On Dating Single Mothers

dating-single-mothersThere are lots of negative stereotypes out there among men about dating single mothers, many of which only apply to some mothers, or are completely not true.

Many Single Mothers Are Not Looking for New Father for Their Child

One such common stereotype that men have is that all that single mothers look for in dating a guy is finding a replacement for her children’s father. While sometimes it’s true (one can hardly blame a woman for wanting to have a man in her life, who will also be a father figure to her children), often this is not the case. Some women don’t care about that at all, and all the way is to meet a guy they like, are attracted to, and who they can have a good time with. Other single mothers make sure that the actual father of their children stays in their life and they maintain a relationship on that level, even if they are not together as a couple.

Single Mothers Might Be More Available to Date Than You Think

The other stereotype against dating single mothers is that these women are not available to go out and spend time with a guy because of their parental obligations. While this is likely to be true for those women who have one or more toddlers at home and no help or ability to hire a baby-sitter, whether other women with children are available to go out and date depends on their time management skills – just like it is the case with any other woman.  Paradoxically, a woman’s availability to talk on the phone and in person seems to be inversely proportional to her professional status. How many times have you met a woman who held an executive business position and who returned her phone calls and e-mails much quicker than others? How many times have you met a professionally accomplished woman who would be more available to go out, while other women who are not “ranked” nearly as high in the business world took forever to get back to you and seem to be too busy to fit you in their lives?

Despite the above and some other stereotypes out there about dating single mothers, there are several significant advantages that dating a single mother might have over going out with other women, who are younger or who don’t have children or both.

Dating Single Mothers Can Be More Fun Because They Are Not as Eager to Settle Down

First, single mothers are not as eager to settle down. Their “biological clock” is not really ticking. They already have a child, so while they might want to have more children in the future, the fear of ending up with not experiencing having a child is gone. These women are less likely to apply pressure on the guy they are going out with to get into a serious relationship and marry. In fact, this is the last thing that some single mothers want, as many of them wish to take it easy and to actually take a break from relationships after living through a break-up or some other unpleasant experience with the father of their children. This might be particularly important for those guys who are not sure whether they want to be in a relationship, who just want to date around and have a good time, and who don’t enjoy and want to avoid the pressure from a woman to be in a relationship when they just start dating someone.

Dating Single Mothers Might Be More Fun Because They Are Likely to Have Better Personality

A single mother is likely to be more easy going that other women, who are younger or who haven’t yet had to deal with the challenging of raising children. The experience of having and raising children bring many unexpected challenges into a woman’s life dealing with which shapes her personality and makes her more interesting but at the same time. This experience is also a reminder to hear that life in general and her life specifically is far from perfect and predictable. Her child’s tooth ache can derail her plans for the rest of the day. Here baby’s crying at night can change how she feels the entire next day. As such, that woman does not expect to have a perfect life or a perfect relationship with a guy. She doesn’t expect you to be perfect either. She knows from her own experience that life and relationship take unexpected and unpredictable terms, and no matter how much you might plan ahead, things have their own way of working out one way or the other. Thus, she is likely to enjoy the time she spends with you day by day and not be so attached to what you are working towards and whether you are “serious.” This kind of woman is less likely to be obsessing over you, as naturally you are not going to be the only thing she cares about in her life. Her child or children will most certainly be her first priority.

I would also like to believe that a woman who has experienced the pleasure of bringing life to this world, and who also has and continues to deal with the challenges associated with raising a child without a father, would be a stronger and a more interesting individual as a result.

Dating a Single Mother Doesn’t Mean That You Will Always Be Number 2 In Her Life

It’s easy to feel marginalized as a guy in a relationship with a single mother and feel like you are always #2 in her life. However, it is the responsibility of both partners to not allow this affect their interaction. A man should exercise understanding and empathy for the fact that a woman’s child is naturally and biologically a very important person in her life. It would not be any different if the guy she was with was her husband, who she has been with for many years. This doesn’t mean that you are are not important to her. You just occupy a different emotional place in her life, as you should.

Dating single mothers can be as wonderful as dating any kind of women. Being aware of the natural challenges that single mother fact that affect their ability to date should help you handle dating single mothers better, and be ready for the typical obstacles rather than being surprised by them.


  1. Tiffany says:

    Hi Arkady,

    I've only been a member of your informational website for a few weeks, and have been reading and learning a great deal about dating and understanding the behaviors of men while dating. I strongly suspect the man I am dating might also have taken a few pages from your dating play book. Anyways, I find your advice to be spot on.

    I am a single mother of two boys. So this blog rings true to me. However, I must comment that for most single parents "Time Management" is of the utmost importance in all aspects of their life. Careful consideration on both parts is necessary if they want the relationship to be successful.

