12 Brutally Honest Rules for Dating a Single Mom

Wendy Robinson | Jan 7, 2016 Love & Sex
12 Brutally Honest Rules for Dating a Single Mom
Image: iStock.com/ PeopleImages

mom son in lap
iStock.com/ PeopleImages

There are approximately 10 million single moms in the United States, which means that the odds are pretty good that at least some of them are looking for love. Not all of them, of course, but the ones who are often have some hard and fast rules for dating that are a little different than from before they had kids. And they have to be! We chatted with single moms who were willing to let us know the deal when it comes to dating as a single parent.

More from CafeMom: 10 Unapologetic Truths Single Moms Wish Everyone Knew

If dating as a single person can be a messy combination of fun and frustrating, dating as a single mom poses its own unique challenges. From figuring out if a guy is into kids, how to talk to children about dating, and knowing when to date after a divorce -- there are so many tricky ins-and-outs of dating while a parent. We asked some brutally honest single moms to tell us the truth about what they want prospective dates to know before they try to get together with them. From rules about sleepovers, body shaming, and meeting the kid, they didn't hold anything back. Take a look at the rules that these moms came up with -- TBH, they make a whole lot of sense to us! 

More from CafeMom: 12 Quotes to Inspire Single Moms on Their Hardest Days

dating a single mom

  • Second Fiddle


    iStock.com/ Ten03

    "Anyone who wants to date me needs to know that he is always going to be my second, maybe third, priority. My kids come first, and my job is a close second since I have to support my kids. I want to be in a relationship, but not if it messes things up for my kids." -- Ashley R., Lawrence, Kansas

  • No Sex Rule


    "I don't care how romantic our date was, you are NOT getting invited home. I don't have sex with someone who I'm not married or engaged to under the same roof as my kid. Period. I don't want her to be hearing or seeing anything she shouldn't." -- Becky T., Tucson, Arizona

  • Meeting My Son


    "My kid is pretty great, but you don't get to meet him unless you are around for the long haul. If you ask to meet him and I say 'no', that means I'm not sure about you yet." -- Latrice P., Rochester, Minnesota

    More from The Stir: 10 Tips for Dating a Single Mom

  • Ex Factor


    "If you are the type to get jealous that I'm still friendly with an ex, don't waste your time with me. My ex is my kid's dad and we'll always be in contact, so you had better be able to handle that." -- Marianna C., Stillwater, Oklahoma

  • The Planner


    "My last boyfriend complained that I wasn't spontaneous enough. News flash: I have a 2-year-old! I can't run off for a long weekend trip at the drop of a hat. Deal with it." -- Laura N., Tucson, Arizona

  • It Works or It Doesn't


    "I think the biggest difference between dating before I had a kid and dating now is that I have no patience for drama or game playing. I used to spend months wondering if someone was right for me and playing all the games. Now I just don't have the time or energy for that. It is either working or not. If it isn't working, I'm quicker to pull the plug now than I was before." -- Patti S., Austin, Texas

  • Baby Daddy


    "Believe it or not, I'm not looking for a father for my kid. I'm looking for a partner for me. If we work, then we can talk about whether you'll be a part of my kid's life. Don't just assume I'm dying for someone to be a father figure. He has a dad and it isn't you." -- Annie E., Des Moines, Iowa

    More from The Stir: 13 'Single Mom' Stereotypes That Sound Like Something Out of 'Mad Men'

  • Baby Body


    "I've had a baby and I have the stretch marks and soft tummy to prove it! Don't date me if you are expecting me to either have a perfect body or to apologize for the body I have. I made a person! I can live with the fact that my boobs aren't perky anymore." -- Vanessa L., Ames, Iowa

  • Don't Be Needy


    iStock.com/ Eva Katalin Kondoros

    "A guy who is going to date a single mom can't be needy. Don't expect to always have me answer every call or text. I'm juggling tons of stuff and trying to date too. I'm doing the best I can." -- Sheila D., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Be Really Single


    "Please be all the way divorced or out of your prior relationship before you call me, especially if you also have kids. I don't need drama! Dating with kids involved is hard enough without having fresh divorce issues to deal with." -- Kelli J., Miami, Florida

  • No Time for Flakes


    "I have a two-strike rule for last-minute cancellations. Getting a babysitter is work and expensive! I can't handle flakes at this stage of my life. I already have too many plates spinning." -- Regina E., Casper, Wyoming

  • Kid Friendly


    "This should be obvious, but don't date me if you don't like kids. Ideally, if this goes well, you'd be in my kid's life on some level, so even if you think I'm great, don't ask me out if you aren't okay with the thought of sharing your life with a kid someday." -- Britta B., Minneapolis, Minnesota

single moms dating mom dating love

More Slideshows