Ask Emily: Getting Back Into Dating as a Single Mom

Q: DEAR EMILY,

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I’m a single mom and my daughter is 2 years old. I’ve told my friends that dating for me will be harder because I’m a mom, and my daughter is still very young. I’ve tried online dating apps, but the guys I’ve matched with fade off after a couple of days. What should I do? Do guys get intimidated when they meet single mothers?

I’ve lost hope in finding a relationship. Please help me, Emily!

Thanks—and love your podcast!

Nadine, 24, Texas

A: DEAR NADINE,

I think it’s awesome that you’re a mom, and it’s also great that you want to start dating again. Having a child doesn’t mean you’ll never find love again, so don’t lose hope!

It’s true, there are some men—especially of the younger variety—who aren’t ready to date a woman who is also a mom. However, there are plenty of men out there who won’t be phased by it, and will be more than happy to embrace the fact that you’re a parent.

Here are a few tips to ease you back into the dating pool:

Do be upfront. It’s obviously important to let the person you’re dating know that you have a daughter well before things get serious. Being a mom is obviously your focus, but that doesn’t mean your daughter has to dominate all of your conversations and activities. Always take the time to get to know someone before you introduce them to your child until you know you want to keep them around.

Don’t forget that you’re still a woman. Sure, being a mom is one of the biggest roles you could have in life, but that doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly lost your needs or desires. Channel the person you were before your daughter came along, and be your confident, sexy self.

Do tell your friends and family to be set you up. Let your friends or family be your wingmen. They can be the ones to let your future date know you have a kid, giving that person the chance to decide whether or not they can handle it before you even meet.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DATING AS A SINGLE MOM IN MY ARTICLE IN GLAMOUR’S SMITTEN COLUMN, “HOW TO DATE AS A SINGLE MOM

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Discussion about this post

  1. Erica says:

    It’s hard enough feeling the relationship that gave you a child fizzle out, but then wondering about how you’ll ever have your romantic needs met again given your obligations is no easy thing, either. When I re-entered the dating pool after a 9-year hiatus while I was married, I was worried about how having full custody of 2 young children (ages 3 and 6) would factor in. The nice thing about having to find a baby sitter and setting a predetermined return time is that it helps set some limits up front and slow things down. I made it clear on my dating profile that I had children but didn’t share any other information about them. What worked better for me was filtering for men who did not have kids but were open to it. That was my preference because I have two and didn’t necessarily want more if I were in a long-term relationship again. While it might seem hypocritical to filter for matches this way, exes bring their own drama and it made it easier for me to connect with people who were interested in my for who I was. Being a mom can push your own personality and interests out of the limelight if you let it, and believe it or not, getting back into dating helped me do a better job of balancing the demands of single parenthood with being an individual.

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