scroll top

8 rules for dating a single mom

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about dating a single mom or you’re currently dating a single mom and want to make sure you don’t “mess it up.”

After all, single moms have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. 

The first thing you should remember is that every single mom is different, just as every woman without children is different. That said, dating a single mom naturally comes with its own set of unique circumstances and challenges, especially if she still has young children.

However, if you’re willing to learn the “rules” of dating a single mom, you can form a meaningful and lasting partnership.

Is it a good idea to date a single mom?

Emyli Lovz, co-founder of emlovz, a dating coaching and matchmaker service based in San Francisco, says there are a lot of good reasons to date a single mom. These are a few: 

  • Tend to be more grateful for quality love, support, and connection
  • Likely to be more understanding of the needs of others 
  • More nurturing and selfless 

But of course dating a single mom isn’t for everyone — for example, if you are someone who doesn’t like kids or you need a lot of attention in a relationship.

“It will be easier if you're also a single dad because you'll have more experience with challenging and limited dating schedules, last-minute cancellations, and understanding that her kids come first,” Lovz says. 

While the dating site is no longer active, Yahoo! Personals once surveyed 4,500 men about dating single moms, and this is what they found: 

  • 48% believed single moms were more mature and motivated to build a relationship
  • 26% said they preferred dating single moms because they appreciated the quality of the time spent together over the quantity
  • 16% liked seeing the single moms interact with their children because it revealed how they show love

Someone on the #AskMen subreddit recently asked about the benefits of dating a single mom, and these were some of the responses:

Reddit thread with rules for dating a single mom.
#AskMen Reddit thread with rules for dating a single mom.
Reddit comment with rules for dating a single mom.
Reddit comment with rules for dating a single mother.
Reddit thread with rules for dating a single mother.
Funny Reddit thread with rules for dating a single mom.
Funny Reddit comment with rules for dating a single mom.

What do single moms want in a relationship?

We asked real single moms from our Facebook group Millionaire Single Moms what they want in a relationship, and this is what they said (the common thread is pretty obvious): 

“Respectful of our time and goals, encouraging, loyal, willing and able to communicate and work through things, has a few of the same interests so that we can spend some quality time together or be able to have things to talk about.” — Kate

“RESPECT and RESPECT.” — Kelly

“I want us to be respectful of each other, the ability to be vulnerable, have healthy boundaries, two independent people come together to create a strong relationship (interdependence), dependability, and open communication.” — Amy

”I'm looking for autonomy, respect, personal space, quality time together, and communication. An enjoyable time shared.” — Janelle

“Mutual respect, loyalty, care and independence. The last means that we aren’t relying solely on each other for friendship, support and engagement. Go out with your friends. Have hobbies or interests I don’t necessarily share. We can have a happy healthy relationship where we don’t have to share everything all the time.” 

Dating a cougar? 9 things you should know

Is dating a single mom hard?

Dating can be challenging regardless of your partner’s parental status, but Lovz says these are some of the things you’re more likely to face dating a single mom:  

  • Scheduling dates. Depending on custody arrangements — or if the single mom you’re seeing doesn’t have a co-parent — finding time to spend together might be more difficult. Last-minute date cancellations are bound to happen when kids are sick or if the ex isn't able to take the kids for some reason. 
  • Her kids will probably come first. If you’re someone who needs constant attention and affirmation in a relationship, dating a single mom probably isn’t for you.
  • She likely won’t be able to easily uproot her life if your career randomly transfers you to a new place — and you shouldn’t expect her to. 
  • The ex-factor. Sometimes there's a crazy ex-husband who will always be in the picture. If you’re the jealous type, dating a single mom probably won't work out. 

Lovz asked her TikTok followers to share the hardest things (in their experience) about dating a single mom: 

“They hardly ever have time to date, depending on the age of their kids. Hard to go on weekend getaways if they have sole custody.”

“It can be the greatest or cruelest gift. You fall in love with her kids but can get blimped out in a flash.”

“Getting her to get out of the mom zone and be the woman she is.”

“You always have the ex in the background. You are spending your time and money on someone else’s kids.”

“They don’t have a lot of time for dating so you have to adjust your schedule to suit the relationship.”

