Single Mom Dating Tips, Part 2

by mssinglemama on February 16, 2008

notorious_l.jpgSome more tips in addition to my first post: Single Mom Dating Tips

Dating a single mom can scare the crap out of men.

As Jeff Mac ( put it when writing about dating a single mom, “just typing about it, here, alone in my apartment, I just peed a little.”

Okay so men may be scared when faced with the prospect of dating a single mom. This is the worst and best part about being a dating single mama.

Bad because it is a pain in the ass.

Good because it scares off the jerks.

No worries. Once you break down that firewall and show them that you’re just like every other woman – they won’t be as scared. However…

You can and very likely will get burned. So be prepared.

Just like any other single dating woman, there’s a good chance you’ll get burned. But because you have a child the pain is more palpable and often accompanied by temporary feelings of guilt, stupidity and hopelessness. The good news is – you will get over it – I promise. Why? Because you’ve got a kid and very little time to wallow. There are ways to keep the burn to a minimum. Which leads me to…

Love is blind.

When a man falls in love with a single mom the initial love butterflies, overwhelming lust and passion cloud the reality of the situation – that you have a child. So…the burning question – will he survive your reality? Unfortunately we have to wait and find out. All we can do is use our best judgement by listening to our gut. And we have to give ourselves and our men a fair shot at surviving that inevitable reality check. How? We have to stay in control.

  • At the beginning. resist the temptation to see him too often … keep your dates to a minimum.
  • This will also help you keep your emotions in check. Seeing him infrequently will give you plenty of space to see the situation clearly and determine whether or not this is a true connection or just a sexual connection. Love or lust? Hmmm…tricky, tricky.
  • When things do get more serious and you decide to introduce him to the kids, once again keep the visits to a minimum.
  • Want some motivation to maintain self-control? Your pain is your child’s pain. We will never be able to fully protect them but we can do our best to prevent it.

Don’t Call Him Too Much.

I’m the worst at this. The worst. I always, always call men too often. I went out on a blind date last summer. I thought he really liked me we’d talked all night and even kissed each other good night (quite a passionate bit of kissing actually). He called me the next day but I missed the call. I returned his call and got voicemail. Days went by and he still hadn’t called me back. So I called him again…and again…and again. This is when I realized I had totally lost my “game.” I’m embarrassed even writing about it.

He eventually e-mailed me to tell me he had a personal relationship with God. That I had tempted him and that God didn’t like that very much. Too bad because he was hot as hell. The moral of the story is – let it go. He may be too busy talking on the phone to God … or his mother … or his ex-girlfriend. Either way – try not to waste your time worrying about it and delete his number from your phone immediately.

Becoming a single mom is a shock and so is dating. You get used to both.

During my first year as a single mom I was obsessed with finding someone. I would moan and groan (in my head and out loud) about the long days and the never ending loneliness. Maybe it just took time…but now – I’m used to it. It’s like a miracle. I’m free from that mental prison. Maybe it’s just because it’s been so long now – but I think this is true for any human being adapting to a new lifestyle or culture – eventually you assimilate or “get used to it.” I have also gotten used to dating…working men into my delicate life balance. I have learned how to manage dating just like I do my job, my finances or my household. Very nice.

Do you have any dating tips? Does any of this ring true? Do you have any dating stories to share?

Photo credit: Notorious, Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant (my favorites!)

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn February 16, 2008 at 9:07 pm

I learned recently that a man only THINKS he likes a single mom..until he meets a toddler. I went out with a guy that was great. We both had a wonderful time. The days that followed when we spoke, he talked about how great of a time. He asked me the question of “So are we dating now?”…and how this wonderous occassion turned when he finally met my little tot. In a 24 hour period after he meeting her…suddenly I wasnt “the one”. Ummm..I think he realized and remembered what it was like to have a 2 year old around. I guess that is when I learned to keep my feelings in check until we get to the point that he meets my daughter.


mssinglemama February 16, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Yep…unfortunately it’s a necessity. And soooo hard to do. But I think we can all hone this skill by keeping a cool head. You know?


Gayle February 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Guess I wasn’t connecting with your article this time. I’m wondering if the single men you’re referencing are generally single men who have never had children? That would make more sense to me.

