If you’re new to online dating as a single mom, it can be totally overwhelming and confusing.
Which sites are the best?
Which are full of freaks and pervs?
Where can you find nice guys?
A fun date?
All of the above?
[Better question: Where can I safely explore what I really want?]
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! If you are asking these questions, that means you have done some very deep and important work on your journey to moving forward with a positive, healthy romantic life.
Maybe you’ve been out there a while, getting frustrated, heartbroken and a bit hopeless. We’ll talk in another post :)
But for the new to online dating, here is a quick guide for how to get into it, and which sites are the best:
Top dating apps for single parents
10 Best dating websites for single moms
This site has been around for years, and the focus is on long-term, serious, committed relationships.
The gist is that both users answer extensive lists of questions, which then scientifically connect you with really strong potential matches.
This isn’t a platform for casual hookups!
One of the oldest and most popular sites, you cannot go wrong with Match.com.
I met a serious boyfriend on there, and many great people I know have Match accounts.
The interface is a little dated, but workable.
Plus, there’s a free trial option, low monthly cost, and creating a profile is simple.
I also have a promotional coupon to use for 25% off if you sign up here!
I love OKCupid. Again, it is very popular in New York City where I live, but I find it to be a great interface.
There is a free version, but very few people can resist upgrading.
When you upgrade on OkCupid, you have access to features like seeing who “liked” your profile, or when the guy you’re hot for last logged in.
OKC is a highly interactive site, which features thousands and thousands of user-generated questions that allow you to really get to know a prospective match.
This started out as a hook-up site, thanks to it’s geo-location feature and scant profile details.
After all, users only upload a few photos and a very brief profile, then connect through swipes on their phones.
But like any popular technology, this one has gone mainstream, and I increasingly hear quality people – both men and women – say they rely on Tinder for dating people with serious relationship potential.
This is the fastest-growing dating site, and also tends to skew younger, but that is also changing.
This new online dating service has a unique business model.
Their homepage boasts large font reading, “Are you told your standards are too high?” Basically, The League offers to be your “well-networked friend who doubles as your wingman,” sussing out good matches for you based on a more discerning set of qualifications than your average dating site.
They also thoroughly vet your matches before ever showing them to you, which really helps cut your chances of meeting a sloppy weirdo with no job.
This is a cute site where users fill out basic profiles, upload a few pics, then suggest a date.
“Let’s get to know each other at a wine bar, then stroll around the Village,” or “Take a salsa dancing class together!” or “Watch the Yankees while eating wings and a microbrew.”
The upside is that you have a very excellent chance of a fun date, even if you don’t hit the love jackpot.
POF is a solid, straight-forward dating site. It seems to work great for single moms.
POF reports that 44% of its female users are single moms, and that single moms find matches 10% faster than other users.
It’s also free, which can’t hurt!
All the sites allow you to search by religion, but a few dating sites specifically focus on different faiths.
ChristianCafe caters to people seeking fellow Christians.
There’s a reason Zoosk is the highest-grossing dating app around.
It uses behavioral matchmaking technology to constantly customize the dating and matchmaking experience for its 35 million+ members.
This one is very new.
Happn competes with Tinder and focuses on GPS tracking to connect you with people who you have crossed paths with IRL, showing you a map of where you have been in the same coffee shop, bar, grocery store or AYSO soccer field.
One of the newer dating platforms on the scene, Bumble boasts the slogan, “We’re not just for dating anymore” — but everyone knows that’s the best part of the app.
Unique to other dating sites, on Bumble, only women can make the first move.
Pretty awesome if you’re looking for a relationship on a level playing field (and who isn’t?)!
This single mom dating site is geared towards the 40-and-up crowd.
And, as its name implies, many of the potential matches are looking for a fresh start in love, having been divorced themselves in many cases.
Which dating apps to try as a single parent dating again
A few general guidelines:
- 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! All the guys there are losers!” That is like saying: “I’m going to cut off all my friends who are on Facebook!” 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.
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. Here is my experience:
7 non-sexy good things that can come of online dating
If you’re like most single people I know, online dating is a mainstay. What more efficient way to connect with men interested in cheap hookups and glomming onto you in fits of slobbering neediness?
But really, in my experience I can’t say enough good things about online dating. Aside from being a one-stop shop of all things men, in my recent year-long tenure of digital connections I also found many, less sexy benefits of putting your pixels out there. Here are 7:
1. Make a friend.
After one fun date with a a single dad my age earlier this year, Marc and I friend-zoned each other. We’ve been buds ever since. We recently went hiking with our kids, and we text a couple times per week, usually about who we’re seeing (and met online).
2. Help a friend, and set up blind dates.
I’ve encountered several guys online who seemed cool, but not right for me. So I intro’d them to my single girlfriends by sharing with each party their handle.
3. Help your family.
Last week my brother, who owns a media company, had a business lunch with a guy introduced him to — someone I’d met online and dated for a minute.
4. Business networking through online dating.
My friend, an accountant, has turned several otherwise dead-end dates with guys she met online into clients. When I needed an entertainment lawyer, I found one through a music attorney I went out on a date with, and met online.
5. Connect with old friends on dating sites.
I recently stumbled upon an old acquaintance’s profile. I sent him a message: “Hi Marcos! Your daughter has gotten so big! Hope you’re well!” and I got a similar one in return. Online dating sites the new Facebook? You decide …
6. Catch up on gossip.
I went out with one online connection who turned out to be a business journalist who worked at the exact same news wire I did at the same time. He caught me up on gossip of all my old colleagues.7. Boost your web traffic. A couple guys I met online have become regular readers of this blog. Marc told one chick he met online about it and she subsequently not only became a reader, but linked to one of my posts in her online profile. Hey bigblueeyes74: We’ll likely never meet, but me love you long time. Muah!
Which dating apps for single moms have YOU tried? Comment below and give it a review!
Thinking of dating again, but not sure where to start? Afraid to get hurt? Unsure of how dating works in 2018 — with apps, texting, sexting, dick pics, etc?
Worried about flaunting your new mom bod on the market?
That is why I developed the bestselling video course, Get Back Into Dating AGAIN for Single Moms.
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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.