. Never attempt to handle the issue yourself without discussing it with her first. Stay clear of any drama with her ex. If there’s tension with her kids' other parent, let your girlfriend handle it. Of course, you can support her and encourage her, but don’t contact her ex on her behalf or get involved in an ongoing court battle over their custody agreement.Pace yourself. It’s important to give your relationship time to develop. Don’t rush into moving in together or getting engaged. Instead, take it slow and focus on developing trust before you take your relationship to the next level.Offer emotional support. As a single mom, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on your girlfriend to provide for her children financially and emotionally. Be the kind of partner who can listen without trying to solve every problem for her. She will work it out in time. Offering support and encouragement will help you build a stronger bond.Be trustworthy. As a single mother, your girlfriend may have experienced situations previously where she depended on someone who was not trustworthy. Set yourself apart by being someone she can trust. Be responsible to her without being responsible for her. Allow your relationship with her kids to develop naturally. Don’t try to be too much too soon to either your girlfriend or her children. If you’re not sure about how involved you want to be with the kids, be open and honest about that. At the same time, it’s important that you don’t begin to take on a role that you can’t maintain for the long haul. A Word From Verywell You’re the only one who can know whether dating a single mom is right for you. Don’t get caught up in listening to family members or friends who will try to discourage you or suggest that she’s just looking for a stepparent figure. This is rarely the case. Pay attention, instead, to the woman you know and the relationship you’re building together. Practicing Active Listening in Your Daily Conversations Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Sign Up You're in! Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. There was an error. Please try again. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Related Articles How to Get Help for Relationship Addiction By Amy Morin, LCSW Dating Sites That Cater to Single Parents Fact checked by Andrea Rice How to Know When It’s Time to See a Therapist By Amy Morin, LCSW 5 Signs You're Not Ready to Date a Single Parent Reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW What Is Gaslighting? By Amy Morin, LCSW Have a Successful Marriage by Listening to What Your Wife Wants Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD 28 Instagram Accounts That Destigmatize Mental Health By Elizabeth Guthrie Top Stress Relief Tips for Working Moms Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD The 8 Best Self-Help Books for Women Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD 3 Ways Busy Women Can Prevent Burnout By Lilian Gonsalves, MD, Cleveland Clinic Expert 11 Steps to Moving On After You Get Your Heart Broken Reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW Is Your Husband a Mama's Boy? Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD Courtship Scripts and What They Mean for Dating Fact checked by Sean Blackburn How You Can Help Your College Student With Homesickness By Jackie Burrell Things to Consider Before Remarrying Your Ex Medically reviewed by Carly Snyder, MD Tips to Help You Date More Mindfully By Arlin Cuncic Verywell Mind uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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