I guess I’ve been dating single/divorced men who already have kids of all ages. I have a toddler and not 1 guy has blinked an eye…they’ve been there & done that so no freak-outs to deal with. I will also say that I’ve never introduced my daughter to a date/special friend yet…so if the shellshock were to occur after meeting my kid…I haven’t taken it that far yet.


mssinglemama February 17, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Nice point Gayle – I should put that clause on my web site – that I’ve only dated one single dad and it was very brief. I’m also 28 … divorced men and single dads are scarce in my age range.

And these are just my rules…guess I feel obligated to share what I’ve learned. So you could save them if a single, childess guy ever catches your eye. : )


Andrea February 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

ms single mama, i relate to that last comment, i am 24 and in the same boat: not many guys have already been divorced at this age.

i have zero dating tips (HA! just the thought…) i just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. i call too much too. groan.


mssinglemama February 18, 2008 at 12:05 am

Hi Andrea! Yeah…it’s like this thing I can’t control. I just dial and then two minutes later when they don’t answer or send me to voicemail I’m like – WHY? WHY in the hell did I just do that? Yep…sucks. That’s why I recommend deleting the # during strong moments. I did that once. Then two weeks later he texted me “do you want to talk and try again.”

I had deleted his number but I recognized the area code so I texted back: “Who is this?” Hilarious. By then I was already over him.


janie July 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm

I do that too! Delete…..and sometimes you may be suprised:)


Brazen1 July 30, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I’ve been dating a guy for three weeks, and he’s already talking about marriage! I was very upfront in the beginning by explaining to him that I will not talk to him everyday, nor, was I gonna rush into anything. He constantly calls and text me. This morning he sent me a text at 5:35a!!! ARGGGH.

He’s gonna get tha boot!


christofts March 2, 2009 at 4:22 am

Hi, I am a 27 year old single mother, and have met this lovely hot guy 6 months older then me. We met at a sporting event and have been texting and e-mailing ever since. Now I don't know how to tell him I have a 4 year old. I am pretty sure he will freak out.! Im very nervous as he is so nice. Is there any gentle way?


Freespirit21a March 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm

I think that the best way is to tell him that you have a very personal and special thing to share with him but you wanted to wait until the moment was right. Hopefully he is open and understanding, and then you can proceed to tell him about your young one and how it was important for you to "test the waters" before you let him in on a more personal aspect of your life. Check it out and see what happens…if he freaks that is his loss and he doesn't deserve to know you or your 4yr old. I wish you all the best.

My personal advise to anyone meeting someone new, is to tell them upfront, that way they know what they are getting in to right away.


lisa June 15, 2009 at 8:00 am

I am a a single mom, and being one has made me think of my own mom who was a single mom. One thing she did whe she dated was not include my sister and I in her relationships. She dated one man for 12 years and looking back we never coonected as one unit – family. He lived with us, but I can not remember having a conversation about him coming to live with us, nor a conversation about him moving out. I guess what I am trying to say is that for me, i want to date and acutually marry, but my relationship with my mate will have to naturally include my son….


Sara August 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I have been dating a man since my daughter was six months old, she will be starting JK in 3 weeks. BF loves us both very much, we spend alot of time with his extended family, he is a very ambitious hard working man that comes from a solid christian home. However, after 4 years in this relationship he still shies away from talk of marriage, children or a mortgage. he has adapted and grown ALOT in the past 4 years to fit into our lives but I still feel like there’s something lacking.

Do I give him an ultimatum? wait it out? bail?


jules August 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I have been a single mom for 6yrs now, and during those 6yrs i had a 1 yr relationship, that ended very badly. I have been very cautious in letting anyone come close to me. But recently met a man who has full custody of his 9yrs old daughter. Things are going great..we speak everyday and text in the morning..he understand my situation, we only see each other once a week…and i already feel connected to him but a part of me is scared and is worry about where this is going..It so hard doing it on my own especially now that i just turned 34 and want someone to be there for me…my daughter on the other hand doesn’t want to hear the word that mom has a boyfriend..she said we are fine just the two of us…my daughter has never had a father figure and this man he is so great with his advice is don’t lock yourself away from the carefully and be ready to let go..if it doesn’t work out..


