Dating a Single Mother. Should You Do It?

The idea of dating a woman with a child can be pretty scary, if not horrifying to many a male. But it shouldn’t be.  You see, mothers are real people, too.  In many cases they are also women.  Crazy, isn’t it? The stigma that attaches itself to single mothers is the word “baggage.”

But that’s not really the case, most times.  In these times, especially in America, single motherhood is more pervasive in our society than it ever has been. There was a time when single mothers were a rare sight.  If there was a single mom it was because of a divorce or she was widowed. Today there are over ten million single parents in America today.  It’s proof that the dynamics of the traditional family have changed and continue to evolve along with social norms… That said; why not date a single mother?

I have dated a couple of single mothers in my day. I’m also friends with a quite a few. And, to be fair, it’s inherently different than dating your standard issue single female.  Not to say that there is such a thing as “standard issue single females…” Never mind.  I’m not stepping on that landmine.  More to the point, dating a single mother is a bit different.  It’s different because, obviously, a single mother has other, more important, priorities that far outweigh any that might include you.  Finding time to spend with one another can be challenging, too, for a single mother.  Also, there may be the aspect that the father is “in the picture,” as well. These are not made to sound like “downers” or “strikes” against dating a single mother, merely differences to be aware of.  On the other hand, single mothers know a thing or two about balancing life’s pleasures and rewards with the people they love.  Also, a single mother knows what love is, real unconditional love; they are more ready to give this sort of love and attention as well.

When dating a single mother you must be up front with what you are looking for.  Many single mothers are looking toward the future, with their children in mind, when it comes to relationships.  That is, a single mother will look to find a suitable partner that can provide and be a good father to their children.  There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s totally normal.  However, if you are not looking for that sort of relationship then you need to be up front because the stakes are always higher when children are involved.

If both you and the single mother are okay dating casually, then that’s fine.  Her children aren’t really a part of the picture in that type of relationship and you can dater her and, to a degree, separate her role as a mother from that of being a single woman.

However, if you both decide that you want to make a serious “go” of a relationship then there are considerations to be made. For instance, remember that the single mother sets the rules for her children.  It’s important to respect those rules and not undermine them.  Also, it’s probably a good idea not to reprimand her children without her permission.  And if you do, never be more firm than the mother.  If the father is in the picture, do try to be cordial and friendly, regardless of any negative things you may hear.  Respecting his role and values he wants to instill in his children will go a long way to making this type of relationship work.  It’s also important to understand what a single mother’s expectations are of you.  If she needs to have the kids taken to the doctor and she can’t for some reason, will you be expected to step in and help?  I know most women will cringe at this next part, but it’s an important topic.  Will a single mother expect some help from a financial standpoint?  Raising kids ain’t cheap and it’s natural to ask for help if it’s available.  This is not to insinuate that a single mother can’t be self sufficient, I know single mothers who are and some who are not.  It’s a fair question and expectation to pose to someone who’s going to be a part of the single mother’s future as well as those of her children.

Dating a single mother in a serious capacity is a complex matter.  If you spend enough time thinking about dating a single mother and getting advice from your friends, you’ll likely find many reason not to date one.  But, I’ve got a few reasons why you should date a single mother:

  • A single mother is a strong woman.  She has to be for her kids. She has to put the needs of other before her own.
  • A single mother is more able to give of her love, she understands what true unconditional love is than her non child having counterparts.
  • In line with the previous item, a single mother is, generally, more giving of herself and better able to receive affection.
  • In some situations the father is a part of the picture and active in their children’s lives. This allows great flexibility for a single mother to spend quality time with you. So children aren’t always an anchor, so to speak.

In closing, I think dating a single mother is a good thing and also a rewarding experience, even for those who don’t have a child themselves.  A single mother isn’t someone to fear, but someone to respect.  A single mother has to wear a few different hats and is a strong person.  If you’re looking for a strong person, try a single mother.  As long as you communicate, up front, what you want out of the relationship you will be fine.  However, do be aware that the children to factor into a relationship with a single mother in some manner or another.  Ultimately it’s a rewarding experience to be handled with care.

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