Dating as a Single Woman vs Dating as a Single Mother

By: Amy Marie |

I remember thinking to myself how hard it was dating for the first time after I broke up from my long term boyfriend. I was in my early 20s, living with two of my best friends and all but a small amount of my income was disposable. I went to New York, I partied all the time and yet I moaned all the time about how difficult it was meeting the right person. Looking back I didn’t realise just how good I had it, had I not been so desperate for some affection I could have really met a keeper. However I didn’t, the first guy to show and bam, fast forward five years and I’m a single mother and now I really know how difficult dating can be.

Dating as a single woman you have so many options on places to meet dates. From the gym, to a bar and even in a different country! You are so much more flexible with time. Aside from working hours you can fit in dates whenever you have a free moment. As a mother you don’t just have a job, you have your child too. Then of course there is sleep, sleep is so much more important as a parent than it is when you’re childless. I remember running on two hours a night for a while when life was so crazy. Now if I only have two hours, I’m so snappy and not the best mother, sleep is an important factor when you have someone else to care about, not just yourself. You can of course then agree to all sorts of dates, from dinners out, to dinners in at their place, to sleep overs, cinema, and even weekends away (when it gets more serious).

As a mother your dating life revolves around whether or not you can get a babysitter, and for me, that’s not a regular thing, especially regularly enough so I could actually date. And weekends away baby free, that’s practically a no go. Cinema? Sure if it’s mid-afternoon during the release of the new Disney movie, at least then I may get to hold hands or sneak a kiss with my date in the dark while my child is glued to the screen. You can also even attempt long distance when you don’t have kids. I have done it successfully for over a year because again you have the flexibility and you’re able to go to his or have him come and stay at yours for more than a few hours. This one really is close to the bone as I fell for a single dad but as he lived so far away and had his daughter on his days off, we couldn’t even attempt it. Bummer.Let’s not forget about the fact it’s okay to date multiple men when you only have yourself to please, I’m not sure it would be great mentally or emotionally for my three year old!

Of course, there is a flip side to dating as a single parent.

As I mentioned above, as a single person rather than a mother, I was so much more careless with who I let into my life. Anyone who wanted to date me, I could be persuaded because I craved desperately the attention that I got from it. In the long run, I only worried about my own heart getting broken and as I was young and naïve, I had never been truly burnt in a relationship. Now that I have my daughter to consider I am definitely so much more cautious when it comes to dating. I don’t look at the same sort of men anymore, I look for someone who would be a good family man, who would put us before himself. In the past I went for a guy who could talk the talk and looked good. A smooth talker, a charmer. Now I steer clear of anyone like that as I know the damage they could do.

Dating as a single mother is so much healthier, even in my approach of it. I have lost that desperation for someone to show me affection because at home I have someone who loves me unconditionally, who shows me more attention than I ever imagined possible (and sometimes it’s quite unwanted!) Now I feel I’m looking for someone who will complete our family, who will fall effortlessly into place in our little unit without the need to impress. As I’m in no hurry, I can really get to know men, I can move slowly and I can let myself fall in love naturally. I still believe there are more positives to dating as a single person, rather than a parent, but that’s not to say it’s all negative.

Embarking on the journey with your child could be fun, and if they’re old enough you’ll even be able to ask their opinion on what dress to wear for your hot date! Yes it’s harder, but if I’m completely honest, it’s 100% worth it.

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