I was recently told by a friend that he doesn’t date single moms. He said that they have way too much baggage, more than he’s willing to handle. He indicated that he would never pursue a true and meaningful relationship with a single mom. After I completely badgered him to explain if our friendship was true and meaningful, he finally realized that he had somewhat offended me. Although I am a single mom myself, though, I somewhat understood his issue (although I don’t think that single moms have “baggage”) and wanted to point out some things that you should know should you be interested in dating a single mom.

In 2013, I shared a post on my blog focused on dating as a single mom. Today, I want to mix it up a little bit and share tips for those interested in (or currently) dating a single mom.

1. Single moms do not have baggage.

Something about the term “baggage” as it relates to being a single mom bugs the heck out of me. Yes, I’ve been in a relationship that didn’t work out, and I have a child that I’m raising on my own. Yes, I have tons of bills to pay and I live on my own. That doesn’t sound like baggage to me – I’m an adult with responsibilities. If I’m considered to have baggage, then maybe we don’t need this conversation to go any further.

2. Single moms are looking for a relationship, just like you are.

Just because I’m a single mom doesn’t mean that I want to be alone forever. Quite the opposite! I want to be in a relationship just like other people. The only difference is that I have more to think through because I have a child. I need to be more cautious about who I’m going to be with and who I’m going to have around my child.

3. Be real with a single mom, because she’ll be real with you.

I have no time for games or coming up with lies about my life.  I don’t want to have to use up brain power on a lie (I have to use too much on raising my child and making sure that he becomes a civil and productive citizen). Be real with a single mom and she’ll be real with you. She has no time to be anyone other than herself, and you shouldn’t be anyone other than yourself either.

4. Single moms are busy, so be ready to be flexible and patient.

Dates may have to be rescheduled. Phone calls may have to end early. Dates may have to be cut short. You will be put on the back burner from time to time due to her children, her family and friends, her job, her social life. Single moms have many obligations that require her to be split in numerous different ways. Therefore, you have to be willing to be flexible to handle all of the changes. If you initially say that you can handle it, but then realize later on that you can’t, let her know.  No need to waste her time or yours.

5. If you’re interested, say so. If you’re not, say so too.

As a single mom, we don’t waste time. We have lots to do, and not a lot of time to do it. When she’s interested in someone, she almost knows right away. You’ll have to do the same. Decide if you’re interested enough to move forward, and continue to be honest with her about your feelings even if it’s to say that you’re no longer interested.

6. Don’t pity her. Single moms are stronger than you know.

Yes, she’s gone through it. Yes, she is raising her child on her own. But a single mom does not need your pity. She is strong-willed, courageous, and stronger than you’ll ever know or understand. You should give her respect and adoration. A single mom needs you to be different from the every day person looking down on her or pitying her – she needs you to show her that you are excited to be there and anxious for what comes next.

7. Don’t pressure a single mom to meet her kids.

Just because I have a child doesn’t mean that you will meet them. You have to pass through my initial scan before you can ever meet my son. And if that day ever happens, if he doesn’t like you, then that’s a problem. You will have to work pretty hard to get to that point, though, so focus on making her happy rather than focusing on meeting her children.

8. A single mom is analyzing you at almost every moment.

A single mom will want to confirm that they’ve made a good choice in selecting you for a date. She will spend lots of time analyzing you through conversation and also just through visual observation. Stay on your p’s and q’s, and make sure that you are being yourself. If you give off an inkling that you’re lying, she will spot it and avoid going out with you again. Be yourself and prove your worth.

9. Don’t ask about a single mom’s ex.

I was in a relationship and it ended. That’s as much as you really need to know. A single mom goes through a period of time where she wants to share her past experiences, but she gets over it and no longer wants to talk about it. Her ex is not important in the grand scheme of things. The two of you should be getting to know each other – not her ex.

10. Don’t assume you’re getting any.

Possibly the number one issue with men dating single moms is that they will probably get sex right away. That is definitely not the case. Single moms are not easy. Regardless of the reasons why she’s a single mom, she’s not ready to just jump back in the sack with just about anyone. Most single moms go through that phase, and that’s not a date – it’s a booty call. So for her to be at the point where she’s dating says that she’s through that and wants more out of a relationship. Therefore, don’t rush to assume that you’re going to get sex after your date, and both of you will be better off.

11. Single moms are not dating you for your money.

Don’t get me wrong – money is always a good thing to have. But I’m not dating you because you do or don’t have money, nor is she dating you so you can take care of her and her children. She’s doing that all on her own. She is dating you (or interested in dating you) because she likes you – nothing more, nothing less. There are some money-grubbers out there, but single moms rarely fall into that category. She will make it work on her own, with or without you.

12. Single moms are not the pariah they are made out to be.

Single moms are not these blood-sucking scary creatures that are poverty-stricken and planning to take down the economy, as so many articles, or society as a whole, portrays.  We are every day people that have gone through a situation with their child’s father and have since moved on and started a new life. She is looking for love and attention as any other woman would desire. Don’t let your preconceived notions of single moms allow you to miss the opportunity to miss someone great.

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