Tips for Dating as a Single Mumby Emma Longden
Whether you were the one to end the relationship with your child’s father, or they were the one to walk away, or they passed away, deciding to date again as a single mum can be hugely daunting, regardless of how old your child is. Dating as a single mum means that essentially you are offering a buy one get one free deal (or more depending on how many children you have) as it can be tricky to date without the child becoming involved in the situation eventually. Having gone through the experience in the past, these are some tips I have accumulated over that time.
Be Upfront and Honest
Online dating gets a bad rep sometimes but it is often the easiest way to find somebody, especially if you are a single parent and unable to get out that much these days. It can be a little nerve-wracking putting yourself out there but I really recommend it, especially as a jumping off point to start talking to people again. Although I don’t necessarily think you need to mention your kids on your profile (it can be cringey and a little dangerous listing names and ages in your bio), it is definitely advisable to be upfront from the start with any matches and mention that you are a parent right away once you start talking. Hiding it could lead to upset along the line and, if you expect them to be honest with you, they deserve the same respect.
Know What You Want
This may sound a little clinical, but it is important to go into dating with a clear idea of what you are looking for. Are you just looking to date or would you like to get married and settle down? Do you want the person you are dating to meet your child eventually, or is it something casual you are looking for at the moment? Being clear about what you want with yourself and those you date will make things smoother and less messy down the line.
The easiest trap to fall into as a single mum is to settle for second best just because you have a child and consider yourself less of a catch for that reason. Do not lower your standards. Being a mum doesn’t make you any less worthy of love. You deserve to be happy and loved, and to find that person who is going to make you feel as special as you are. By settling, you are only setting yourself up for unhappiness!
Don’t Change for Them
Equally, you shouldn’t change who you are for somebody you are dating, no matter how you feel about them. If somebody is making you feel like you can’t date and be a mum, they are the issue not you or your child. Trust your gut and if things feel wrong, have the strength to walk away and put you and your family first.
Remember You are Not Just a Mum
Having said this, you deserve to be able to have some time for yourself. Whether you head out on dates when a friend or babysitter has your child or whilst they are with their dad, don’t feel guilty for spending some time away from being mummy. Practise some self-care, let your hair down and enjoy that drink - you aren’t just a mum and you have every right to have some time to yourself.
Dating as a single mum can be a bit of a minefield, but being open, honest and a little pragmatic going into it can make things simpler. Remember that you deserve to have fun and you deserve to love and be loved again, no matter how things ended with your child’s other parent. Don’t think of yourself as being anything less than amazing!