Having fun or rediscovering intimacy isn’t just something for carefree, childless women. Single moms want to enjoy their time with someone special, too. But are these sorts of escapades off the table if you have your own child?
Luckily, the answer is no. Single moms can date, and here are some ways to navigate the challenges of dating as a single mom.
You Can Date and Not Feel Guilty About It
Without a partner or husband, all the responsibility of raising your child falls on you. And that’s a lot of responsibility for any person.
As a single mom, you work full time and you’re a jack of all trades. You have to keep up with household duties, all while caring for your child. You take care of everything from colds, lice, homework, playdates and after school activities.
You might think that you shouldn’t spend time doing something you enjoy; it might feel selfish.
But you know what? Taking care of yourself, and giving yourself time away from your child can actually help you be a better mother to them.
When your own cup is full, it’s easier to give to others, right?
What Are Your Motivations for Dating?
When you’re single and child-free, maybe you date for fun. Or, maybe you date in search of your soulmate. It’s no different for single mothers. You might not want to get hitched. Instead, you just want to get out and enjoy yourself. Knowing this before you start dating can help you set reasonable expectations for the dating scene.
Another important question to ask yourself is if you want dating to fulfill you. If so, it might be better to hold off, and focus on yourself for a little while. Try to create happiness and fulfillment in your life before going out with someone.
Otherwise, you could put too much pressure on them and end up even more unhappy.
Dating As a Single Mom Can Be Better
Now, that might take you by surprise but dating can be a better experience as a single mother than when you were free and independent. Here’s why.
- You have far more life experience, and your priorities are in line.
- You’re more selective because your time and money is really precious now. You can’t afford expensive date nights, especially when there’s a babysitter to pay. So, you only date people you’re really interested in.
- The wrong guys don’t stick around for very long, and that’s great! Who wants to waste their precious time and money on the wrong people? On the other hand, the right guy will respect you and admire you for everything you do.
- You have big priorities as a single mom, so you don’t need your boyfriend to be your hero.
Be Honest About Your Expectations
You might just want to have a fun time, or maybe you’re interested in pursuing something more serious. Of course, you don’t have to talk weddings and rings on the first date, but don’t be afraid of letting him know what you’re interested in.
This can save you and him a lot of disappointment down the road.
It’s generally frowned upon to divulge about your ex, divorce drama, and custody battles. But it’s important to be fair to him. If he’s curious about your situation, you can share the truth with him.
He might not like it, and yes, he might leave. But better sooner than later!
Not Enough Time to Date?
As a single mom, you’re a full-time employee and a full-time mom. That can leave little time for dating. And if you’re stressed out and spreading yourself too thin, it’s probably best to wait a little while before you start dating.
You need to love yourself and be fair to yourself. If not, you’ll bring a lot of negativity into your new relationship.
If it’s just a matter of getting help while you start dating again, take advantage of shared custody, and family and friends to help babysit while you enjoy some well-deserved fun.
Dating a Single Mom is New for Him, Too
As a single mom, you’re probably really nervous and worried. Maybe you think no one will want to date you if you have a child.
But you’re not the only one who’s nervous! Your new date probably doesn’t know anything about parenting, and this can be intimidating. He may worry that you’ll always compare him to your ex.
He might be great with kids, but not sure where he fits in with your child. All of these concerns are normal and natural for men who date single moms.
So, try to be understanding of that, and encourage and welcome him into your life as a parent.
Slumber Parties: Yay or Nay?
Before children, it was easy to share the same bed with your lover. Now, you’ve got children sleeping in the next bedroom, and boundaries to protect and respect.
So, should you let your new boyfriend spend the night with you or not?
It can be a difficult concept for young and older children to understand, so it’s probably better to not introduce a potential problem. Instead, get creative about when and how you make time for each other.
Should You Talk to Your Kids About Your Dating?
This is a very important concern for single moms, and a very subjective issue. If you have a good relationship with your kids, and you’re all in a good place concerning the divorce, it’s probably safe for you to talk openly about your dates.
But if there’s a lot of unsettled and unresolved pain in your family, it might do more harm than good to introduce your child to a new partner. When you split with your ex, they had to separate from someone. It can be painful for them to go through separation again. They may also feel very loyal to your ex, so they may feel conflicted and unsure about how to treat your new partner.
It’s important to be open with your children, and it’s also important to support their emotional and psychological needs, too. You can decide what’s best for them based on their personalities and your relationship with them.
Single moms can date, too. And there are ways to overcome the challenges that this kind of dating brings. It’s time you made room for enjoyment, pleasure and fun again.