Dating A Single Mom: What You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated April 17, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Dating a single mom can be both challenging and rewarding. For those considering dating someone with children, it can be helpful to understand the unique dynamics that may come with dating ahead of time—possibly allowing them to begin the relationship from a more supportive, empathetic, and emotionally prepared place.

Dating a single parent may require some patience and flexibility, from understanding their time constraints to learning how to handle parenting concerns that might arise. But if you can put in the effort and commitment, dating a single parent can lead to an incredibly fulfilling and special relationship.

Read on to learn more about the challenges, rewards, and strategies often associated with dating a single mom and how you can support the relationship from the day it begins.

Entering the dating pool?

Understanding the challenges of parenting and relationships

Dating a single parent can be complex due to their dual responsibilities. They must juggle their children's needs with those of their relationship, often leading to a packed schedule and numerous obligations. Single parents can have a lot on their plate, with mile-long to-do lists that include taking care of their child (or children) to manage their finances and household. This might make it difficult for them to fully engage in different aspects of a relationship, such as maintaining a healthy sex life and giving the relationship the attention it needs.

Another common challenge when dating a single parent is navigating co-parenting and blending families. If the single parent has a child or children from a previous relationship, it can be helpful to understand and respect the other parent's role and relationship with the child(ren). When they are ready to introduce you to the family, you might expect to interact with the other parent at times or meet the child(ren) and potentially form a relationship with them. 

As you work through the challenges that come with single-parent households, it may be helpful to try to have an open and honest dialogue with your partner about what you are comfortable with. It may also be helpful to be willing to compromise and work together to make your relationship work. 

Strategies for dating single mothers

Making a single-parent relationship work generally requires effort, compromise, and understanding. Some strategies you can use to make the relationship successful include:

  • Prioritizing open and honest communication. Mastering this skill can help you avoid misunderstandings and conflicts as you remain upfront and transparent about your needs and expectations.

  • Setting clear boundaries and expectations. This looks different for everyone in most cases and could include steps like discussing relationship expectations with your partner and actively creating a list of current priorities.

  • Being flexible and adaptable. Single parenthood may be unpredictable. For many, it may be helpful to stay flexible—adjusting plans or expectations as needed.

  • Showing support and understanding. Being there for your partner and understanding their unique challenges as a single parent can go a long way in building trust and intimacy in your relationship.

  • Finding a balance. Finding a balance between the parent's and partner's roles can be a helpful step toward making the relationship work. This might involve compromising on time and your current priorities as you find ways to integrate your partner and their family into your life. However, taking the time to do this can promote a better outcome for the relationship, especially if you understand and respect each other's boundaries and priorities.

Getty/Luis Alvarez

Ways to improve your relationship with a single parent

Supporting your partner as a single parent may take many forms. However, some of the most common ways to do this might include:

  • Being a reliable and consistent presence in their life: Single moms often have a lot on their plate and may benefit from having someone they can rely on.

  • Helping with their child or children when possible: This could include picking up their child from school, taking them to extracurricular activities, or helping with homework. No matter how you help, though, it can be the most helpful if it is done in alignment with the boundaries and preferences of both partners. 

  • Being a good listener and being there emotionally for your partner: Single parenthood can be emotionally taxing, and it may be a good idea to be supportive and understanding of the challenges they may be facing wherever possible.

  • Providing practical help such as running errands, cooking, or cleaning: Single parenting can be overwhelming. Any help you can provide can make a helpful difference and an impression on your partner.

Finding support for relationship challenges

Online therapy can be a helpful resource for those who are looking to date a single parent. It can offer a safe setting for discussing the possible difficulties and feelings that may come with this kind of relationship in a convenient way that works for your dynamic schedule. Many in this situation may find online therapy easier to make a routine part of their experience than other in-person methods. 

Entering the dating pool?

Online therapy can provide a source of emotional and informational support for those dating a single parent. Studies currently suggest that the secretive nature of online therapy may be a major factor in making these programs successful for those looking to better themselves individually and within relationships. 

Additionally, parents worldwide have found that even with busy schedules, they can still receive meaningful emotional and informational support from internet-based support. 


Overall, dating a single parent can be incredibly rewarding. Online therapy can provide single-dating parents with emotional and informational support and the chance to discuss their unique challenges in a healthy and constructive way. BetterHelp can connect you with a therapist in your area of need.
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