Even if you never wanted kids, you might end up falling for someone who’s already hit that milestone. As you get older, the chances of dating a single mom increase. There’s no two ways about it. Each situation will be a little different, but there are still some universal truths about agreeing to step in as a step-parent.
The most important thing about dating a single mom is that it’s not for everyone. Single mothers have more responsibilities.It’s going to be a different experience. Don’t feel bad if you’re not ready for it—honesty about your limitations will better benefit everyone in the long run.
Here are a few important things you’ll have to accept if you agree to go steady.
1. Her child comes first.
If it’s between her child’s recital and a night out with you, the recital wins. And it should—her child didn’t ask to be put in this situation. They need at least one present parent (preferably both) by their side. If you have trouble sharing attention, this set-up probably won’t work.
2. You have to be good with kids.
If you don’t get along, this arrangement won’t work. Even if they have an active father in their life, you’ll need to be a parental figure if the relationship gets serious. You’ll have to discuss what your role in the relationship means when the time comes. That could mean you’ll need to be heavy on the discipline or hands off and you’ll have to be prepared for both.
3. There’ll always be another adult involved in your relationship.
When you have kids with someone, you’re tied with them forever. If the other parent is still involved, that means that you’re going to have to meet them occasionally and be okay with their ex being around. It’s easy to get jealous, but you need to put that aside if you want this to work.
4. It’ll be hard if their kid doesn’t accept you.
If the divorce was recent, or if they’ve been going through a lot of changes at once, it’s hard to blame them. Many single parents wait for months to introduce new romantic interests for this reason—change is hard for young kids. In their eyes, you’re replacing someone else they love—they’re not considering the happiness you’re bringing their mom.
5. You’ll have to remember that she’s used to doing things on her own.
If she’s been single for a long time, it just comes naturally. She may have issues if you try to step in and help, because she’s been dependent on her routine for quite some time. Single moms know how to hustle and get stuff done. Even though they appreciate the help, they might not be used to it.
6. She’s doing more than you.
Without even knowing what you do, this is the truth. It’s not a competition, but she’s balancing a kid and a job.. Parenting is hard work, and single moms need to meticulously plan every day in order to function.
7. She won’t be able to drop everything for a spontaneous romantic getaway.
When you have a kid, your schedule revolves around their schedule.That means that things need to be planned well in advance. It may not be as fun or romantic, but it’s the truth. If you surprise your girlfriend with a spontaneous weekend trip, the first thing she’s going to do is panic about childcare.
8. It may take time to open up to the relationship.
If you’ve been dating for some time and want to take things to the next level, she may be hesitant. If that’s the case, it means that she’s still hurting. Even if you don’t know the full details of her relationship with her child’s father, there’s a good chance that she thought he wasthe one. Accept that on big relationships steps like proposals or moving in together, it may not be because of you.
9. But, she’s not going to waste your time.
If she’s with you, it’s because she likes you. She doesn’t have time for games. You need to trust her—she’s at a stage in life where she knows what kind of guy she wants. Most single moms aren’t out to trick you, so it may be the most mature relationship you’re ever in.
When you date a single mom, know that they’re looking for a dedicated partner. They’re looking for someone who’ll accept them for who they are. And if you’re willing to step up, being a step-parent can be one of the most rewarding journeys to take on.