9 reasons dating is better as a single mom

single mom dating

Through my circle of friends and single moms I meet through this blog, I often hear cries of horror about the thought of dating.

Especially if you have kids.

What man in his right mind would consider dating a single mom? I can’t imagine getting out there again! My single-mom body is a wreck and I haven’t been on a date in 15 years!

These fears are totally normal — but don't let them hold you back.

I’ve spent the past 9 years dating as a single mom — including my current 3-year, committed relationship to a single dad — and let me tell you something: there is no better time to date than as a single mom.

Ready to get out there? Elite Singles is a great dating site for professional people looking for serious relationships. More than 80% of members are college-educated, and 90% are aged 30 and older.

I've received so many questions and emails from women about this topic that I put together a video course for single moms wanting to get out into the dating world again.

Don't quite have the confidence yet? Or know you need to make some changes in regards to the way you think about yourself?

Learn how to get your groove on, get back out there, and how to enjoy dating again with Get back into dating for single moms.

Here are nine reasons why I believe dating as a single woman is better:

  1. Single moms already have their kids
  2. Single moms are kinder to themselves
  3. Single mothers are a stronger, happier version of themselves
  4. Single moms are sexier
  5. Single mothers accept their bodies
  6. Single mothers have become the women they're meant to be
  7. Single moms are not that annoying, needy girlfriend
  8. Single mothers are less susceptible to wasting time on the wrong guy
  9. Sex as a single mom is better

1. Single moms already have their kids.

Now you can date for you.

When I was dating in my twenties, I was looking for a husband with a healthy set of testicles with which to sire children.

I have them now. Two awesome, healthy ones, in fact. I can check that off my life to-do list and look for a man for love or companionship or sex – or all three.

The pressure is off as a single mom. Get started today by checking out my post on the best dating apps to use as a single mom!

2. Single moms are kinder to themselves…

…and that makes you a delight to be around.

Divorce is a bummer.

So many disappointments, self-blame, and broken hearts. To move on, you must forgive.

Forgive yourself. Forgive your ex. Forgive the friends and in-laws who you felt deserted you.

This kindness bleeds into your other relationships. Since becoming a single mother I have found that I am so much less judgmental of myself.

I am also far less critical of other people, including men. And guess what? They seem to like me more for it! Imagine that.

3. Single mothers are a stronger, happier version of themselves.

Being a single mom means that you have been through at least three life-altering experiences.

  1. You became a parent, which will blow your mind, heart, and life in incredible ways.
  2. You’ve found yourself single after a serious long-term relationship.
  3. You've faced the reason-defying triumphs that are required of single motherhood.

Whether the single part was by way of divorce, breakup, death or choice, it was a big deal, and that changed you.

You survived that, and not only are you better for it – you’re sexier for it.

Still feel like you have work to do on yourself before you start dating? I understand. Online therapy is a great option for busy single moms — prices start at $49 for unlimited therapy, which you can do from anywhere via text, video or phone. It is also anonymous, and there are thousands of counselors, which makes it easy to find a great fit (kind of like the benefits of online dating apps!). Check out our review of the best online therapy platforms.

4. Single moms are sexier!

Confidence, a full heart, and life experience all equal being a richer, fuller person.

People are attracted to these single-mom qualities in a real, meaningful way.

Especially the people you want to attract, aka awesome men.

5. Single mothers accept their bodies.

You’ve carried and birthed and nursed a baby.

You know what an amazing thing the female body is.

It's imperfections? Who cares!

Age and childbearing have allowed you to enjoy your body for all it has to offer. Including sex.

Not quite there yet? Consider therapy to help work through your confidence hang-ups, and get your power back. Online therapy is a great option for single moms: very affordable, convenient because you communicate with your counselor via text, phone or video, and its anonymous! BetterHelp has thousands of therapists to choose from. Check out BetterHelp now >>

6. Single mothers have become the women they're meant to be.

When I met my husband in my mid-twenties, I was still struggling to make my way professionally.

