How To Start Dating As a Single Mom – Do’s and Dont’s

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Lori Pace

Let’s face it, ladies, dating as a single mom is as extinct to some of us as dinosaurs.  It has been so long since we have been on a date that many of us have no clue how the entire dating process even works, now that we are single moms.

Many of you have asked:

  • Do I allow him to pick me up from home?
  • Do I introduce him to my kids?
  • What do I talk about?
  • How do I take time to date?

How To Handle Dating As A Single Mom

There are so many questions around dating as a single mom that it can be just as frustrating as trying to help your child with their “new math” homework. Never fear ladies, I have the answers to all of your questions, plus some additional ones that you probably never even thought about.

When you have finally met someone you feel is worthy enough to get back on the horse again and go out on a date, you want to do a couple of things on your date and others that you should avoid doing while dating as a single mom.

Let Technology Give You A Hand

It’s really difficult to find the time to meet new people when you’re a single parent. So much of your time is taken up work, taking care of the kids, and all the other things that go along with living the life you want. Who has time to meet anyone new?

If you haven’t used dating apps yet it might be time to give them a shot. There really isn’t an easier way for someone who is busy to meet a lot of other singles, especially if you have some specific requirements (like must be good with kids). 

One thing you definitely should do is read a few reviews of dating apps you’re considering before joining. A great example of what you’re looking for would be the review of that the team over at Beyond Ages put together. They spend months using different apps and sites and then share which are actually working.

As long as you approach using dating apps as a supplement to your dating life, and not your only option, it can be a great experience. Give it a shot and see what options are available near you.

Don’t Feel Guilty About Dating As A Single Mom

As a single mom, we give ourselves to our children 110%, and we always put our own needs to the side for those of our children, but we deserve to have happiness in our lives.

Please don’t feel guilty about your desire to want a life outside of running noses, soccer practices, teacher’s conferences, and trying to figure out how to juggle it all by yourself. You deserve to spend some time away from your children and in the company of someone of the opposite sex. You were a woman before you became a mother, and the desires that come with being a woman don’t go away just because you are now a single mom.

Meet Him At Your Destination

On the first date, meet him at the restaurant, coffee shop, or any other public place on which you agreed.  Please don’t allow him to pick you up at your home.

I know many of you may be old school and would like a man to pick you up at your front door.  That may have been great years ago or when you have been dating for a while, but initially, I think it is better to meet him.

There are several reasons why you should not allow your date to pick you up:

  • If you met him through an online dating site, you want to meet him in a public place.  Every man doesn’t need to know your address.
  • If the date isn’t going well, you can leave when you are ready and not have to sit through an uncomfortable ride home.
  • If the sitter calls or there is trouble with the kids, you can drive yourself home. There’s nothing worse than being in the car with someone else driving who doesn’t have the same sense of urgency as you do.

Don’t Allow Him To Meet Your Kids.

If you still insist on having your date pick you at home, don’t allow him to meet your kids yet.  Why introduce your child to someone who may not be in your life tomorrow?  Remember, it’s a date, not a relationship.  There is no need to get your child acquainted with someone you don’t know and who you may have to answer questions about from your children later.

As a single mom of a 10-year-old son whose father is not involved in his life, I am cautious not to introduce my son to anyone I am not serious about because I don’t want him to be attached to someone who may not be around.  Although I want to date and meet men, I also have to protect my son’s feelings and factor him into the situation.

Don’t Spend The Entire Date Talking About Your Kids.

Yes, we are proud moms, and we want to whip out the pictures of our kids and discuss little Mike’s latest school project, but your date doesn’t want to hear all that.  While he understands that you are a single mom, he is trying to get to know YOU, and you should be taking advantage of being out, relaxing, and enjoying the company of your date.

Give yourself 5 minutes max to discuss your kids and his kids (if he has any) and move on to other topics.

Single mom on a date

Realize That All Men Are Not Like Your Ex

Sometimes as single moms, we become members of the ‘Men-Haters Club’ without even realizing it.  Just because your ex may be unreliable, all men are not.  You agreed to a date with this man because you found something of interest in him. Thus, it would be best if you gave him a chance. Otherwise, you will run him off before getting a chance to know him.

A Single Mom Should Make Time For Dating

I know that your schedule is busy, but if you have decided to start dating, you will have to pencil it in. Allow yourself maybe twice a month to go out on a date and if you find someone you enjoy spending time with and if your schedule allows it, make yourself available more than just twice a month.

The key is being open and honest with the men that you date and making sure that they understand that as a single mom, you can’t just jump up at the drop of a dime; you have to plan, schedule a sitter, or perhaps when the kids are with their dad.

Let Yourself Live In The Moment

When you are out on a date, allow yourself to be in the moment. Don’t worry about the kids.  Enjoy yourself and the company of your date. Remember, just because you are a single mom doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to have fun without your kids now and then.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!