As we get older we are more likely to date someone that already has children. Here are some of our best tips for building a lasting relationship with a single mum.
Be reliable. If you’ve made plans, stick to them. She will only have limited time as her schedule is likely to be quite tight due to childcare restrictions so be on time and don’t let her down!
Ask about her kids. Show her you’re interested in them but don’t only talk about them – she’s got a rare night off and will enjoy being herself for a change so make sure you also ask about herself and things she likes other than her children.
Accept that her ex is likely to still be around. The children’s father will be in their lives and therefore in hers, which is something you will have to get used to. Keep yourself in the background and be supportive. This may be a positive as she is likely to have some free time whilst the kids are with their dad so this is key dating time for you!
You’re not expected to be a parent to her children. She isn’t looking for a father for them; they already have one regardless of whether he’s around or not. Support her and let her know you’re there for her and the kids but leave the parenting to her until you’re in an established relationship and become a family unit.
The little things count. Single mums are likely to have different priorities compared to women without children. Smaller things like arranging what to do on your date so she doesn’t have to worry will make a big difference and will be appreciated as much as or more than big gestures.
Be flexible. Don’t get upset if she has to cancel dates at the last minute. Children can be unpredictable and childcare plans can fall through. If she’s cancelling she will have a valid and unavoidable reason. Be kind and understanding and arrange another date for another time that suits her.
Don’t rush things. She will want to take her time getting to know you before you’re introduced to her kids. She needs to make sure you’re serious and are going to stick around as the stability for the children is important. Be patient and go at her pace.
Just remember that her children are her first priority and you will always take a back seat. Be prepared to take it slow (especially if you’re the first person she’s dated as a single mum) and let her set the boundaries.
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