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 start dating? Looking for a serious relationship? Our No. 1 recommendation is eharmony, which is consistently rated the most trusted dating site, and is designed specifically for those looking for meaningful, long-term connections. A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and reports that, “Every day, an average of 438 singles marry a match they found on eharmony.”
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And get a babysitter, pronto.
Here are nine reasons why I believe dating as a single woman is better:
- Single moms already have their kids
- Single moms are kinder to themselves
- Single mothers are a stronger, happier version of themselves
- Single moms are sexier
- Single mothers accept their bodies
- Single mothers have become the women they're meant to be
- Single moms are not that annoying, needy girlfriend
- Single mothers are less susceptible to wasting time on the wrong guy
- 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 — including with your own confidence. 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.
- You became a parent, which will blow your mind, heart, and life in incredible ways.
- You’ve found yourself single after a serious long-term relationship.
- 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. Check out our review of BetterHelp.
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.
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.
Dating a widower: 6 things you need to know
7. Single moms are not like 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. This is one thing that younger men looking to date older women tell me they like about that arrangement.
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, including single-mom sex.
Not sure about getting out there again, and to be dating as a single mom? Keep reading below, and check out these tips for dating after divorce:
1. Recognize your fears as normal, but commit to dating anyway.
These fears might include:
- Being unattractive with your age/mom bod
- Having too much emotional baggage to attract a quality man
- Traumatizing your kids
- Getting your heart broken
Trust me: used-up, lumpy, wounded moms meet quality men every day of the week. Take it from me! Remember: For every divorced mom on the market, there is a lumpy, wounded single dad! Embrace your humanity — and his.
2. Rest assured: Your kids will be fine
Just don't date for the sake of looking for a husband, and for the love of God, do not move in any time soon. From my bestselling book, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin):
One of the most-cited studies about single mothers is the harm caused to children by the instability of boyfriends moving in and out of their home and lives. Leading researcher on single mother families, Sarah S. McLalanahan of Princeton University, found that children raised by single mothers (who tend to be younger and poorer than married moms) are more likely to struggle academically, because these single moms have less stable relationships with their children’s fathers, and men overall, with new boyfriends and their children moving in and out of the family home. It is fatherlessness and poverty — not divorce or separated families per se — that put kids at risk.
We found that divorce and separation play a limited role in shaping children’s cognitive abilities, such as language and mathematical skills, which are tested in conventional school examinations. Maternal education and poverty are much more important in this area. In contrast, family instability plays a much bigger role than mothers’ education or poverty in the development of “social-emotional” skills. For example, family instability has twice as much influence as poverty does on whether children develop aggressive behavior. It is on par with poverty in causing childhood anxiety and shyness.
This research is important, and I urge you to heed it. But do not let it scare you into celibacy, or shame you into sneaking or lying about your romantic life, or staying up late worrying that decisions that led to this point have sentenced your children to a crappy life.
Far from it.
Research highlighting mothers’ relationship instability, which is within your control. The research is not about financially independent, unmarried moms who date a bunch of people without committing to them. The risks associated with “partner instability” have little to do with men who do not live in your house, who are not automatically relegated a boyfriend, move in with his children, and other major life changes that come with serious, committed relationships.
The risk to negative outcomes for your kids, we can assume, plummets if you have a healthy attitude about romance, and are financially stable enough that you are not compulsively tempted to co-habit out of financial destitution, rather than healthy commitment to a shared future with a man or woman you love.
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3. Download a dating app and get to it!
Ready to start dating? Looking for a serious relationship? Our No. 1 recommendation is eharmony, which is consistently rated the most trusted dating site, and is designed specifically for those looking for meaningful, long-term connections. A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and claims “Every day, an average of 438 singles marry a match they found on eharmony.” 3-month free guarantee.
If you are ready to get out there, but need some online dating advice, here you go!
- Where you live. Each city has its own vibe on each dating site for single moms. For example, OKCupid is among the most popular in New York City where I live, and is the best resource for quality dating. But in other cities, OKC is used mostly for hooking up. Ask your friends. Ask men you date. Check out a few.
- Each site has different types of men as members. It’s just like looking for a job – you may have your resume posted on Monster.com, Indeed, and a couple of industry-specific sites. Again, check out a few that others recommend, use their free trials or promotions, and see which has the best selection for you. Likely, you will keep a few accounts going at the same time. Sometimes, more is more!
- Don’t give up too soon. Dating is about dating – meeting new people, learning about yourself, your tastes and needs at this time of your life. Just because a date doesn’t lead to marriage does not make it a disaster! Did you have fun? Meet a nice person? Learn something about yourself? Consider it a success!
