Here’s a little background (short story), I was once in a committed secure relationship (well at least I thought I was) and unsuspectingly things happened and now I am a single mother. Not by my choice. But when certain things happen with a child involved. It’s always best to think of the child. After sometime to myself I decided to get back into the dating scene. There are some things that I have learned. Dating as a single mother is a whole different ball game. I’ll explain.
7 Simple Rules to Dating a Single Mother
1. Do Not Rush
Slow down. Rushing into anything usually comes with a price and sometime bring regrets and then we become jaded. So rushing into dating and/or a relationship is no different. Coming out of a relationship to being a single mother is a big adjustment. No matter how she presents herself, if she is not ready (mentally and emotionally) she is not ready to be partner. Do not be naive and try to play “Captain Save-A-Hoe”. If you do, blame yourself. The signs are always there. You WILL see it. If all fails, Google. Want to get more personal Facebook. The writings are on the wall.
2. Perception vs Reality
Do not come into her life assuming anything. All bets are off. Start with a new slate. Every single mother is different and come from different walks of life. Being a single mother, we already have so many stigmas against us. You wouldn’t like it if she did it to you. Reciprocate the favor. Know her story.
3. Understand Her Situation
Understanding how she became a single parent will help tremendously. You will be able to see the effects of what came out of the past relationship. How much of an impact it was. Knowing someone’s past can tell so much about their present and help to see how the future could be. Get to know her. Let her get to know you. Understand each other.
Know that you are not dating a single woman. You are dating a single mother. She will have to split herself between two roles. One being a mother and second being a single mother. The two are different in many ways. Now, if she not appealing to you or you just cannot understand her way of life. Leave. Don’t lease her. Don’t waste time and effort on someone you see no future with.
To date and have a relationship blossom will take time. Being a single parent all child rearing (if biological parent is not there) is solely up to them. Juggling and finding balance is few and far between. If bio parent is around then weekends will be available and probably sometime in the week. If not finding time is going to be a little difficult. You will feel like you are scheduling an appointment to date. Which in reality is what you’re doing. With work and motherhood it’s a balancing act. Also take note of the child(ren) age/s. If they are not in school yet. Be honest with yourself and know that time is very limited.
Priority sometimes get the best of them. What a man is going to have to know is that while dating a single mother, he will not be number one priority (notice I said dating). He’s lucky if he’s on the top. It’s a hard pill to swallow for some. This usually make or break a man thinking about dating a single mother. Which I can understand to a certain extent. Of course we as human want to feel valued, but understanding values is what makes it better. Think of it this way for a moment. If she was the mother of your child(ren) how would you want it? It’s a question one should ask themselves. Especially if there is going to be any type of future.
6. Replacement Dad
This is the kicker. A lot of men have a preconceived notion that we as single mothers are looking for a replacement dad. If the father is involved, there is no need to worry about being a replacement. If he is not, still do not worry about that. To assume that you are going to be a father to her child is something I would not recommend. You don’t even know how far this dating thing is going to go. And if you do not like kids or do not see yourself having any children. Don’t even bother wasting your time and playing Mr. Nice Guy.
A single mother looking for a replacement father is very easy to spot and is usually dead on with her agenda. She will force feed you her child(ren) if that is the case. Jump ship now. That is going to be a bigger problem in the future. You know it and she’s in denial about it. That should not be your role until you two are committed to each other and there is an understanding between the two.
7. Acknowledge Child(ren)/Honesty
It is nice to ask about her child(ren) yes, at least acknowledge that fact. If all goes well, you would eventually meet the child. It usually take some time before being introduced. If by any means it is intimidating to you. It should be. You are now going to meet a very important person in her life. Don’t ever get to this point without honest intentions. If you are not ready to meet child(ren). Be honest and upfront. There is no room for error when facing a child. Trust me she will appreciate more than you will.
I can no longer date how I used to because I have a child now. Instead of freely having the time to jump up and do anything at any given notice. I can’t anymore. My life have become a schedule. I have to be more aware and not nonsensical when it comes to certain things and people I bring into my life for the sake of my child. Observing and learning at the same time. It might come off as a lot of work but it will benefit us (the man I am with and myself). These rules are merely my opinion and you do not have to apply it in your life. Just wanted to share some insight on single motherhood and dating.
READERS: Are you a single mother / single father who’s dating? What has been your experience? Share it in the comments below!
This guest post is from Kae James – A single mother of one, trying to figure out this thing called Motherhood. Check out her blog at Where’s My Pacifier, Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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