8 Surprising Things About Dating as a Single Mom

datingCan I tell you a happy dating story? I feel like we hear a lot of dating horror stories. And believe me, there's a couple reasons for that. First of all, they're more entertaining. Secondly, we share those stories as cautionary tales to warn each other of the dangers and douche bags -- helpful especially to us single moms who are dating after years of being off the shelf. When I started dating again after 16 (zoiks!) years of marriage I felt prepared for every worst-case scenario a guy could possibly throw at me. What I wasn't prepared for was for so much to go ... right.

1. People still go on dates. You know, date dates? Maybe Millennials have given up on the ancient practice, but adults my age are still doing real dates. I've gone to dinner, to the movies, to plays, to the opera. What I'm not doing: "Hanging" with a group of single friends and hoping to hook up with someone by the end of the night.

2. Guys are still picking up the check. However you feel about it, that is still happening as well. I mean, if you insist, you can go dutch or cover the check yourself. But I've been surprised to find guys diving for that check at the end of the night. And considering what I'm paying in babysitting, it's usually just fine with me.

3. Childless guys will happily date moms. Here I thought it would be only single dads who'd want to date me. But nope -- I've dated just as many never-married guys with no kids. Smart men will look at you as a whole, multifaceted person, not just through the lens of one role. Some guys may even admire you more for being a parent.

4. Childless guys aren't necessarily immature narcissists. Shocking but true. There are childless men who are capable of understanding all the demands you're juggling as a single mom. They respect you for your juggling act, and they'll be flexible and understanding. Of course, the reverse is also true: Being a dad doesn't necessarily mean you've got your shit together or that you're over yourself.

5. Not all men my age want to date someone 10 years younger. Really. I promise.

6. Many guys know how to service a woman properly. Without going into too much detail ... There are men out there who consider it a duty and a pleasure to rock your world sexually. No need to waste your time with someone who doesn't. (It helps if you send out the right signals that that's something you want, though.)

7. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean guys won’t still find you hot. Figure out what you think makes you sexy and work it, baby.

8. Your kid just might be okay with you dating. A lot depends on how you handle the situation, and how old your kids are. But I think in general, if all else is good with your relationship with your kids, and you've done the hard work of processing the divorce with them, they will accept the idea of you socializing with men who are not Daddy. If you're happy, they're happy (usually). Obviously boundaries and communication are important, but don't assume your kids will be threatened by your going out on dates.

Calling all single moms, have you found these to be true?


Image via Hiya Images/Corbis

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Brynl... Brynleysmom

While I was with my sons father he drilled it in my head that no guy would want me because I have a child. I left him and guess what? That was far from the truth. I have found someone who not only treats my son like his own, but is a better "father" than his own dad. Dating as a single mom isn't as scary as some people think.

Kat Hudson

My daughter's father dumped me and started dating (and then living with) a new woman when I was five months' pregnant. I put off dating for three years.

I recently broke off things with the guy I was seeing. He was nice enough, but I realized that I need to find someone closer to my intellectual type and also closer in age (this guy was 15 years younger--I'm 44).

You can meet nice guys with good intentions, even as a single mom. I do believe that you should take your time, though, and be as choosy as you wish without apologies. If the timing feels off, just wait. If the guy doesn't seem right for you, gently break away.

tbruc... tbrucemom

As a once single mom, now remarried, I agree with everything in this article. The only thing I'll add is it was easier for me because my daughter was older, 14, and my son was already an adult.  I don't know if I could have done it if they were little. I think I'd be too tired, lol.  I also wouldn't introduce anyone to kids until you think there's a possibilty of something serious and I wouldn't let any boyfriends spend the night while my kids are there unless they were very serious.

Felip... FelipesMom

Every one of these is true! I will add one more: dating can be FUN! :o)

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