Dating is always a complicated affair. Add on top of that, dating as a single parent can be challenging and stressful.
Does that mean you should give up on finding love altogether?
Absolutely not. But there are some key factors you should consider before dating as a single mum.
It can be scary to start dating again after being a single mum for a while, but don’t be afraid!
A few of the reasons why women are afraid to date after having a child include:
- Not feeling good enough for someone else
- Fear of getting hurt again
- Worry that their child will be negatively affected by a new relationship
All the above are valid reasons. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are plenty of other single mothers out there who are ready to date.
So, how do you go about it? Here are 14 tips for success:
Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to date
It’s normal to be afraid to get back to the dating scene. We all know how brutal it can be. But just because it hasn’t worked out before doesn’t mean it won’t this time around.
Tip 2: Get back on the dating scene when you’re ready
It’s important to remember that you are the only one who knows when you’re ready to date again. Listen to your heart and gut, and don’t let anyone pressure you into dating before you’re ready.
If you want to ease your way back into the dating world, start by going on some dates with friends. This can help you get comfortable with the idea of dating again and help you decide if you’re ready to take the next step.
Tip 3: Ask yourself what you what to achieve by dating
What exactly do you want to achieve by dating? It would help if you asked yourself that question to be true to yourself and the person you’ll date.
Do you want to find someone to have a serious relationship with? Or are you just looking for someone to date casually?
Knowing what you want from the beginning can save you a lot of time and heartache in the long run. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, it’s essential to find someone who is on the same page as you.
Casual dating can be fun, but make sure you’re both on the same page about what you’re looking for. It’s essential to communicate your expectations to avoid any misunderstandings.
Tip 4: Don’t just settle for any date unless you like the person
Just because you’re a single mother doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards for dating. You’re just as entitled to date someone you find attractive and exciting.
Tip 5: Make sure you tell your date that you’re a single parent
It’s always best to be upfront about things. When you’re a single parent, dating can be complicated. You may feel like you have to hide your situation from potential partners, but it’s important to be upfront about it from the beginning.
Let your date know how many kids you have and their ages. This way, they can decide if they’re okay with dating a single parent from the start.
Tip 6: Take things slowly
For many single mothers, the thought of reentering the dating scene can be both exciting and daunting. After all, it’s been a while since you’ve gone on a date, and you may be rusty when it comes to the whole flirting thing.
But you know what? There’s no need to stress – taking things slow is the best way to ease yourself back into the dating pool.
Don’t let those fluttery feelings rush you into getting too intimate too soon.
Tip 7: Pay close attention to all the red flags
If you start to notice a lot of red flags, it’s time to end things. There’s no need to waste your time on someone who isn’t worth it.
As a single mum, here are the top 7 dating red flags you shouldn’t ignore:
- He doesn’t like children
- Speaks negatively about single parents
- Gets upset when you have to cancel a date or leave early because of your kids
- He’s needy and wants your attention all the time
- If he’s financially unstable and relies on you to support him or pay his bills
- Criticizes your postpartum body (It’s possible to feel confident in your postpartum body!)
- He has a short fuse and gets irritable at a whim
Tip 8: Communicate with your ex
Depending on your relationship with your ex, you might decide to let them know you’re dating or not.
You’re not at liberty to tell them if they ghosted you, for example, or they don’t actively participate in co-parenting.
However, if you have an amicable relationship with them, keeping them in the loop can be beneficial, especially if you need your ex to have the kids for an extra weekend so that you go for a date.
What if my ex doesn’t agree with me dating again?
I’d first want to know why they don’t want me to date. If it’s something that I can consider, then I would. But if they’re just being difficult because of some grudge or unresolved feelings, I’d ignore them.
Tip 9: Make time for yourself
It’s vital that you make time for yourself, especially if you’re just getting back into the dating scene. Dating can be time-consuming and emotionally draining.
You need to take care of yourself first and foremost. So, make sure you have some time each week to do something you enjoy, without having to worry about anything else.
Tip 10: Don’t compare your date to your child’s father
It’s unfair to do, and it’ll only lead to heartache down the road. You’re dating this person for a reason, not because they can replace your child’s father.
Tip 11: Take the time to get to know the person you’re dating
Don’t just rush into anything new. Dating is a process, so take your time and get to know the person you’re dating.
What are their likes and dislikes? What are their goals in life? These are all important things to know before getting too emotionally attached.
Do you guys have common goals? Do you share the same values? If not, it might be time to end things.
Tip 12: Protect your kids
Last but not least, your kids are a significant part of your life. And they will be affected by whoever you date, either negatively or positively.
So, even as you vet your dates, you need to ask yourself specific questions about how they’ll interact with your children.
Do they get along well? Do they have similar interests? Will this person be a positive role model for my kids? If the answer is no to any of these, it might be time to end things.
The last thing you would want is to introduce someone to your kids with a violent streak or drug addiction. If you know deep down that this person is not suitable to be around your children, you should end that relationship.
Tip 13: Don’t introduce your dates to your children unless it’s serious
Let’s picture something real quick. Assuming you go on 5 dates in a month, would you be okay introducing all 5 of them to your kid(s)?
Probably not, right?
Introducing your dates to your children early in the relationship is a sign of things to come. If you’re not serious about them, don’t introduce them. Please wait until you know that this person could actually be a part of your life long term before introducing them to the most important people in your life.
And when I say long-time, make sure he’s indicated and declared that he’s interested in being in a committed relationship as well.
Tip 14. Leave your kids with a trusted babysitter
As a single mum, you have to first take care of your kids before stepping out. Find a babysitter or family member that you trust to take care of your kids while you’re gone. This will help put your mind at ease to focus on enjoying your date.
And not just any random babysitter, but a familiar face in sync with your kids’ routines and who can handle any emergencies that may come up.
The last thing you’d want mid-date is a phone call from your babysitter asking where the kids’ pajamas’ are or asking you for tips on putting the kids to bed.
Dating Tips for a Single Mother: How to Navigate the Dating World
There you have it, sis. 14 fantastic tips to help you bounce back into the dating scene.
I know it can be daunting, but with the right mindset and some careful planning, you can absolutely succeed in the world of dating as a single mother.
Remember to have fun, take things slow, and put your kids first.
And if things don’t work out, don’t worry–there’s plenty of other fish in the sea. 🙂
Did you love this post? Check out other posts on our blog about navigating motherhood.
What’s your experience dating as a single parent? Leave a comment below and let us know!