melissa October 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I have been a single mom for a year and a half. I started to online date about 6 months ago. I realize alot of guys say they dont care about you having kids till it comes down to the relality of it. Then on top of the getting burned so many times im very weary of men, but about 2 and a half months ago i started to talk to this guy. We talk for 2 months then meet for the first time 2 weeks ago, we have really hit it off, im scared to trust again, and im afraid to get serious, he seems extremely excited about meet my kids sometime. any advice?


shannon September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Be wary of online dating & online predators towards your kids. Any man showing overly excited enthusiasm, or even who shows none at all, watch both very carefully. Watch how they watch your kids (if they meet them) & NEVER leave them alone with your kids ever until you are married to them & know them extremely well. There are many predators online. I tried online dating as well & met some men whose motivation in knowing me was questionable. Others are very attracted to me and actually want to take me away from my daughter & they are possessive over my time, i.e., inviting me to Cancun but asking me to get my parents to take my daughter.
**So, there are extremes on both sides, but be careful & wary. Error on the side of being overly protective.


Val October 21, 2009 at 10:27 am

To Melissa……… Just have to say…with dating any man esp. in the beginning, be very careful and watchful regarding him wanting to meet your kids to soon. There are a lot of freaks out there and like to prey on a single mom’s loneliness and vulnerability . Above all, TRUST your gut instincts!

I dated a man for a few months, he came to pick me up for a date (asked to use the washroom) and after a time when he didn’t come back from the washroom, I tipped toed up the stairs only to find him in my daughter’s bedroom going through her panty drawer!! A few weeks later I received a phone call from the police, he had been arrested for possession of child pornography, photos and on his personal computer and they had gotten my name from his email list.

So just be very watchful, observant and trust how you’re feeling!


Cherron January 2, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Val makes a good point. I’m 24 and the single mom to two girls. So my biggest problem with dating is trusting the men. I’m borderline paranoid when it comes to my kids.

Oh, and I definitely call too much. Its like a drug talking to another adult about adult things.


Britt8706 January 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Hi Yall. I have been a single mom since my daughter was born it feels like i was married but he was to high and drunk to care. We been separated for 1 yr and 3 mo. He wont sign the papers. anyways. At the time i met my now bf i was working at a bar. Him and his roomate where regulars i loved serving them cause they werent creepy and tipped well and listen to my problems. So by the time my bf asked me out he knew i was techanly married altho my husband live 2,000 miles away he knew i was a single mom. And still asked me out. We took things slow told him up front he would not meet my daughter for at least 3 mo and she is first in my life then work.
He got up at 6 to go to work and i was getting off at 3 he would stay up just to talk to me. After 2 mo he asked if i would wanted a dayjob the company he works for is hiring! i said sure I am a field clerk now he a project engineer. At 3 months i said i am ready for you to meet Haylee she was 15 months old he was great w her they still on interacted once or twice a month for the next 4 months.
o and ps i was living w my inlaws for the 1st 4 mo.
He started regaulary coming over twice a week hung out w me saw how i was w haylee helped out when he could. its been 10 mo now and last night she woke up cause of a loud noise he went and got her and rubber her back till she feel asleep.
This Man has put up w so much from cancelled dates cause Haylee was sick or no sitter to me taking her to see her dad and trusting me to stay there. He has been amazing. I feel so lucky. Altho he not ready for marriage yet he 27 he knows i want to have another kid and be married at 25. I dont want kids after 25 and i told him you know what i want you dont think you can give it to then let me know now. I also have trust issue from my past marriage he cheated on me all the time w my friends. So i looked thro my bf cell last week found somethink that i didnt think was respectful not him but a girl from his home town was calling him babe and saying i miss you so on… i told he i looked tho ur text i saw this i dont like this its is not respecting our relationship nor me and i will not put up w it. He said i am sorry i didnt know you would take offence to that i am not cheating on you i am so sorry i hurt you. And hugged me a long w the fact he never got mad for me invading his privacy. That to be show maturity. We get along great never yell at eachother always have fun. And some guys dont say there feeling they do lil things just like being there when u need someone to fix ur heater or ucar dies and u need someone to pick up you daughter.
I say all of this to say there are great guys out there who will love you for you and your kid. And just like my bf when he decibes me one of the 1st things he says is she the best mom!


