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Ten rules you need to follow before dating a single mom
If it’s ‘perfect love’ without challenges or obstacles to overcome, then dating a single mom is not for you.
Date a single mom and you’ll find yourself stood up for playdates, not getting invited back to her place after an awesome evening out, and sitting by the phone, waiting for it to ring. If it’s a woman at your beck and calls you’re after, then move on because dating a single mom might not be for you.
Dating such a woman is something that requires true grit because you’re not just dating one person but a family. And despite the difficulties, there are also many perks to embracing not just the woman but the family. If it works out, you’ll be making a difference in the world bearing in mind how single-parent households make up 25 percent of the family households, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
Anyone dating a single mom needs to know that there are some rules.
You will soon realize that dating a single mom means that there will be some compromises.
1: KIDS COME FIRST
If there’s a mantra the single mother repeats to herself, it’s probably this rule.
Dating a single mom is different from being in a relationship with a woman without children. Her time is limited, and much of her focus will inevitably go towards her children. In other relationships, you would be a woman’s priority, but with a single mom, much of the time and energy will be focused on child-raising. Where other women will show their interest by spending time with you, single mothers have a lot on their plate trying to juggle homework, housework, real work and you may sometimes feel you’re at the bottom of a long list.
Sometimes you’ll feel frustrated that free time is hard to come by, and even when you do go out you’ll probably not be invited back to her house no matter how special the date was or how much you want to be with each other. And if it’s just sex you’re after, then forget about meeting the kids, and even if you do want a committed relationship doesn’t mean you get a free pass into her home. When you do meet the children and enter her life it means she trusts you.
ADVICE: Avoid single moms if you just want a fling.
2: RESPECT HER INDEPENDENCE
A survivor, a single mother is self-sufficient and knows how to take care of herself and her children. She will have more strength, resilience, and maturity than her childless single counterparts because she has gained many skills from raising a child alone becoming a manager, nurse, teacher, counselor, cleaner, cook, financier among other things.
Raising a child alone is no easy task, and doing so requires great strength and fortitude. So by being with a single mother, you are with a woman who knows the meaning of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
A woman who can provide for herself is a huge relief to any man who does not want to be viewed as a walking wallet or crutch. Not high maintenance, single mothers know how to take care of themselves and are less likely to have an ulterior motive when dating you.
ADVICE: She already has children, don’t be a child. Respect her and all she has achieved.
Dating a single mom may seem to be a bit scary, but it has its rewards.
3: THERE WILL BE SACRIFICE
A single mother puts her children’s needs above her own. She does all she can to ensure their success and will work extra hard to make sure that they have everything two-parent families have.
Single mothers put their social lives on hold, ignore their friends, and put dating on the backburner for the higher good of their children. If anyone knows selfless love and the true meaning of sacrifice it is a single mom!
Having experienced motherhood, she knows the value of unconditional love and, if you’re lucky, she may also share her undying love with you. But before you get to that stage you’ll have to walk through fire. Anyone who enters a relationship with a single mother will also learn the meaning of sacrifice.
ADVICE: Be patient and there will be rewards in the end.
4: FLEXIBILITY IS KEY
All you thought you knew about romance will need to be revised. Forget spontaneous weekends away on a whim. Single moms need to organize everything in advance, and sometimes they’ll be exhausted and just want to stay at home to pamper themselves because they just don’t have the energy to go out.
All you thought you knew about romance will need to be reviewed. Leave your past habits behind and put your imagination to the test in order to find new ways of dating. Challenges, however, come with their own rewards. The greatest reward will be your own development into a man who doesn’t shy away from difficulties and who can find ways to overcome the bump along the way.
ADVICE: Use your imagination.
When dating a single mom, remember to take things seriously.
5: DON’T PLAY GAMES
Single mothers don’t have time to play games because they know what they want and who they are. After becoming a mother their entire identity and desires have been put to the test. Having already loved, suffered, and learned, they have come out on the other side with greater maturity.
So no willy-nilly pussy-footing. The way to win this woman’s heart is to be upfront with her and to speak with her honesty.
Don’t promise her a rose garden or be someone you’re not (e.g. pretending to like kids) as you’ll be doing both yourselves a disservice. You need to know in advance that the relationship is not one to be taken lightly as kids are involved and they will always come first. Unless you are willing to potentially raise a child which is not your own, it would be best not to waste her time.
ADVICE: Just be yourself.
6: EMBRACE THE BAGGAGE
A single mother, as any person with a history, comes with a lot of emotional baggage. The term ‘once bitten, twice shy’ might apply to her. She’s bound to be cautious before letting another man in her life. She’ll want to test the waters and it may take a while for the layers to slip off.
And while some layers slowly slip off, there are other layers that will always be there and you’ll need to come to terms with. For instance, you may need to put up with an ex still being around to visit the children. He may also be a presence in her and her children’s life. So don’t try to replace the biological father.
There may be feelings of jealousy. The best way to deal with those would be with maturity, patience, and understanding.
ADVICE: Avoid drama with her ex, when dating a single mom.
7: DON’T DISCIPLINE HER KIDS
Congratulations! She’s let you into her life. But just because you’ve met her children doesn’t mean you should handle their discipline. The only way in which you should step up as a father figure is if she asks for it. For the most part, it is important to find another role to that of the parent. If there is something concerning you about the children, you should discuss it with her privately rather than act on it yourself.
ADVICE: Just follow her lead.
8: DON’T LISTEN TO OTHERS
Strong feelings are conjured when it comes to dating a single mom. There are members of your family and hers who will tell you what they think of your relationship.
Some friends might tell you that you are making a mistake dating a single mom, especially if you aren’t a single parent yourself. They will tell you that your freedoms will be diminished when there are children to be cared for. More traditional members of your family will warn you how hard it is to accept another man’s children as your own. You’ll be told that relations are hard, let alone ones with children from a previous marriage.
Rest assured, she’ll also be getting an earful from relatives and friends as well.
ADVICE: Listen to your heart.
9: BE A FRIEND
Single mothers are under a great deal of pressure to provide for their children. They may seem to have their act together, and they do, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t need some support too.
They spend most of their time nurturing and taking care of people, but they also deserve someone to love them and take care of them too.
ADVICE: Offer support and encouragement, and be a sympathetic ear.
10: MAKE EVERY SECOND COUNT
The brief moments you have together in between her rushing around with the kids and working will help you realize how fleeting life is and how important it is to fill each moment of your life with meaning.
Each moment together is meaningful, special, and rare. Rather than envision dreams and worry about the future, enjoy every moment with this woman and fill your time with thoughtful conversation, laughter and fun. The future will bring its own challenges, but worrying about these will just make them more daunting than they really are. Just enjoy the moment, and the rest will come.
ADVICE: Don’t squander the time you have together.