10 Tips for Dating a Single Mom

I recently went on my first date since my marriage ended last spring. It was also my first official date since I was 18 -- over a dozen years ago. Dating at almost 31, as it turns out, is much different than dating as teenager. You’re shocked, I know.

It was a blind date, and the guy was nice and all, but I probably won’t go on a second date with him. No particular reason -- he was cute (very pretty eyes), established in his career (lawyer), and we shared similar backgrounds (turns out we both went to the same small private university) -- but there wasn’t really anything there that made me feel like I couldn’t wait to see him again.

Regardless, the whole experience got me thinking about what kinds of things might knock my socks off on a first date enough to get me to agree to a second. I’m a heckuva lot pickier this time around, because it’s not just me anymore. I have kids now, and even though a first date is a long way from introducing a potential stepdad, there are certain things I’m looking for now to avoid a potential disaster down the road.

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

Maybe I’m being persnickety, but hey, I’m a single, working mom -- I’d rather curl up with boxed white wine and a novel than go on a second date I’m not excited about.

Here are 10 tips if you’re trying to impress a single mom on the first date.

Disclaimer: My date committed some, all, or none of these. One or two he aced.

Tip well: I’m dying to see how well you take care of the people that take care of you. Along these lines -- be nice to the waitstaff.

Don’t ask about my ex: I was married. Now I’m not. That’s all the information you need to know right now.

And never defend him: If we stumble into a conversation about my ex, please know that I will speak civilly about him, because he’s the father of my children, and also I’m trying to impress you. You don’t have to say he’s a jerk, but don’t question what happened in my marriage.

Do ask me questions about my kids: They are awesome kids. I promise not to gush about them all night so long as you express some interest in what they’re like and laugh appropriately at my funny kid stories.

Don’t ask when you can meet them: You can meet them the fifth of never if you’re overly eager to insert yourself into their lives -- for any reason.

Do ask to see pictures of my kids: OK, I get that some moms may not like this, so if you don’t want to ask, at least respond enthusiastically if I offer to show you.

Enjoy your work: Sure everyone has crap days at the office, but if you’re constantly stressed, you’re going to stress me out too.

Act interested in what I do too: I love my job! Love love love it. And I’m not just saying that because my boss is likely reading this. I basically get to journal in public. Plus after years of being a stay-at-home mom and working freelance jobs here and there, I’m really proud of my full-timey job that I love and would seriously enjoy the opportunity to brag about it a little.

Don’t expect sex on the first date: I’m a mom. I know where babies come from. The end.

Be yourself: This one is clichéd, I know, but it’s super important. Because if I like the fake you, I’m going to see through you eventually, and if I don’t like the person you’re pretending to be because you think that’s more attractive, then I might not agree to go out with you again. Didja follow that? Bottom-line: Just be real and keep it real. I’m a single mom. I’m pretty unflappable at this point.

Have you ever dated a single parent? Dated as a single parent? Any advice?


Image via skyler817/Flickr

dating, dating mom, romance tip, single moms, turn-ons


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MomoL... MomoLopez

you sound a bit bitter and not ready to date

nonmember avatar Reality

Smart men with other options know better than to date single mothers.

the4m... the4mutts

Idk... when I was dating a single dad, when I was a single mom, I would not have wanted to spend any of the first date talking about kids beyond number of kids, ages, and how often you see them/if they live with you. First dates should be about the 2 adults involved, not about children. After all, why share personal stories with someone you might never see again?

Beyond that, I say be yourself, focus on fun more than fancy, be polite, and see where it goes.

the4m... the4mutts

Oh, and if you answer that god damned cell phone, one of your kids better be broken or something. If you're talking to parents, friends, or even just chatting with your kids to say goodnight, I will not date you again. If I can get out, leave my kids with a sitter, and try to focus on the date, I expect the same in return. A first date with me wouldnt last more than 3 hours. If you cant get your life situated enough to enjoy dinner and drinks, you're too chaotic.

nonmember avatar Trent Max

Rule number one: Do not date single mothers.

End of list of rules.

nonmember avatar JMO

Lose the princess mentality and maybe you'll be able to expand your dating pool.Otherwise just get a dildo.

nonmember avatar Single Man

Have to think you have some really great things to offer, or have otherwise misjudged your current status in the social world.

Why would any perfect single unmarried man want to even date a single mom with ready made baggage and a litany of rules?

nonmember avatar No one

Most of these rules could be applied to any woman (or man for that matter), not just a single mom.

nonmember avatar DAG

In response to nonmember comments above: Children are not necessarily "baggage," and might be a bonus depending on the guy's relationship with the kids. The kids do present an additional challenge, however, since there are more relationships that need to work for there to be a fit.

nonmember avatar DAG

If you're recently divorced or separated and the guy is really interested in you, then your date will want to know about your recent divorce or separation, in addition to knowing about your job and kids. If you're Jenny Erikson, then you should hope that your date wants to hear from you on the subject rather than listening to the "manosphere."

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