My longest friendships were still forming, and I was still figuring out what was most important to me.

Now, I have reached many milestones in my career, relationships, and inner life.

I know who am, and what I want. Which makes dating about 1,000 times easier.

Advice on sex, dating and money from a hot 90-year-old single mom

7. Single moms are not that annoying, needy girlfriend.

Women with kids have a whole lot of responsibilities. Our time is limited.

How could we be clingy? When we do have time for boyfriends, we make the very most of it.

Throw a fit because he didn’t text for 3 days?

Please. I have lunches to make and doctor appointments to schedule.

8. Single mothers are less susceptible to wasting time on the wrong guy.

Because you have less time. Busy single moms have fewer lonely nights to fill, fewer dinners eaten alone.

There is less temptation to piddle away hours waiting on losers to commit just because you’re lonely.

Time is precious, and efficient moms know that the best way to spend time with a man is truly enjoying a really, really great one.

9. Sex as a single mom is better.

When you feel comfortable with your body, let go of past hang-ups, and are less critical of your partner – that’s when stuff gets good.

Plus, there’s no pressure to have babies.

There is something amazing and magical that happens when women divorce. They get beautiful. And they get horny.

It's no coincidence these two things go hand-in-hand. Or that they follow divorce. No matter how contentious or acrimonious or downright explosively miserable the end of your marriage was, being divorced is better. It always is. It was sad. It sucked. Now it's better.

Here is why:

After divorce, you feel alive again

When you finally sell off his engagement ring, that heavy, nasty weight of your ex leaves and you realize that you will survive and that life does go on, all of a sudden the sun starts to shine a little brighter. You start to notice the different shades of green of the leaves in that tree that has been outside your house for years and years. Your children seem unbelievably wonderful, and your own reflection in the mirror starts to not look so horrible. It is as if those cracks of light inside of you are now on the outside. And everything about you — on the inside and the outside — everything is better.

And the men. The men! All of a sudden, you start to notice that there are men in the world. Not just people with hair on their arms who smell different that we do. They are men who have bodies and hands and deep voices that offer compliments and eyes — eyes. Eyes that look at you and make you realize that those men are thinking things. Things about you. And that makes you think those things about yourself, too. And about those men. And those men? They're everywhere.

Sex can finally be just about pleasure.

And sooner or later you find ways to be with those men. On dates, and in bed. And you cannot believe how much better it was than the last time around. The last time you were in your 20s! You were silly and looking for a husband and had an agenda! This time? Who cares!? Well, you care — about everything. About all those feelings and the touching and the joy and the thrill and that passion and the love. Love wasn't this great last time, was it? Could it have gotten better? And yet you care about nothing. None of those things that were on your list. You have those things yourself — the kids and the house and the career. You start to see the spots in yourself that a man can fill. And you start to see men in different ways. Because you are different.

Men are better after divorce, too.

There is no speculating this time, no guessing about what he might look like in middle age, or whether he will fulfill all those dazzling plans he lays out, or whether he has the capacity for love and friendship and joy. Because now they have track records and portfolios. Of life. And you shop for them, and try them on and enjoy them.  That is the thing about being divorced and dating. You enjoy men. Because you enjoy yourself. And life is full and secure like it wasn't before. And what is more beautiful than that?

Nothing breaks my heart more than a woman who cannot be without a man. That personality is always rife with desperation, bad decisions and alienating others who love her best. Never a good look.

Even if you are not prone to the dramatics of partnering up ASAP, you may feel like a loser because you are not in a relationship.

It is normal to feel sad and lonely if you don't have a boy- or girlfriend. (It can also feel horny, but that is a slightly different topic — don't get those confused!)

In this episode, I share why being single is such an incredible opportunity you should not squander.

It doesn't have to be forever, but if you couple-up right away, you miss out on so many opportunities for personal growth, a new adventure, learning so much about yourself, others around you, and what your next relationship might be.