    Someone dating a single parent can't very well expect the single parent to drop what they are doing to go and spend time with them. Spontaneity is a hard commodity with single parents. One should be mindful of their dating partner's situation. One of the benefits of dating a single parent is that when they do venture away from their children they fully enjoy their time out and the people they spend that time with. Their attitude towards life aren't casual, aloof, or indifferent.

    Which brings me to my situation. I am by no means a flake and time is the most tangible of things in my life. Trust me, after the raising two boys on my own, I want to, no, I need to have time for myself to do things such as dating. The man I am currently involved with is very busy and we rarely see each other. The time we do spend together is special to me. I am accommodating to his schedule but I feel he has no consideration of mine. For instance, he gives me a day or two notice on when he can see me. Seriously, that is not enough time to get all my ducks in order. I feel as if I were to decline a date with him on the sheer fact I can't arrange my family life to fit his needs that he might consider me irresponsible and "flaky." Apart from that, we have wonderful chemistry together and I would very much like to explore this relationship further.

    Arkady, how to you propose I discuss this with him without sounding too "uptight" or "rigid"????? Your practical advice is greatly appreciated. Thank You.


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    • practicalhappiness.c says:

      Hello, Tiffany. Thanks for your kind words and providing your perspective. I think in your situation the best thing to do is to first of all ask the guy why he can't give you more notice. If there is a legitimate reason, such as a certain work schedule that doesn't allow him to know longer than a day or two what's going on, then it has to be taken in consideration. Otherwise, it's quite ok to request a longer notice from a guy in a non-argumentative but clear enough way so that he knows that you need more time to plan to see him.

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  2. JhengJheng says:


    As a single mother of four, I understand how difficult it is to balance raising children and dating. While I don't know your particular set of circumstances— I can share my own experiences on how I deal the wild and wacky world of Single Parent Dating. When it comes to finding quality time to spend with a man I agree with you, it is a challenge. Three of the four of my kidlets are over the age of 10. They are capable of taking care of themselves and my youngest while I am out. So that makes it so much easier being more flexible with my time. It helps that I live with my parents (one of the best benefits of living in a multi-generation family is built in babysitting!!!).Even though I have a support system there are still times when the best laid plans fall through. I've had to cancel many a plan because a kid got sick or failed to tell me about some huge class project due the next day. Oh and I can't count how many times I've had to pass up an offer to go out because of some urgent kid thing I had to do. Don't be afraid to tell the man you are seeing that you are unavailable. And if you have to, as you say, "Flake" on a date, make sure to call him as soon as possible. Honestly, who cares if he thinks you are flaky. In your heart of hearts, you know that not to be true. Don't get upset or feel that you have to defend yourself if he says something to that affect (or is it effect? I forget. You get the gist), just gracefully apologize.

    Regardless if the man you are dating is a parent or not, remember he is showing interest in getting to know you more, despite you being a mom and all. That is something you should consider positively. More often then not, I've dated men who spook easily when they find out I have kids… and run as fast as they can when they learn there's four of them. I don't blame them really. To me I consider it good to know info about the man. It means they are easily discouraged. And who wants to date a person with such weak fortitudes anyways???

    The way I see it, in any relationship, single parent or not, one should never make a habit of flaking or not being mindful of both of your situations. As for your question, how do you talk to him about all this…. hmmm… the advice given to you by Arkady is sound. Don't come at him like you are his supervisor demanding a work schedule. Can you say "Nag"…If he is busy with work, you'll turn him off doing something like that. Find a creative way to get him to want to tell you with more advance notice… I don't know, maybe say something like…. "When can I expect to see you again? The sooner I know the more time I can get ready to have lots of fun with you." Uhhh that sounds cheesy. Just remember "The message you are trying to send is important, but the delivery of the message is key."

    Good luck to you.


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  3. Tiffany says:

    I will definitely tell him I need more time without being argumentative. I like that bit about the message delivery. Makes me think I'm Fedex. LOL. Thanks for your advice.


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  4. I enjoyed read these comments and the article. I’m trying to date a single mother, which is new for me. I met her online, and we have been chatting through emails and by phone, for 10 weeks. We still haven’t met, but we have tried, but the kids have been sick, then she gets sick. I do like her, and we seem to have a lot of similar interests. I’m pretty understanding, so glad that I read the comments.

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  5. margaret ndirangu says:

    I am a single mother with one baby girl, i met a guy whom is also a single dad, he separated from his wife with two boys,Ii have met him only once, we have been communicating through phone, and we have not met lately,now he have ivited me the first date,what shuold do about the kind and have nobody to leave the kid with?

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    • practicalhappiness.com says:

      @margaret – I guess the only practical solution is to find a baby sitter for a few hours you are out, or if you feel save to have him over, you can invite him over.

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