Dating as a parent is a very different game to our carefree pre-child days. Not only do we have to work through the inevitable ‘does he/she like me’ scenario, but we have to find the time, arrange the babysitter and possibly navigate introducing our kids to said date.
All up, it can be hard for a single mother. And it is the reason why many take an extended holiday from the dating scene.
Yet, with so many people dating with kids, it is entirely accepted. And, as a guy you would do well to know the simple yet surprising things that will really impress a single mother.
This has to come first. Single mums are constantly cooking and caring for others. Therefore, a meal which she doesn’t have to prepare, wash up or peel off the ceiling, will be an instant hit. A meal out can be a rare treat for a single mum, and food is a pretty easy way to win our friendship. Oh, and don’t make her feel bad if she wants dessert, expect her to fill her boots.
Talk to her
Being a single mum can be isolating. Many are looking for a companion who is on the same level as them intellectually and emotionally. A conversation which isn’t interrupted by the yells of ‘mum’ every two seconds is a luxury in itself. Don’t prompt for too many details about her children, just allow it flow and see where it takes you. The art of conversation is lost a little in our digital age, so a good chat will always be appreciated.
Make her laugh
After numerous re-runs of Peppa Pig and repetitive ‘knock-knock’ jokes, some adult (perhaps not too adult) humour will be hugely appreciated. Laughter is the best medicine, so if you’re making your single mama date laugh, consider yourself a hit. Remember, not all dates end in intimate relationships. I know many people who have become close friends with their potential dates after clicking brilliantly as buddies.
Let her relax
You will have no idea about the preparations to make this date happen. She may appear serene and relaxed, but it could have taken blood, sweat and tears to get out the door. A great analogy for a single mum is a duck gliding gracefully on the water, with its feet paddling furiously underneath. Allow her to relax into the date, and understand that she may be feeling a tad stressed.
Go with the flow
Single mothers live fairly hectic lives. If you want a date, it may not be straight-forward. It could have to be daytime coffee during school hours, instead of the romantic dinner you had envisaged. Oh, and if she is running late or has to reschedule, don’t take it personally. In fact, this could be your winning card. Understanding and accepting the difficult situations of a single mum with no support, is one of the most important attributes you can have.
Single mums are busy ladies. If you’ve scored a few hours with her, you are doing well. Have the courtesy to be honest with her about yourself. Lay a few cards on the table about what you are looking for in a partner and take on board what she says. If you don’t see the relationship going further, let her know, and explain why. Or if you like her, tell her. Even if nothing comes of it you will have boosted a single mums ego and made her feel good about herself... which could be exactly what she needs.
Written by Lucy Good from Beanstalk Single Mums - www.beanstalkmums.com.au
Beanstalk is an online space which empowers single mothers to re-find their potential and re-build their confidence through a website that delivers targeted information and support.
Lucy works with hundreds of single mothers through the offering of her online course and her Facebook group. She is a blogger, podcaster and mentor. She also speaks regularly on a local radio station, writes articles for the online parenting community and continually hunts down resources of benefit to the single motherhood.