When you think of a single mom on the dating scene, visions of a 20-something who can barely balance her own checkbook (guilty) probably don’t come to mind.But, believe it or not, not all of us single moms are recent divorcées scrolling through silver fox profiles on Match.Not to mention that in the rare and precious moments I do have to myself, it feels like a major risk to spend that time with someone I might never see again rather than catching up with friends, reading, zoning out to Netflix, or, you know, sleeping.The men I’d normally take an interest in are often just starting their careers, still in undergrad, or staying out until 3AM every chance they get—whereas I’m living the opposite lifestyle, and as a party of two, not one. In spite of this barrage of challenges, I still have hope.It’s one of the housekeeping chores you should take care of before putting yourself out there, for the sake of healthy future relationships and the well-being of your children.“Keep the conversation with an ex restricted to parenting,” says Dr. “Don’t get into the the he-said, she-said or delve back into why you broke up.(Exhibit A: Me.) “It’s important for a single mother to find a partner who is at her level and has the maturity to be a step parent,” says Dr. “He or she doesn’t have to be much older to be both of those things.” Known best for being the experimental and selfish decade, your twenties are certainly a time for exploration and growth – not only for your interests and travels, but for who you are as a person.
“The key is to find someone who’s financially self sufficient, who can at the very least take care of him or herself without depending on you,” says Dr. If you had a child with someone you broke up with, learning how to co-parent will keep things positive and avoid any drama with new dating prospects who enter your life.
“The most appropriate time is when you have a solid commitment that he or she will help change diapers, and cheer your child on,” says Silvia.
“If that’s not there, there’s no need to introduce him or her to your family unit.” Money isn’t everything, but a potential date’s financial situation should matter to you when you’re a mother.
“You already have a family, so if you want more than a fun hookup, your focus should be on a man who’s clearly father material,” says Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of . “Keeping your sex life separate from your child is crucial,” she says.
It makes perfect sense to me: My needs and desires have changed since having a child, so I want a more stable partner to be around regularly—not just for a booty call. “Having someone come in and out inconsistently isn’t good for any child, especially if they’re mourning the loss of two parents breaking up, or the absence of a parent in general.” As a young, single mom with a full plate, it’s a surprisingly common fantasy to seek out older partners for their wisdom and life experience—but experts advise not to date anyone just because he or she is your senior. “By locking into specific age, you may miss the perfect woman or man who’s right in front of you by applying these limitations.” Remember that age really doesn’t equal maturity.