Dating a Single Mother

Dating A Single Mother: Pros, Cons and Relationship Advice

by John Santana

If you clicked this article, you are either a single mom, you’re attracted to a single mom or you’re wanting to gain helpful insight into someone else’s experience. Either way, all three people should understand already, that dating a single mother adds an extra layer of complication to the dating game.

The initial and early dating stages are all about celebrating desires, pleasure and passion. You want to sit up until midnight talking to your crush, listening to all their thoughts and dreams.

But, single moms have to get up early in the morning, pack a school lunch and make sure Sarah has brushed her hair and Sam has put on a clean shirt that doesn’t have any noticeable stains from soccer. Unfortunately, the early stages of dating are being juggled between a full time job and childcare.

For single moms, the position for ‘most important thing’ has already been filled. But there are plenty of openings in ‘source of happiness’ and ‘partner in crime’.

The Pros and Cons of Dating a Single Mother


Most single mothers are divorced women who are either looking for some fun or a more serious relationship. But these women have life experience, understand themselves and their needs, and most importantly, like Stacy’s Mom ‘they’ve got it going on’.

She’s a Strong Woman

Single mothers are the heroes that don’t wear capes. In 2022 we acknowledge single mothers more than we used to but there is still much stigma around raising children (especially boys) without a father figure.

Single mothers and mothers in general, do most if not all the childcare and supporting and with little thanks. As a single parent, she also has to carry all the financial and emotional stress of raising children.

The saying ‘diamonds are formed under pressure’ is apt with single moms. All their struggles and triumphs have formed them into powerful and strong women who are well aware that they don’t need a husband or father to have a happy family.

My advice: if you date a single mom, give her the opportunity to be tired, worn-out and moody. She doesn’t need you to father or parent her children but she definitely doesn’t need to parent you.

Give her a safe space to release all the tension she carries. Be the adult partner she has been missing – do the dishes, plan the dates, massage her sore feet and show her you see her struggles and won’t add to them.

Go out of your way to show her you won’t be adding to her plate but rather cleaning it and packing it away.

She’s Family Orientated

If you’re getting older, you might be getting more serious with who you date and the kind of life your partner imagines having. As a single mom, she already understands the importance of family and even has one of her own.

If children frighten or scare you, acknowledge and be honest about that. But never ask a single mom to make a decision between her kids and her partner. Because her children are her first priority.

For some, the fact that she is a mother is sexy and attractive. She is loving, supportive, fun and compassionate.

If you’ve watched any romcoms, I’m talking about the scene where the girl brings the boy to a barbeque and all her family are there. The boy is busy speaking to her uncle about his business and then he turns around and sees her playing with her nephews and nieces (in this case her children).

She’s pretending to be a dinosaur or something and is completely unaware that she looks silly but she is also really fun and confident. There’s a close-up on the boy’s face and we watch him realize that he’s been waiting for a woman just like her. She’s someone he can bring home to his family (like this barbeque) and she’ll only make things more exciting.

She Understands Commitment and Responsibility

If you’re getting older, you’ll soon start to or have already noticed that some partners don’t understand your commitment to work or your responsibility to your family and friends. You’re beginning to desire someone who can appreciate the life you’ve built as well as someone who can understand the discipline and work it will take to build the life you’re dreaming of now.

Single moms know all about commitment, discipline and responsibility. They’ve taken on too much of it in fact. Like you, they want a partner who will fulfill all their promises and show up on time.

Dating a single mom, you might imagine will naturally mean she’s interested in a committed relationship. While many single moms might want that, I think all women want someone who won’t balk at the more serious and responsible aspects of life.

Women desire men who are caretakers, providers and family-men but the most important thing is that they aren’t dating a man they also have to parent. If you are feeling more sincere about your career and personal life, that’s great! There are many women who will love that, most of all a single mother who is also committed and responsible for her children and career.

Playing With Kids is Fun

Parents Playing With Kids

Naturally, a single mom’s kids might be a ‘con’ for many. But I think many might actually enjoy the one on one time with children.

Not to mention, as a single mom, your kids become a deterrent or ‘quality control’ for any potential partner. If someone isn’t alright with talking to a child or playing with them for a few minutes then in the long run, that person was unlikely to be a good partner for a single mom.

Each mother is different, but I think many don’t expect to find a potential father figure when they start dating. As a boyfriend or girlfriend, you are expected to be just that.

But if you become involved in her kid’s life, just know that not just anyone is, and that says a lot. She may want you to spend more than a night with her because she believes you aren’t the type to be scared of children.

My advice: In the morning with Cartoon Network in the background, make breakfast for her two children and her. Set up at least 3 activities for them (drawing, toy play, TV) to be busy with so they don’t wake her up. Then when she walks into the living room to breakfast smells, active and happy kids and you with sleep tussled hair and an air of capability – just trust me.


