Dating a Woman with Kids: Our Top Tips for Dating a Single Mom – Everything You Need to Know Table of Contents Challenges of Dating a Single Mom Benefits of Dating a Single Mom How to Date a Single Mom –Tips & Rules You Should Remember Questions to Ask When Dating a Single Mom Final Thoughts–What Single Moms Look for in a Man In many ways, dating a woman with kids isn’t all too different from dating someone who has no children. The love is there; the attraction is there; the flirting, lovely dates, and long conversations over a glass of wine are all a part of the package. So what’s different? For one, children are in the picture. The experience of dating someone with kids can be scary and challenging, as well as fulfilling and exciting. You might feel worried or afraid when thinking about all the things that come with the relationship, which is why we’re here to help. In a country where 80% of single-parent families are headed by single mothers, it’s not uncommon to date a woman with a child. So how do you date a woman with kids? What are the tips and rules for dating a single mom, what challenges should you prepare for, and what questions should you ask in the first place? Here’s the guide on how to date a single mom. Challenges of Dating a Single Mom Let’s kick it off with the most difficult part: What are all the possible challenges you might encounter when dating a woman with kids? You’re Not Her Number One Priority Dating single mothers means you won’t ever be their number one priority. That spot is already taken, and we respect that. You might have a romantic date planned, and the child has a fever. You’ll have to reschedule. Or if you’re planning a trip for just the two of you, you’ll need to plan ahead for a babysitter. Make sure you’re prepared to come second in plenty of situations. There might be a lot of rescheduled plans or unexpected incidents that change the game, but of course the benefits outweigh the difficulties when it comes to being in a relationship with a woman with children. Her Ex Might Be in the Picture There are many reasons why some women end up as single mothers, and divorce is definitely one of them. Dating a divorced woman with kids has its own caveats. While some single moms have an amicable relationship with their children’s father, divorces don’t always end on a good note. When you date someone with kids, you’ve got to be prepared to deal with their ex at some point or another, and it might not always be comfortable. Here’s a pro tip: Always ask your partner how they want to handle the situation. Their relationship with their ex goes far into the past, and there may be things you don’t completely understand. Try to stay away from their business if you can, especially if that’s what your partner wants. Sometimes, actively engaging in the situation might make things worse. Her Child May Not Be Your Biggest Fan It can be incredibly hard for children to watch their parents separate and then stand by as their caretakers fall for someone new. What’s more, many kids are used to living with their moms only, and can feel protective of their parent. The reason is simple enough: They don’t want to lose their mom. Having a new person in the picture might make them feel insecure and possessive. Give the child time and space; as long as you’re loving to their parent, they’ll often ultimately come around to you. It Can Be Hard to Become a Parental Figure While it always depends on how involved your partner wants you to be, you might have to step into a parental role after some time has passed by and you’ve become more involved in each other’s lives. Single moms dating childless men obviously have concerns: Will you be a good parent as well as a partner? Will you get along with her children? Are your parenting styles compatible? If you’ve never had a child of your own, the transition to becoming a stepparent can be hard, especially since you weren’t there from the very beginning. Parenthood isn’t only about having an extra mouth to feed; it’s a complete lifestyle change. As long as you and your partner establish clear boundaries and agree on the way you parent—and both get along with your partner’s children—you should be fine. There will always be challenges along the way, but a healthy relationship with your partner and their children is a great foundation to build upon. Benefits of Dating a Single Mom Let’s lighten the mood, shall we? Don’t forget the benefits of dating a single mom. She’s a Strong and Independent Woman She will do just fine, no matter if you’re there to help her out or not. Being a single mother has taught her patience, resilience, multitasking, and an incredible amount of independence. If you love strong women, falling for a woman with a child might be right up your alley. Single mothers know what they want and what they need. They’ve got their priorities sorted. She Appreciates the Small Things Single moms have so much going on every day—taking care of the kids, making sure the house isn’t on fire, working long hours to put food on the table. It’s a lot. Does the trash need taking out? Has she run out of milk? Would she like a cup of tea after a long shift? What about a foot massage? Helping out with the small things in life and taking care of her is an easy way to brighten up her day. Always a plus! Her Parenting Style Is on Display One of the challenges of dating is not being able to gauge