There’s no question about it: dating is difficult. And this is perhaps even more true for those women who have other priorities that take up their time and resources—namely, children. Single moms often face a difficult time around dating due to a wide range of stereotypes that society has attributed to them.
But just because you have a child doesn’t mean you have to be a shut in! Single moms deserve love too, and just because things may take a little more maneuvering and planning to be successful, it doesn’t mean you should give up hope! Love is out there, you just have to keep putting yourself out there—as difficult as that can be at times.
In this article, we’ll go over some tips for dating when you’re a single mother and what to keep in mind when you’re trying to get back into the game after spending some time away.
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Dating can be an emotional rollercoaster for many, but being a single mother means dating comes with a new set of challenges.
If you’re a single mother and looking for some advice about how to handle the additional twists and turns that dating can throw your way, we have some tips to hopefully help you find some solid footing and gain some clarity around your romantic life.
Some things you may want to keep in mind as a newly single mother playing the dating game:
- Find A Balance
- Don’t Feel Guilty
- Be Upfront & Honest
In the following sections, we’ll talk about each of these tips a little more in depth.
Find A Balance
One of the most important tips we can give you for dating as a single mother is finding the balance between your motherly duties and the duty you have to yourself to find happiness and fulfillment.
A mother cannot be fully invested in her children if she doesn’t find some time for herself, and she cannot be fully invested in a partner without her children suffering and fearing that they’re losing her to an outside force.
That’s why it’s vital that you do your best to find the time to prioritize both aspects of your life, and the only way you can do that is by finding a balance between your dating life and your motherly one. It can be easy to get lost in one priority over the other, but that’s where strategic planning on your part can make a big difference.
Make Friday mommy’s date night, for example, and let your children know that on those evenings you’ll be stepping out for a bit, but will be home by the time they wake up in the morning. And in the same vein, let your partner know that Monday-Thursday nights are school nights and you need to be home and available for your kids during the week.
It can take some practice to strike just the right balance, but it’s definitely possible—and if you’re trying to date again, you owe it to yourself to at least try.
Don’t Feel Guilty
When you’re a parent, it can be easy to feel guilty for wanting to put priorities in place for yourself over wanting to always be available for your kids.
But you can’t get water from an empty well, and no one can be 100% available to others without sacrificing a lot of themselves, and that’s true whether you’re a single parent or not!
The fact is, kids also need to witness healthy relationship models while they’re growing up so they don’t internalize any kind of negativity around relationships and dating as they get older.
It may feel noble at the time to sacrifice everything for your kids, but at the end of the day you have to realize you’re doing everyone a disservice by always putting your needs on the back burner.
So: don’t feel guilty about wanting to date and have a life of your own! You’re more than just a mother, you’re a person with her own wants, needs, and desires—and you should do all you can to honor that.
Be Upfront & Honest
This tip is as true for your children as it is for the people you start seeing! Honesty is always the best policy, and being honest upfront can save you a lot of stress and anxiety.
Children are curious and observant by nature, and they’re likely to notice when their mom is acting differently or secretly. But there’s no reason to hide that you’ve started seeing someone from your kids!
If you’re getting to a point with someone special relationship-wise, you can even use it as a learning opportunity for your kids to talk about your partner and what you love about them, and how they make you feel inside.
Kids want to see their parents happy and secure, and as long as they know they still have the top spot in your heart, they can be very understanding.
Of course, you know your kids best and how they relate to their other parent (if they’re still in the picture) as well as your own circumstances better than anyone else, so you’ll know when the timing is right.
On the flip side, it’s also important that you’re honest and upfront with your partner about your situation as well, and don’t worry about a love interest running away at the first sign that you’re a mom.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to get attached to someone who may not want or like kids. While your dating pool may look smaller now, there’s no doubt the quality of men in that pool is significantly higher.
At the end of the day, you should never feel bad about wanting to pursue your own life outside of being a mother—and for many, that means getting back into the dating arena.
While you may experience a new set of challenges than you did before you had children, and things may be more difficult at times, it’s by no means impossible as long as you keep a steady head, find a good balance, and are upfront and honest with everyone about your intentions.