12 things never to say to a single mom on a first date

We all say dumb stuff on dates. Especially first dates when everyone is self-conscious and sussing out someone new.

But there are some things that you just do not say to a single mom on a first date, assuming you’re angling for a second. Here are 12:

1. “That’s great your mom lives in town so you can leave your kids with her on weekends.”

2. “I am really loving this time of my life since my kids went away to college.”

3. “Wow, you look good considering you had two kids.”

4. “Kids need a man in the house.”

5. “You had a C-section? That’s awesome.”

6. “You don’t even have stretch marks!”

7. “Your ex husband lives in the neighborhood? Is his place near here [looking over both shoulders]? Do you ever run into him? Does he hate that you date? Has he ever beat up your boyfriends? Have your kids met any men you’ve dated? How did they react? Did they resent him?

8. “Did you get your tubes tied?”

9. “How much child support do you get?”

10. “When guys marry single moms and their daughters grow into teenagers, I don’t know how they can control themselves.”

11. “My ex has a lot of issues so I really want to get married so my daughter has a new mom.”

12. “Not a lot of guys are interested in women with kids, you know.”

Interested in getting to know someone on a second date? Commit this list to memory and never ever utter a single one of them.

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About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list. Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.


  1. Seanna on October 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Oh, you have your kid full time… yeah, I can’t date you I want a “real” relationship.

    Do you want more kids? Because I really want kids. (Crazy to hear that on a first date, when you are dating guys who are 28-35 and REALLY want to have kids. Of course, I am not sure either way.)

  2. Seanna on October 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

    It is usually guys that have never had kids, who want to know if I want to have kids right away. I still haven’t figured out if they are funny at this point or if they enjoy working out – very important dating aspects for me. Let alone life long commitments.

  3. Martha on October 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I’ve had guys open up the date with, “I love kids – I’m super good with them” when we’ve barely greeted each other. I want to say, “Whoah, whoah – that’s great and all. But how about WE get to know each other??” Oh, and my other favorite is when unprompted they say, “You know – I don’t mind at all that you’re a mom.”

    • Emma on October 29, 2013 at 11:27 am

      >>“You know – I don’t mind at all that you’re a mom.” Yay you! Because you’re probably totally ashamed of the fact. ha!

  4. Peter on October 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    So… how many of these have you heard?

    • Emma on October 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

      @Peter, let’s just say enough of them

  5. Toby on June 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Just go to the cinema on the first date and dont talk at all!

    • Emma on June 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Oh no – movies are the worst first date! How do you get to know the other person?!

    • Maria on September 26, 2016 at 8:02 am

      I agree. Why do you have to talk right away? Why not go to a comfortable place, like the movies, and just relax? A conversation about the movie usually starts afterwards which leads to talking about other stuff too.

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