Nerlande August 20, 2010 at 1:08 am

Hi I read part 1 & 2 and I got to say this scares me just a little. I have a 6 month old and I’m going on my first date since me and the father of my child split up over a year ago(yup a year ago…didn’t want a child right now so we broke when I found out I was pregnant) So I been a single mom since my pregnancy…But anyways…I’m going on a date so I decided to google advice for a single mom and dating…I came across this site and I sort of want to cancel my date now lol…I don’t know maybe I should just stay single for the rest of my life and focus on taking care of my daughter and giving her the best life ever. I don’t know…Just tired of the crap with men….No but seriously this is keeping it real so I guess I needed to see. Thanks for the tips!!!


Suga V January 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Hi, I have been a single mom ever since I got pregnant with my son 10 years ago. All I can say is I never intended it that way but the more you “force” a relationship the worse it gets. So I try not to look at the desperate aspect as time flies. However keeping myself “rare” was probably the most successful strategy so far. Being “rare” surrounds you with that air of mystery and tickles a man´s hunter´s instinct. Meanwhile you have enough time to figure out a successful “win – him- over” – strategy as you get to know him more little by little. Good luck and don t give up!


Jamie June 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I’m a single mom, of a 10 year old. I’ve been a single mother his whole life. I’ve been dating my bf for almost 6 years now. We own a house together and have made a pretty good life for ourselves. The only problem is the way my son and my bf get along. My son has been raised by women. He’s slighty sensitive and doesnt respond well to being criticized by a man. My bf doesnt understand and thinks that I baby him….maybe I do. I dont know. My bf and I have been in a little bit of a rut here latley and one of the things that needs to change is the relationship he has with my son. I’m not sure what to do with these 2. My son will not let me have any alone time with my bf, so that is causing tension also. Has anybody else ever had this problem? I found this blog by googling single parent relationships…… I am desperate at this point.


Dezirae April 12, 2012 at 1:39 am

when i became a single mother i said i wouldn’t want to date. even now i cant really see , myself dating. for me isn’t dating trying to “complete yourself”, for a lack of better words. Don’t get me wrong i think now i would talk to guys, but i find myself just shutting down before it even starts. I look at my situation and think why would any man want to deal with all the craziness in his life then come into mine and deal with my hetic crazy life style?


MeMe June 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hey guys im in a bind here… See ive been a single mom since my little fella was two.. hes now 7. I havent dated or had any kinda of even sexual relationship since his father. I met this guy at work and we got to chatting back and fourth but prevously to this his father whom i also work with tried to hook us up.. But i refused being that i always push feeling for anyone away to help protect my child. A few months ago 2 to be excate we decided to “hang” out and along with mutal friends we did.. i have this wall built up and im soo scared to knock it down. Hes known about my son right from the start and i told him i wasnt ready for him to meet him… However after a few weeks we agreed it would be ok for them to meet and they did. My little fella thinks the world of him but i am soo scared see what is happening is he lives a little distance away so we only see each other on the weekends unless we run into each other at work. And during the week we barely talk it kinda bothers me. when i text him he eithers doesnt answer or it takes him like hours to answer. at the beginning it was right away and it was playful cute talk like i miss you and all that stuff now that i think i am really falling in love with this guy i am getting scared ive kept a barrier up for 5 years and would never allow anyone in and even if i attempted to i would eventually push them away. But with him its different. alothough during the week i get so upset because our convos are very minumin when the weekend comes and hes here he just is soo lovely dovey.. and we even do everythign together with my son on the weekends i love it.. we dont go anywhere without him we are always like a nice little family on the weekends but kinda like he forgets about us durig the week… Should i just back off and let him go away or should i tellin him i really am falling in love with him and see what he says??? HELP :(:(


Lisa Italroz December 6, 2012 at 2:48 am

Well, I’m a single mom too for over 5 years and it’s so hard to live an alone life. but frankly speaking, i’m not ready yet that is why I remain single for a long time. maybe, I’m just too tough in finding a new guys out there but maybe sooner I’ll give it a try.


Dale July 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Hi. I am single mom of 2 great kids and 36. I think I am envious of all you who are dating. I an am scared to try and wouldn’t know where to find a date or if there are even men single I my dating pool. I am glad to find this blog though so when/if I do date I have good references on single mom dating etiquette and expectations.


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