Ready to start dating? Dating sites ad dating apps for single parents

I'm a huge fan of online dating, which is where I met my boyfriend of 3 years.

Free online dating sites

Great news for single moms and dads is that most of the major dating sites have free versions — and some dating apps are completely free.

Popular dating websites and apps

EliteSingles dating website

EliteSingles matches potential partners via extensive questions about your values and ethics, lifestyle, how you feel about yourself, career and accomplishments, emotional maturity, whether you are seeking more children or not, sexuality, and more.

This online dating app tends to attract professional, educated singles seeking serious relationships, including single moms and single dads.

Try dating online with EliteSingles now >>

eHarmony dating website

This site has been around for more than 20 years, and was created by a psychologist trying to understand how to match people to create  committed, fulfilling partnerships.

Like EliteSingles, users answer extensive lists of questions, which then scientifically connect you with strong potential matches — not hookups.

eHarmony vs EliteSingles? Read our comparison here.

Match.com dating website

The interface is a little dated, but workable, and in many parts of the United States, Match still reins as one of the best online dating apps, with largest selection.

Plus, there’s a free trial option, low monthly cost, and creating a profile is simple.

OkCupid dating website

This highly interactive dating site features tens of thousands of user-generated questions that allow you to to know a prospective match without even a phone call.

Zoosk dating website

The app-based dating site has 35 million users around the world, and pulls in your social media accounts to help you quickly create an account and find dates, including with a free version.

Compare EliteSingles and Zoosk—which is better for single parents?

Tinder dating website

Tinder started out as a hook-up dating site, thanks in part to the fact that Tinder invented the swipe.

Tinder has gone mainstream, and increasingly single people use Tinder for dating for serious relationships, as well as friends with benefits.

This is the fastest-growing dating site, and also tends to skew younger, but that is also changing.

Tawkify dating website

Tawkify is a personalized matchmaking service — not a dating app. The site has more than 100,000 members, who join for frees who are considered for dates and matching. Customers, on the other hand, pay a fee between $99 and $6,000 per year, and meet with a concierge matchmaker who personally selects potential matches.

The League dating website

This new online dating matchmaking service that bills itself as very elite, as it only accepts a small percentage of waitlisted applicants, who are approved based on data from their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, presumably seeking out daters with higher income and education. Membership costs $349 per year, which is similar to other sites, with additional, optional fees to increase the number of daily matches and other perks.

Plentyoffish dating website

POF is a solid, straight-forward online dating app with 70 million members, that reports that 44% of its female users are single moms, and that single moms find matches 10% faster than other users.

Christian Cafe dating website

All the sites allow you to search by religion, but only ChristianCafe.com caters to people seeking fellow Christians. Owned by Match.com, this site has been around for many years, and has the largest database of single Christians.

Is dating within your Christian faith important to you? Start a free trial memberships on ChristianCafe.com >>

Happn dating website

Happn focused on hyper-locality, using your physical location with GPS tracking to connect you with people who you have crossed paths with in real life, showing you a map of where you have been in the same coffee shop, bar, grocery store or AYSO soccer field.

Bumble dating website

Bumble was created by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, with the sole focus of putting the power of dating into the hands of women.

In other words, women have since the dawn of time been sick of dudes coming on too strong, cheesy pickup lines, dick pics, stalkers and worse. Bumble is the answer to these issues, as in all cases, women initiate the online flirting, and are the only gender that can initiate in-app conversations and chats.

Bumble changes that by attracting men who like and respect women who make the moves.

Best dating website for relationships
Elite Singles

EliteSingles stands out in that it has a long, specific survey that attracts an overwhelming percentage of members who are professionals with college degrees, and are looking for a serious, long-term relationship.

EliteSingles stands out because it features:

  • 82% of the members have a college education
  • More than 90% of members are aged 30+
  • A deep personality survey to make highly compatible matches
  • Verified profiles — no catfishing!
  • Free personality report
  • Apps for iOS and Android

Read my Elite Singles review.

Here is my guide for how to choose the best photos for your online dating profile. 