Life is not perfect, and balancing dating life, work life and home life – this won’t be perfect either. With expectations and emotions running high, these are the things to really consider before entering a relationship with a single mom.

You Won’t Be Her No.1 Priority

You never will be, unfortunately.

She is an extremely busy woman and it might feel like you are competing with Tommy’s soccer practice and Stacy’s piano recital for her time. But just imagine how she must feel, being pulled in a thousand directions at any moment.

You aren’t her number one priority, that spot has already been filled. But think of it like this, out of so many potential partners, you were the one that got drafted. You might not play every game (make peace with sitting on the bench) but when you do have game time, you can remind her you’re a star player and a valuable member of the team.

In the end, that’s what it is – a team. She’s the coach, coordinating and organizing all the players. Her kids are the world champions and heavy-weight players that bring the sponsorships and fans. You’re one of the rookie players, don’t be jealous of the fan favorite players that get more game-time.

If you play the game well and prove your worth, you’ll get more game-time. But remember, no one like a diva that fumbles the ball but everyone likes a team-player.

The Relationship is a Package Deal

If you don’t like kids, this is not going to work.

Her kids are an extension of who she is as a woman and as a mother. You may not need to be a babysitter, part-time parent or even be in her children’s lives but you do need to respect her children and when she speaks of them.

My advice: If you’re not a kid-person and you really like her, there are ways to navigate the relationship but you have to make peace with the children. You don’t need to be their role model, but you can be an adult they admire. You don’t have to be their babysitter, but you can be someone that provides or is concerned about their well being. You don’t need to be their father or mother but you can love their mother.

Be honest as well, tell her where you stand with children and be respectful of her reaction (because they are the most important things to her she deserves to know).

She has Limited Time

  • She wakes up at 6 to prepare school lunches and pack away homework into school bags.
  • At 6:30 she has the kids up and eating breakfast.
  • At 7:00 she makes sure everyone is out the door and on their way.
  • At 7:30 she’s in traffic doing her makeup on the way to work. At 8:15 she’s preparing for her staff meeting presentation that ‘s in 30 minutes.
  • At 9:30 she’s working and gets a phone call that Stacy got sick in class this morning.
  • She uses her lunch hour to rush across town to fetch Stacy and bring her home.
  • She forgets to eat lunch and feels exhausted by 4:30 when she leaves the office.
  • At 5:00 she’s collected Tommy from soccer practice and is is practicing active listening like the parenting podcast recommended.
  • She has dinner on the table (a simple mac and cheese and salad)
  • By 6:15 and has been thinking about what to wear for her date at 8:00.
  • The babysitter arrives at 7:45 and she’s still getting ready, but is soon out the door again.
  • By 8:20 she walks through the restaurant doors, sits down in front of you and after commenting on how beautiful she looks in that dress you ask her “how was your day?”.

It was tiring and with very little time to spare. But she’s so glad she got to spend some of her time to talk to you and about something that isn’t about that poor presentation, the common cold, soccer practice or meal prepping.

Out of all the things she needs to give her time to, you are one of them. It might not be a lot of time, but it’s a valuable currency to her and she wanted to spend it on you. My advice: don’t waste it!

Emotional Support and Baggage

Without going into how she became a single mom, we can just acknowledge that there’s likely a story. When she feels comfortable with you she might share it. Without generalizing too much, her story might involve a couple of these things:

  • divorce and prior relationship struggles
  • fighting and a whole lot of late nights
  • being self conscious – about her body, her marriage, the dating world, etc
  • being uncomfortable about how she compares to other single women – do they also have stretch marks? Will men want to be with a mother? Should I be having sex (casual or not) as a mother?

There are many things single parents worry about when they start dating. But the good news is, as a partner you can assuage many of those insecurities and fears. You might feel underqualified to be a role model for her children, but she might fear she’s not fit to be on dating sites.

Dating is about coming together in a relationship and balancing each other, communicating your thoughts and being a support to whatever emotional state your partner is in.

While single moms might have more emotional baggage than other women who haven’t been divorced or had children – everyone you date will have a story and some baggage that impacts a relationship. Loving someone is all about being kind and supportive of your partner’s life and their struggles.


There is plenty to consider before you begin dating a single mom, but there is plenty to love and plenty to admire about single moms.

You will be dating a strong woman who highly values her family, and is committed to building a good life with someone special. You will be dating a mom who is stressed, tired and over-committed and desperately trying to balance it all. You will be dating someone who has children and limited time to spend apart from them.

If you decide you’re interested in living this crazy and complicated life with her, then we hope this article was helpful to you both.

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John Santana

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