If you're thinking about dating a single mom, you might be wondering how it'll be different from dating a woman without children. In many ways, dating a single mom is like dating anyone else, and as long as you treat her with care and respect, you'll be golden. But at the same time, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to be a great partner to a solo parent. W e asked eight single mothers how potential partners could win their hearts and be as supportive as possible. Here's what they told us everyone should know about dating a single mom. The number one thing many single moms want potential partners to know is that the kids come first.
And to be fair, that stuff can be a pain in the ass, but every part of being a mom requires coordination to a degree that seems super-human to non-parents.
The truth is, booking a babysitter is a minor, easily attainable detail about dating as a single mom compared to the actual big variable we have to deal with: the people we date. While some people who don't have kids somehow magically slide into dating a mom with ease and a shocking lack of burdensome presumptions, most people we date This is especially true with the men we date.
As if existing as a woman isn't an inherently foreign enough concept for dudes, throw the element of parenthood int the mix and they are wildly shooting in the dark when it comes to understanding our lives. Yes, even if they were raised by single moms.
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Turns out, a lot of things about how women parent and date have changed in the last 30 years. I know, man, it's crazy how women aren't frozen in time. Anyway, it's not a big deal.
No one grows up assuming they're going to find themselves dating a single mom one dayand no one is flawless at it, even the people who are comparatively really good at it.
Here's are some things you can do, though, that us single moms would definitely appreciate if dating us is something you're trying to do:. Anyone who doesn't have kids unavoidably has ideas about what life with a kid is like. When you're first starting to date a woman who is a mom, you'll understandably have some guesses or preconceptions about what that means for her, and what it might mean for you.
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The fact is, most of what you think you know about a single mom's life and her love life is wrong, and that's fine. But it is a good idea to ask questions more than you project assumptions. She'll tell you what's up when it comes to her kid and how being a mom intersects with dating.
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Although, that said, the best assumption to leave at the door is the one about how all moms want to talk about their kids all the time. Especially in the early days of dating, talk to her about anything and everything else, just like you would anyone else, and let her show you how much she does or doesn't want her mom life to be a part of her dating life. This is good advice when dating anyone who is a human and, like humans do, sometimes needs to cancel or reschedule or is 10 minutes late.
Not even a single mom should be wildly inconsiderate of your time, but if she's a few minutes late to meet you, just move past it. Did we mention that we told the babysitter we'd be home by p. Don't freak out, especially if it's just to show us that you take the responsibilities of parenthood seriously. We appreciate the solidarity, but when it comes to stressing kid-related issues, take your cues from us.
We'll react appropriately, and then you'll know how serious something is or is not. Single moms date for as many different reasons as people without kids, and are as likely or unlikely to be open to a serious relationship as anyone else. Moreover, very few single moms view their families as "incomplete" in the absence of a second parent - we aren't desperately looking to fill some gap because we simply don't feel that our single-parent families are "missing" anything.
If anything, single moms tend to get their lives down to carefully created systems that really work for them, and they've been singlehandedly steering parenting duties for a while. Basically, instead of "filling a gap," if we were to add another adult to the family, they would have to add a tremendous amount to something that is already really great. Adjusting from one parent to two requires so many massive shifts and arduous transitional periods - no single mom is rushing to do all that work.
For most of us, jealousy is in our nature. But when you're dating a single parentbeing jealous of the kids will get you nowhere.
Well, that's not quite true; it may get you sent out the door-quickly! While there aren't many dating issues that are black-and-white, this is one of them.
If you're competitive with the kids, you're setting your relationship up for failure.
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Being jealous puts the parent in the middle and isn't healthy for the kids, which leads to more tension than most relationships can handle. When you experience jealousy, stop and acknowledge the emotion.
If, after giving it some thought, you think the issue is worth bringing up, find some time when the two of you can talk about it alone. Come clean about how you're feeling and talk about what you both value in your relationship. Then, explore how you might be able to let go of the jealousy.
If you landed here, you are likely a guy (or woman) who is attracted to single moms because: You're a single parent, too, so you want to connect with someone who understands your jam (single moms want to date You don't have kids, and feel too old to be a dad to a newborn (and are keeping it real. 15 Reasons to Date a Single Mom | eharmony Advice.
For example, it might help to make it a point to share little reminders of how much you each value your relationship in the hectic mix of your everyday lives. If you've never dated a single parent before, you may be used to some degree of spontaneity in your romantic relationships-especially in the beginning.
There's no denying that being able to drop everything and go off by yourselves can help to cement your bond. But this is trickier to accomplish with a single parent.
Grabbing a last-minute romantic lunch or jet-setting to your dream destination on a moment's notice may not be possible for a single parent, particularly if they are parenting primarily on their own, have no family nearby, or don't have reliable childcare. The reality is that spontaneity looks different when children are a part of the mix.
Childcare, including the schedule and needs of the kids, will always be a top priority. Especially early on, you should anticipate biting your tongue a lot. It's important to respect that there are many ways to parent-and that your partner is the parent of the child. It's easy to come in from the outside and judge another person's parenting choices but it's unlikely to be welcomed, particularly if it isn't communicated from a place of helpfulness, compassion, restraint, curiosity, and humor.
Your partner is the experienced parent, and they're probably not interested in having you step in and critique their parenting style or discipline tacticsparticularly early on in a relationship.
That said, it is worth considering if you see compatibility with your partner's parenting approach. If you have significant concerns in this area, say about their approach to discipline, autonomy, or family dynamics, the partnership might not be the best fit for either of you-especially if you hope to have children of your own in the future. Generally, it's important to wait to be asked before sharing your opinion on parenting issues.
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Unless, of course, you're telling your partner that they're doing a great job! Remember, too, that even newly married couples who live with their stepchildren often hold off on disciplining one another's kids until they've had sufficient time to earn the right to be a co-disciplinarian.
When you're dating a single parent, it's ideal to respect their timing when it comes to introducing you to the kids and taking your relationship to the next level of merging your families. You might be ready to get to know the kids but the single parent has much more at stake when they invite you into their family.
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The emotional well-being of the children, as well as facilitating an optimal relationship between you and the kids, are pressing concerns that the parent needs to weigh.
One issue many new couples argue about is how much physical affection to show in front of the kids.
It can be downright hard to hold off on taking your partner's hand or kissing them when and how you want. But it's important to consider how this might make your partner and the kids feel.
If you can't respect their judgment and comfort level on how much time to spend with the kids and what kinds of intimacy are OK in their presence, this relationship may not be right for you. Respect and be patient with your partner's timing.
Pushing can make them feel caught in the middle between doing what's right for your relationship and what's right for the kids. That's a position neither of you will want to be in for long. This should be a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people men and women alike think they'll get over it in time, only to rediscover later that they never wanted to live with or help raise someone else's children. A similar issue is wanting children of your own when your partner has expressed that they don't want more children.
These are big issues that come up fast when dating a single parent.