Single Parents Dating: How Do I Tell Him I’m a Single Mom?

A single parent with her son.

Hey Joan,

I’m single and getting back into the dating scene, but dating as a single mom with a daughter at home is really hard. I feel like guys hear that and they’re not interested anymore, but if they just got to know me first they would understand. How do I tell someone that I have a daughter at home without sounding like I need someone to help me? When is the right time? What do you suggest?

-Cambridge, MA

I know this is a touchy subject, because the child you love so much can also make your dating life just that much more complicated, but she doesn’t have to. Your daughter isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well bring her up sooner rather than later. Single parents dating isn’t a rare or uncommon thing. There’s no need to be embarrassed about it. And remember, your family, unlike most of your relationships, will stick with you.

Bringing it up.

If you’re dating online, you can mention your child in the “about me” section to weed out guys who can’t handle it from the very beginning. If you’re out and about, just mention it in preliminary conversations.

Give some context.

Parenthood can be scary for someone who’s never had a child. No guy wants to feel like he’s walking into a chaotic situation, so let him know that you have motherhood under control by saying things like, “I take care of my babysitters, so I can enjoy time to myself when I need it.” He’ll be relieved to know that you can juggle multiple roles–mother, employee, manager, or girlfriend—relatively easily.

Also remember that men want to get to know you as a person—not just as a parent—so don’t talk about your daughter the entire time. Also, remember conversations about exes are still off limits, even if the ex is the father of your child.

If the parenthood conversations aren’t going well, don’t worry. The right guy will support you as a partner and a mother.

Still confused? Watch and learn.


Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.

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