#1 rule for dating a single mom

The #1 rule for dating a single mom — based on feedback from real single moms — is to treat her with respect. 

Respect her time, her kids, her money, and her independence, and you can form a meaningful relationship with a wonderful woman. 

Also, check out these tips for dating a single mom.

More rules for dating a single mom

Lovz says if you’re dating a single mom, there are some rules you should follow to build a successful partnership: 

  1. Be flexible. Her plans won't always be written in stone. You should be flexible about meeting up, as well as how long you can stay out, and where you can go. 
  2. Make an effort to get to know her kids when she decides the time is right. You don't want them thinking of you as the bad guy who is taking up all of their mom's energy and attention. Show them that you're a positive addition to her life, as well as theirs. 
  3. Be helpful. Think of ways to make her life easier, not harder. 

Lovz’s TikTok followers also shared their advice for dating a single mom: 

“Give her space, respect her time, and feel fortunate enough that she shares her limited time with you.”

“Go slow, kids first, understand time is hard to get.”

“Don’t meet the kids till it’s serious, don’t expect to get much time, spoil her when she’s free. 🥰”

“If their kids misbehave, don’t say anything. And don’t be critical of her child-rearing practices. None of your business.”

14 ideas for & where to buy unique and non-traditional engagement rings in 2022

What single mothers want in a man

Based on responses from real single moms, this is what single mothers want in a man: 

“Someone who is goal driven, kind to everyone, can manage life on his own, emotionally & financially stable, communicates, respects me & my choices and doesn’t need my constant attention or question my every move.” — Kate

“Someone who is in the trenches with me and shows up as a true partner to me. Someone who has life goals, who is a doer (divides and conquers the to-do list with me), supports my goals, listens to me, appreciates me, can take care of themselves, follows through and does what he says he will do. Funny/good sense of humor is a plus!” — Brenda

“Someone who does not cringe when I’m myself and someone who is not afraid to be with a strong-willed woman.” — Mary

“A best friend, loyal, reliable, consistent, gives me freedom and lets me be me. Someone who is chill, calm, and secure. Basically the complete opposite of my ex spouse.” — Becca

“Emotionally healthy, financially stable, intelligent, communicative.” — Juliana

“Someone who is kind, emotionally mature, open and honest, independent, financially secure.”  — Amy

“Not in a man, as I'm not limited to men. But I'm looking for someone independent who shares similar interests to me. Someone who gives me butterflies.” — Janelle

Want to make a lasting connection with a single mom in your area? eharmony is our No. 1 choice for finding long-term partnership online for a few reasons: 

  • Accredited with an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • Filter matches by a number of specific criteria (including whether your matches have kids)
  • Free basic plan
  • Video dating
  • Vetted profiles to prove they are a real person and not married

Get 25% off eharmony now with code WSM25 >>

Interested in checking out other dating sites and apps? Here are some dating app reviews:

eharmonyZooskTinder
Christian MingleAdult Friend FinderElite Singles
BumbleOKCupidPlenty of Fish
Christian dating appsSingleParentMeetCatholic dating sites
13 international dating appsSeeking ArrangementCoffee Meets Bagel
Is it a good idea to date a single mom?

Emyli Lovz, co-founder of emlovz, a dating coaching and matchmaker service based in San Francisco, says there are a lot of good reasons to date a single mom.

What do single moms want in a relationship?

Mutual respect, loyalty, care and independence.

Is dating a single mom hard?

Dating can be challenging regardless of your partner’s parental status, but Emyli Lovz, co-founder of emlovz, a dating coaching and matchmaker service, says these are some of the things you’re more likely to face dating a single mom: scheduling dates, ex-husband, and more.

Leighann Bacher is a writer/editor based in Pittsburgh, Pa. She received her degree in journalism from Kent State University and has since worked for major metropolitan newspapers, marketing firms and city magazines. Leighann was named one of Pittsburgh Magazine's '40 Under 40 Honorees' for spearheading a social media campaign to connect people with COVID-19 vaccines and resources. Her greatest joy is spending time with her two kids and dabbling in her creative passions of photography, dance and art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.