- There is nothing unique about the men who date online. I often hear women say: “I'm giving up on online dating apps! All the guys there are losers!” That is like saying: “I'm going to cut off all my friends who are on Instagram! Only losers are on Instagram!” After all, online dating is 100% normal and commonplace, nothing to be ashamed of and NOT an activity unique to any particular type of person. If online dating isn't working for you now, take a break, assess how you might approach dating in general, and then try again in a few months.
- Online dating is what you put into it. If you want to meet honest people, be honest yourself. Here is a deep-dive into why you should be totally honest on your dating profile about your salary and income, as well as whether you have kids.
- Have fun! The better your attitude about dating and meeting men, the better your experience — no matter the outcome.
The internet is just a medium for meeting men. A tool for connecting with other humans. Like Facebook or Instagram, but with more potential for sex, romance and STDs (kidding / not kidding).
Keep at it, try new things and keep an open mind. Also: HAVE FUN!
In the meantime, you can also consider dating apps as simply another social media. I did.
Thank you for this beautiful and encouraging article. It all rings so true and that lets me know i may be ready for love this upcoming 2023 year Cheers and Healing Hugs xo #grateful
What fucking planet are you living on??? I’m ghosted as soon as I say I have children. They never read the damn profile and im just throwing good money after bad. I have no friends, nothing, and it’s just too damn expensive to shell out $60 a month for no dates, no connections, no nothing. I’d be better off dead.
Thank you Emma Johnson. These tips help but my relationship hasn’t been too good cos of uncertainties from the other person. So I better focus on making money.
Am not sure I can date again because my last experience was terrible, but I kinda love this article it made me to reconsider to my decisions
I really enjoyed this article. I died laughing, your sense of humor is refreshing lol.
¨What man in his right mind would consider dating a single mom?¨
The not asshole ones. I believe my kid is a great filter against small-minded idiots hahha.
I am a single mom and people say I should write a book about my story. So, I am kind of doind it throughout my blog. I am very positive about being a single mom, hope I can help other women feel the same
Thanks for your honesty – both Emma and Lara.
Young boys need to read as many of these sorts of comments from women as possible, and from the youngest age possible. It just does not have the same effect coming from a man.
The more young men see how the average woman views them for simply having dating preferences, the more quickly we can reduce the number of unnecessary marriages, divorces, unwanted children, and the other issues that stem from men’s bad decision making.
The sooner that happens, the faster society can heal and progress to a more sensible set of models that are not so abusive and harmful to so many children.
Thanks for this blog. It is enlightening. I will share this with other men. Keep up the great work ladies!
And stay positive!
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.
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!
Love your positive attitude!!! Thanks for sharing :)
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.
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. ;)
hahaha loved your comment! I am 32, but I also don’t think I must stop enjoying my life and having sex only because I am a mom! We must keep flying, but now carrying a little friend with us.
As you said, as long as we are happy and enjoying life, our kids will see an independent and happy mother as role model.
Your sons will end up hating women and you are the reason most men who hate women feel the way they do. You reveal your worth to be no more than a piece of meat, you reduce yourself to no more than sex and then complain when we men see you trash. Great job, way to progress…. Grow up, pathetic middle aged women attempting to reclaim some sense of power through feeble superficial pleasure are even sadder than their middle aged male counterparts… Pleasure is always fun, but your are blind if you honestly believe yourself to be fulfilled and happy. You are but temporarily satiated until you get the next fix, the next burst of intensity to distract or numb your emptiness. I use and abuse women like you losers all day long, humiliate and degrade like the trash you make yourselves out to be… Repugnant…
Imagine bragging about abusing women just because they choose to enjoy sex. Yikes. Get some therapy Eric, this is not a good look and you clearly need some help.
GET IT GURL
Your comment inspired me
I couldn’t agree more!
YES!!! This article, just so much Yes. Love it!
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?
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.
“Single moms are sexier.” No, they’re not. From a man’s perspective, a woman without kids will always be more attractive and more appealing.
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 ;-)
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 !!
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
LOL “dating” rather than “fating” — although hey! That’d be cool if I did meet the exact guy by way of fate! :D
lol, you’re awesome Aidyl – keep on with that fating!
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 …
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!).
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?
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?
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 :).
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.
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 :)
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.
Right? Glad to hear I’m not alone
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-
مادرتونو گایید م
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.
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!
Thank you so much for another great article filled with so many truths!
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.
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.
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!
Thanks so much for your comments! If you are ready to get back into the dating game, check out my post on best dating sites for single parents https://www.wealthysinglemommy.com/which-dating-site-should-you-choose/