How to go about dating when you are a single mum.
Being a single mum does not mean you have to give up on dating. Gone are the days when widows and divorcees were expected to devote their lives to the kids and stay on their own for as long as their children were young. We live in an age of equality (or at least as close as possible to equality as we ever have been) and there is no reason, why you cannot be a devoted mum and date at the same time. After all, no one would query a single dad if they went on a date or had a new girlfriend, would they? But now about the practicalities: How do you go about dating as a single mum?
Finding the time
This is the hardest part for many single mums. According to single parent statistics, 90% of single parent households are headed by single mums. That means single mothers have to divide time between work, chores and children. This can be exhausting, and many single mums feel that they simply do not have the energy to pack more into their day. This is entirely understandable, but for the sake of your mental health and your own happiness, you must give yourself some down time. This can be when the kids are in bed, or if you are lucky to have them around – dad or relatives. Use this time and prioritise according to your needs or mood: Read a book, speak to a friend, chat to a potential date, or even go out with a new man.
Regaining your confidence
Any newly single mum will know the feeling: Your confidence has been knocked for six. Whatever the reasons for your single parent status, suffering through a bad relationship or years of grieving, will have undermined your confidence. So, take things slowly and never feel pressurised by anyone, least of all a man. If you have the courage, you could ask your friends to set you up on a blind date. Or you could go online and browse and chat at your leisure. Then when you feel ready, embark on your first date. With every date, your confidence will grow. And with increasing confidence, you will become happier within yourself, which will make you more attractive to the other sex.
Honesty goes a long way when it comes to dating. You hear a lot about men (and women) being dishonest about their age, personal situation, or financial means. This is usually down to insecurity and fear of being rejected at the first hurdle. If you worry that your potential date is not interested in dating a single mum, for example, then he is simply not right for you and you are wasting your time. So, be upfront and make clear that you will not tolerate lies yourself. And remember – it only takes a little common sense to spot the liars. Honesty is the basis of any relationship, and this must be there from the beginning.
This sounds very pragmatic, but it is a good idea to think about what you are looking for before you embark on your dating journey. Are you looking for a father to your children? Or a life partner for you? Do you want more children or are you long past the baby stage? Maybe you just want to meet someone for the odd night out and see where it takes you?
It’s important to be clear about what you expect to avoid disappointment. A single dad with kids of his own, will understand your situation, for example when babysitters fall through, your kids are sick, or your ex is giving you trouble. If you feel, you need an understanding and compassionate man, then single parent dating might be for you. If however you are looking for a father for your own children or would like more kids of your own, it might be wise to look for a mature single man or possibly a man whose kids are grown up – because a single dad with young children will always prioritise his own.
Game-playing? No, thank you!
You would think that is the easy answer, but women often find themselves sucked into the dating game far too easily. You start chatting, speak on the phone, go for a few dates and just when you are hooked, he pulls away. It’s a game of control that will leave you insecure, questioning where you have gone wrong, hurt and longing for the romantic future you had just started to dream up.
This is the point at which you should run a mile, because a man who plays the hot-cold game rarely possesses the skills required for a solid relationship. Yet many single mums join in the game-playing because they are now emotionally involved and have invested time and effort to get to that point of the dating game. They are just not ready to give up so easily.
The only way to save you from becoming an emotional wreck when dating a hot-cold guy, is the direct approach because you have nothing to lose: Ask him why his behaviour has changed and be prepared to deal with the answer. It’s always better to cut your losses and save your precious time for a date that still goes strong after several weeks or months and is easy to date.
Dating as a single mum is not easy, especially when faced with the social restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. But maybe this is a blessing in disguise: Single mums are, more often than not, looking for a serious relationship. Social distancing rules mean they can take more time to date online and think more carefully about who to meet and in which setting. This can take the pressure off for many single mums dating.
What has your experience been dating as a single mum and how has COVID-19 influenced how you date?
If you enjoyed reading our post, check out more single parent dating tips from Single Parents on Holiday here:
- Single parent dating – where do you start?
- Tip tips for creating a 5-star dating profile
- Is online dating safe for single parents?
For more information about holidaying with other single parent families, go to Fabulous Single Parent Holidays in the UK and Abroad.