Matchmaking site It's Just Lunch— a 28-year-old dating service that claims more than 3 million first dates (!). It's Just Lunch packages guarantee a fixed number of dates, which you approve before you meet for lunch, coffee or drinks.

Not quite ready to get out there? Learn more about my video course, Get Back Into Dating Again as a Single Mom.

dating after divorce


Recent breakup? Don't miss an opportunity of a lifetime — to be single!


About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, noted blogger, and bestselling author. 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.  Find out Emma's top Single Mom Resources here.

34 Comments

  1. […] by their husband or she is widowed with having kids and still, she is unmarried by nobody called single mom. It gives depression and anxiety and it is also affecting their mental those are all things result […]

  2. SingleMom on February 28, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Interesting article but definitely not my experience in the last 8 years as a single mom. Don’t assume a woman doesn’t want anymore kids after divorce. I had onechild but always wanted a bigger family. I got divorced when my child was a baby so I was hoping to find the traditional family experience. I wasn’t expecting to be navigation through the world of first date vasectomy announcements. That kind of shuts things down right there! There are just so many factors now, & the dating pool is much smaller in my late 30’s. The worst part is the number of married men that want to have some sort of relationship with me. I was definitely living in Fantasy Land in my 20’s because I had no idea how the real world worked. I think I would rather not know.

  3. Angela on October 28, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Great article! I can relate to it completely on both sides. Dating again is the best experience of my life! My personal growth is happening at an exponential rate! I am learning a new skill. ..the art of dating. …15 years later. …middle aged. …divorced. ..with kids. …to a man with the same set of skills. It’s crazy what an amazing opportunity we are being given for fun, growth, excitement, learning from past mistakes, exploring our sexuality and setting healthy boundaries. But the love and profoundly deep connection (that I didn’t know was possible again) is what makes “getting back out there again” completely worth doing! It does require confidence. Thank you for this confident boosting article!

    • Emma on October 28, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Love your positive attitude!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. The Thrifty Issue on May 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Lovely article. I love how I feel empowered after reading it. Often times, there is such a negative connotation with dating while being a single mom.

  5. Kimberley Willay-Johnson on April 21, 2016 at 5:22 am

    This is all so true.

    The sex has NEVER been better and I’m not looking for a guy to take care of me financially or my kids or to make kids with me.

    As a result, I’m 43 and I am having sex with 21 year old guys (ok sometimes 18 years old) any weekend I want!

    I love my body and those young guys have the stamina to go for days. No blue pills needed. They get harder than dating scenes and are so eager to please.

    Nothing beats a young man with stamina just standing upright in the wind and awaiting your next command.

    They don’t nag you the next day or try to wife you and I certainly don’t nag them.

    My kids get a confident and loving mom all week and on the weekends a lot of young men get a ruthless lovemaking machine that can teach them what to do.

    It sure beats a 40 year old husband with a gut, wanting to watch a ballgame and needing to take a pill just to grace you with 3 minutes of sex on your birthday or anniversary.

    It’s been 3 years since my divorce and I’ve never felt more alive.

    I keep getting younger and these eager men are going to stay the same age.

    You go ladies!

    But get out of my way before I run you over. ;)

  6. Mitchel Mallari on April 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!

  7. Becky on January 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

    YES!!! This article, just so much Yes. Love it!

  8. LaToya on December 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Emma, I commend you on taking your valley, (after divorce) and helping others through the ordeal! I am at the beginning stages of being a single mother of twins, not going to lie, I have moments of looking forward to dating again and moments of do I really want to. But I am enjoying my twins who are the blessings of my life and they are 2 years old, so time will provide all things necessary. Cheers to me for standing tall! Now where is the wine?

  9. Kylie Travers on October 4, 2015 at 2:00 am

    i was quite scared to start dating after my divorce. My ex was abusive, my kids terrified of men and I had left my religion. Dating in the religion was easy, no sex before marriage so there were no expectations on dates etc. dating outside my religion scared me because I was so sheltered and naive from my upbringing.