how your partner will act in a few years. This is especially true when it comes to children. What kind of a parent will they be? Will your parenting styles match? You don’t have to worry about any of this when you start dating a woman with kids. All of her rules, habits, and attitudes about parenting are on display. You’ll know how she treats her children and the ways in which she shows love. How to Date a Single Mom –Tips & Rules You Should Remember Now that you know what you should be prepared for, and some of the great things you can gain from dating a single mom, how can you be the best possible partner? What’s the best advice for dating a single mom? It’s complex. Everyone is unique, so every single rule doesn’t apply to every single mother, but these are a good place to start: Don’t Rush into Things Here’s one of the best pieces of advice for guys dating single moms: Let her be in charge of when to define the relationship. Don’t rush into getting to know her kids unless that’s what she wants, and don’t get too serious too soon. Just chill for a second. You can show her how serious you are about her without putting too much pressure on her. Be an Active Listener While it may be tempting to fix her problems for her, sometimes it’s best to offer a shoulder to lean on and a lot of emotional support. Active listening is a skill that can help you a lot when dating a woman with kids. To quoteDianne Grande Ph.D., a clinical psychologist: “Active listening is a way of listening that involves full attention to what is being said for the primary purpose of understanding the speaker.” Some of her advice includes the following tips: Don’t interrupt before they finish speaking. Show how attentive you are. Maintain eye contact, lean in, demonstrate you’re present in the situation, and focus solely on the speaker. Ask questions to try to better understand their position. Show You’re Reliable and Trustworthy No matter why your partner has become a sole primary caretaker, chances are there was some disappointment and hurt in the past. The woman you’re dating may have trust issues and may be hesitant to rely on you. Don’t date single moms if you can’t keep your word. Try to be as reliable as possible, even when it comes to things that don’t matter at first glance—doing the dishes when you said you’d do them or remembering to pick up that box of cereal at the store. Be Genuinely Interested in Her Family Instead of trying to parent her children from the get-go, why not approach them as a friend? Kids can tell when you’re showing a genuine interest in them and when you’re just trying to stay in their good books. If you’ve been introduced to your partner’s children, make sure to actively listen to them, ask them questions, and get curious about their hobbies. The same goes for the rest of her family. Inquire about what they love doing, how they view life, and what’s meaningful to them. Flexibility Is Your Friend Among all the tips for dating a single mom, flexibility is a big one. As lovely as children are, they can definitely lead to a change in plans. A sudden fever, a disaster at school, the babysitter canceling — there are many ways things can go off schedule, and as annoying as this can be, it’s your job to keep your cool. Single moms have so much on their plate already, they definitely don’t need to deal with a partner who constantly complains on top of everything else. If you want to date a woman with kids, make sure you can easily adapt to a change of plans and be okay with it. Life happens. Rescheduling is always an option, after all. Questions to Ask When Dating a Single Mom Before you decide to date someone with kids, it’s important to know whether you’re ready for what’s to come. “Should I date a single mom?” might not be the only question you have to ask yourself. Dating a man with kids or dating a woman with kids both come with serious things to consider, no matter what gender or orientation you are (see our article on lesbian dating advice, for example): Are you ready to step into a parental role if needed? Are you prepared for that responsibility? Are your feelings genuine and serious? Are you ready to commit? Do you want kids of your own one day? If so, is your partner open to having more children? Are your parenting methods compatible? How involved does your partner want you to be? Are you okay with that? Final Thoughts – What Single Moms Look for in a Man You’re now aware of the challenges of dating a single mom, you’ve learned about the benefits and tips, and you’ve asked yourself all the vital questions. What’s left to learn? Well, the most important thing at the end of the day is this: Are you ready to be the partner of a single parent? Single parent dating involves a lot of caution because there’s so much more at stake. When single moms date, they’re almost always looking for a partner who’s responsible, reliable, trustworthy, kind, flexible, and who has genuine love for them and their kids. However, women are individual beings with individual needs, and so this guide only takes you so far. The next step is to ask her yourself. Ask what she’s looking for, what she wants, what path she’d like to choose for this relationship. Respect her wishes, and if your needs differ too much, don’t push it. If you do end up taking the relationship further, you’ve got yourself a great deal. Single moms are independent, strong, and caring.