The Role of Motherhood in Online Dating | Navigating Dating Sites as a Single Mom

Single mom using dating app

Online dating is challenging; we can all agree on that. If you’re not finding compatible partners, the process can turn out to be quite time-consuming and disheartening. 

However, there is a silver lining to this situation. When you’re finally prepared to jump back into the online dating scene after a breakup or divorce, it can feel liberating and fun to create an online dating site profile and look at all of the singles at your fingertips!

Successful online dating might seem like a tall order for single moms with limited free time due to work and childcare responsibilities. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that when it involves the role of motherhood, the mom’s personal needs are the last to get attention. Moms take care of everyone else, and that’s just a fact. 

However, some techniques can make online dating work, and we are here to explore them so we can offer you a foolproof approach to navigating dating sites as a single mom!

1. Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

It’s essential to take your time getting back into the dating scene after any significant life change, such as a divorce or the end of a long-term relationship, but there’s plenty that can be said about not putting it off for too long. 

While we want all single moms to feel confident in their own worth and happiness, some experts warn that it’s possible to become too accustomed to your single status when you wait a long time to put yourself back out there.

So, keep this in mind the next time you’re sitting on the sofa for the fourth weekend in a row, drinking wine and binge-watching ‘Love is Blind.’ 

We all understand that single moms are heroes in their own right, but sometimes they hesitate to admit if they are feeling lonesome and might need a date or just some adult companionship! If you want to really move forward, you need to be willing and able to give yourself a pep talk and a little kick in the butt in this area.

2. Pick a Dating Site

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the dating sites and app options available–but when it comes to finding a serious, long-term partner, some sites are considered more serious and provide sufficiently compatible singles, while others give quite a bit of…something else.

Try Zoosk or Tinder if you are only looking to dip your toes in the dating world water and have some fun. Tinder, which has become much more of a hook-up site, is one of the easiest sites to begin swiping on if you know what you’re doing.

Woman on a laptop smiling and looking off to the side

Dating sites like eHarmony, OkCupid, and EliteSingles have stellar reputations for matching users based on in-depth questionnaires and user profiles, making them ideal for single moms who are ready to get right down to business and quickly eliminate casual daters.

3. Make Dating a Priority, or It May Not Happen

It might be challenging enough for childless single individuals to find the time to use the many dating sites out there and maintain an active and engaging profile for themselves, but single moms have it much tougher. 

Imagine a typical day spent with your children–you probably rise before daybreak to get the kids ready for school and out the door before heading to work. And then there are all the after-school activities and play dates, followed by dinner, homework, a bath, and finally, bedtime. 

The moment you settle down for a relaxing half-hour of television is ruined by the thought of the dishes that need to be loaded into the dishwasher. The point we’re trying to make is that all of your online dating site-related efforts will be in vain if you don’t set aside time in the day to check them, respond to messages, and maintain a presence there.

Don’t be shy about scheduling real dates in addition to exchanging messages. We do not doubt that your loved ones would be thrilled to babysit if it meant getting you some well-deserved alone time with another adult!

4. If/When You Meet Someone, Talk to Your Kids about It

Your kid might or might not be aware that you’re dating, depending on their age. However, if they are conscious of what is happening, you should be open and honest with them. Be truthful and think about using it to teach older children an important lesson.

When you reach a stage when you’re dating someone significant, use the occasion to talk with your kids about that person’s good qualities and why those characteristics are important to you.

5. Always Be Safe

There are many meanings for the word “safe.” The primary one is to keep oneself safe from harm, which applies to navigating online dating sites as a single mom–so meet in a public place and let at least one other person know where you’re going and who you’ll be with. 

Maybe agree on a time deadline with a friend, so they will know to contact the meeting location and check on you if they haven’t heard from you in the time period you’ve agreed upon. 

Being safe also indicates that you are being “safe;” sometimes, a date is simply for the fun of it. Hooking up is a common part of dating, so come prepared to engage in safe sex and do NOT, we repeat, DO NOT rely on a man to do this–you need to be your own advocate. 

6. Get over the Guilt

As a single mother, you can feel obligated to sacrifice everything for your children. However, this shouldn’t be the case at all! You shouldn’t feel bad about getting back out there because you are more than just a mom, and you deserve to be loved.

It’s beneficial to show your children the fundamentals of healthy dating by setting a good example. There is an insane amount of pressure on moms to be eternally chaste and give up everything for their kiddos, but it’s important for them to see an example of a good relationship. Though well-intentioned, this approach wastes an important opportunity to teach youngsters what goes into a healthy, romantic partnership.

That includes avoiding giving in to the impulse to ignore your partner’s red flags, even in the exciting honeymoon phase of a romantic partnership. Most of us are at our most accommodating towards the early stages of a romantic connection when feelings are intense. You shouldn’t rip apart your new partner for everything that bothers you, but you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to toxic, possessive, or otherwise concerning behavior.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be shy about discussing your kids and other aspects of your everyday life with possible partners once you start going on dates. It’s important for people you’re interested in spending time with and, perhaps, developing a connection with to get a glimpse into your normal daily life; your children are a big part of that.

Sharing this important information may even help screen out the few individuals who don’t want to date someone with children, so in the end, you’re actually just saving yourself time and doing yourself a favor.

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