    I have to say, loved it. It was so freeing compared to dating before. I know myself. I have confidence. I didn’t have time nor would I put up with dramas.

    I met my current partner when I least expected it. We were close friends first and the first male after my divirce my kids adored and weren’t scared of (abuse was so bad they couldn’t even go to the shops because if a male looked at them they got scared).

    He has done wonders for my daughters and I and funny thing is he was quite the single bachelor, travelling, partying etc before he moved in as a flat mate. Once he was in our house he realised this was what he wanted. No pressure though. I have my kids. I’ve been married and now what we have is relaxed and what we both want.

    Love your article.

  10. David on July 14, 2015 at 9:47 am

    For all the reasons listed above, it’s quite nice to date single moms. The confidence and lack of “bullshit” you bring doesn’t just benefit you. It creates a great space for two.

    And, I am sure that single parent or otherwise, we all have baggage. Don’t think you’re so special that only your baggage matters ;-)

    db

    • Emma on July 20, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Working on a post (in my mind): Why don’t we just expect every relationship to be a shit show? Thanks for chiming in and the supportive words !!

  11. Aidyl on June 6, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I enjoyed this post! I felt guilty for the longest time that I was having a better time fating than I did when I was married! The awesome thing is – if you are tired of “eating candy bars” and the “novelty”, & prefer to just lay low for a while – go for it! Being single puts the power of choice back in your court. I know exactly what I want and do not want. I become tired of men who try to pressure me into having more kids!!! I have three!!! They say, “well you don’t look like it”…etc… I think – yeah! It was harder than hard to gain my body, confidence, and independence back… so back the hell away if you want that – er , uh, please find someone else’s uterus to occupy with your DNA. My babes are mine, and that is it! I welcome others’ kids with open arms, but my body IS DONE! Case in point ? I am excited to schedule my tubal next month! :D

    • Aidyl on June 6, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      LOL “dating” rather than “fating” — although hey! That’d be cool if I did meet the exact guy by way of fate! :D

    • Emma on June 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

      lol, you’re awesome Aidyl – keep on with that fating!

      • Emily on August 25, 2019 at 4:13 pm

        What to do when the father of my child forgets to feed my child, is minipulative and cancels whenever he feels like it…he wants things on his terms when it doesn’t meet my daughters best interests because he doesn’t want to see me. I have concerns for his mental health and don’t know what to do …

  12. Sandra on June 5, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I’d love to hear from some older single mommies – wealthy or not (preferably not, so I can relate more easily) about dating after menopause – I sometimes wonder what the point is – men want sex- post menopausal women do too -sorta-after some time) but it’s really not the same – it requires a trust and a friendship first. How do those women who are dating, and not feeling sexual (but know they can with the right man) first find, and then attract a man? And my guess is that single moms of teens could be more “needy” than moms of young kids – for many reasons but not the least of which is: we don’t want to get old alone! Yet we don’t want to settle …. Personally I’m “off the market” till I figure this out – menopause sure throws a wrench into all of that awesome sexy dating stuff. (I know because I did that too- in fact it all ended as abruptly as the menopause came on! I now read your article and see we are on very different pages – and I do very much miss being on that sexy dating page!! I know it’s possible – I don’t see many folks like me talking about it (except for Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin!).

    • Emma on June 8, 2015 at 10:50 am

      These are great questions, Sandra … I think only you can find the ultimate answer for yourself, but I do hope some of your age peers chime in with their experience. However, I will say this: Why stay off the market to do your research? What about dating, casually, without sex (or with, should the mood strike), as you explore what you want, how that fits with men you’re meeting, and take it from there? Thoughts?

      • candice on April 8, 2017 at 7:59 am

        I’m a single mom in my 30’s and love sex. But I’m not currently having sex with the men that I’m dating because of my faith beliefs. I’m not saying I’m a saint. I had a kid out of wedlock 7 years ago. Sex confuses everything anyways. I’ve committed to not having sex UNTIL I’m in a committed relationship. Dating is really fun right now even without sex! Otherwise, I’m happy being single and with my kid. What do you think?

