Dating A Single Mom: What You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated December 7, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Dating a single mom can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. 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 prepared place emotionally. 

From understanding their time constraints to learning how to handle parenting concerns that might arise, dating a single parent may require some patience and flexibility. But, if you are able to 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 well from the day it begins.

Entering The Dating Pool?

Navigating The Challenges Of Balancing Parenting and Relationship Needs: A Guide 

One of the biggest possible challenges of dating a single parent may stem from the requirement they carry as they work to balance parenting and relationship needs. Single parents can have a lot on their plate, with mile-long to-do lists that can include items such as taking care of their child (or children) to manage their finances and household. This might make it difficult for them to fully engage in a relationship and give it the attention it needs.

One possible way to navigate this concern is by 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 working actively to create a list of current priorities. It can benefit all individuals of a relationship if you try to be understanding and respectful of their role as a parent, remaining empathetic if there’s a season where they need to put their child's (or children’s) needs first.

Another common challenge that may arise 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 exclusively with the other parent in facilitating interactions, or you may meet the child(ren) and potentially form a relationship with them. 

As you work through this process, it can be helpful to try to have an open and honest dialogue with your partner about what you are comfortable with—generally remaining willing to compromise and work together to make your relationship work. 

Strategies For Building A Successful Relationship With A Single Parent

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.
  • Being flexible and adaptable. Single parenthood may be unpredictable. For many, it may be helpful to remain as flexible as possible—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. Working to find 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 as a whole—especially if you understand and respect each other's boundaries and priorities.
Getty/Luis Alvarez

Ways To Support Your Partner As 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 parents might have a lot on their plate and can possibly 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 are able to provide can make a helpful difference and an impression on your partner.

How Can Online Therapy Support Those Wanting To Date A Single Parent? 

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 that online therapy is easier to make a routine part of their experience compared to other in-person methods. 

Entering The Dating Pool?

Is Online Therapy Effective? 

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 around the world have found that even with geographical distance or time constraints, they can still receive meaningful emotional and informational support from internet-based peer 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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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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