  13. Mata on June 5, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    This is strange for me. I’m separated, 6 years, and just agreed to a divorce. I was never ever a dater and since 6 years not been intimate with anyone. Reading these dating tip seems a bit off for me because I never was one to begin with. I “dated” people I knew through sports, work, friends. Now I find myself single, jobless at 49 and the last thing I can think of is “dating”. I’m more worried about getting on my feet than dating. I’m a true believer in love and that it will always come when the time is right. I have confidence about my looks, my attitude and that sure one day when the time is right my soulmate will come along. At this moment it’s impossible for me to think of dating and honestly I feel like there’s so much emphasis on dating that it freaks me out. I suppose it’s on a lot of newly single women’s minds. This article is good but it’s nothing I don’t already think myself so in that, it’s a relief someone else thinks like me. But stop dreaming me out and make me feel like a bigger loser that I’m divorced, jobless and “single”. A man in my bed doesn’t make me whole but a soulmate in my life would be nice :).

  14. Sheila on June 5, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I agree with those and I certainly feel liberated this time around. However, dating has had its ups and downs. Most men I’ve dated since my divorce have been the kind that only wants fun in the now. I didn’t mind having fun, but the novelty wore off and it got tiresome. Younger men also tend to be too lazy or cheap to take you on real dates. The man I’m seeing now was my college crush from 23 years ago. The feelings were still there and came to the surface as soon as we met. He asked me why I stopped dating guys for a while and I said that I got tired of eating candy bars. I wanted the filet mignon dinner. It’s much more satisfying. And he is all that.

    • Emma on June 8, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Great story Sheila! Takeaway: Date on your own terms, as your mood and needs evolve. Some days all I want to do is eat Butterfingers. Others a salad hits the spot. Or, your steak dinner sounds pretty awesome right now. xx Congrats on the new love :)

  15. Angie Berthelsen on June 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I love this! All very true. And I must say, I have had a lot of fun dating as a single mom, way more fun then I had in my twenties.

    • Emma on June 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      Right? Glad to hear I’m not alone

  16. King on July 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I too enjoyed toihngt’s PBS adaptation. Mr. Knightley is very easy on the eyes. LOL– Can’t wait until next weeks episode. I will be ordering this version on DVD.Funny thing is Emma is the only JA book that is missing from my bookshelf. I too must order a copy.hugs-missy-

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  18. job on April 24, 2013 at 5:19 am

    I married at 19. I’m fairly certain my dating social skills have fossilized at this point. Yes, I dread the thought of ever dating post divorce.

    • Emma on April 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Job – this is so interesting and I’ve been thinking of writing a post about how people get stuck thinking of themselves as the last time they were single – which in many cases was a long time ago. Stay tuned for a related post!

  19. Andrea on April 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you so much for another great article filled with so many truths!

  20. Heather Buen - Dallas Single Mom on April 4, 2013 at 12:18 am

    The last part for me definitely rings true. I can spot red flags very quickly, I will call the other person out on those red flags and I’m so much more confident about what I truly want.

    The reverse has seemed to happen now that I have been a single mom for well over 5 years is that I’m up front and will spell it out early if there is no future. I also ask for that up front because it doesn’t make sense for anyone to waste anyone’s time.

    • Emma on April 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

      I think it is part of life, too — the more intense our experiences, the better we know yourselves (hopefully) and the better our instincts and intuition – which lead to better decisions.

  21. MACServicesGroup on April 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    What a supportive and motivating article for single moms. It is all too easy to be afraid of entering the dating world again, and your article is a very encouraging pick-me-up that highlights all the benefits of getting back in the game. I also really appreciated this quote, “To move on, you must forgive. Forgive yourself. Forgive your ex. Forgive the friends and in-laws who deserted you.” That is such great advice. Thank you for sharing!

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