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Bonny Albo

The Perks of Dating a Single Parent

By June 26, 2013

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There's a lot of information on the 'net about how/when/if to date a single parent, and just as much content focuses on how to get back into the dating game after divorce, kids, or both. But who actually talks about the perks of dating single moms and dads?

So here is my personal list of the perks of dating a single parent. If you think I've missed an important point, then it's your turn to add some perks in the comment field.

  • A single parent is less likely to waste your time, since they (probably) had to pay for child care or have their ex watch their child(ren) to go on a date with you.

  • Most single parents won't be pushing for a serious relationship early on, so as to avoid having their child(ren) involved unnecessarily.

  • On the flip side of the last perk, if the single parent you are dating has sole or shared custody, you can safely assume their commitment issues are minimal to nonexistent.

  • Single parents are some of the most patient people out there. They are also - by necessity - some of the most organized.

  • Becoming a parent is an evolutionary process; it changes people. Caring, tenderness, reliability and stability are all traits that, if not held prior to having kids, frequently appear after having children.

  • Single parents just don't have time for drama. You'll find few that play games.

  • You know that if a single parent wants to move towards a serious relationship with you, they've really vetted the relationship before taking the next step. Once bitten, twice shy lends itself well to this example.
    Comments
    June 23, 2008 at 4:30 pm
    (1) Stacy says:

    Thank you for this message. I am a single mother with sole custody of my son. These are very true.

    June 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    (2) Nancy says:

    I have dated single fathers and found it to be very challenging. There is always an issue with the ex and the child. I have had no sucess in doing this but I might reconsider after reading your article.

    June 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm
    (3) Rich L says:

    I must say, I do tend to shy away from dating single mom’s – mostly due to my selfish needs for the other person to spend as much time with me. But, with the people I have been dating lately (people without children), you would be surprised with all the games, irresponsibility, and complete lack of thought I get from people. On the other hand, you make a good point that single parents have got their sh*t together (sometimes out of necessity and don’t fool around with someone else’s heart as they just don’t have the time for it. I will definately give the genre another look

    June 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm
    (4) Susan says:

    Sorry but this did not change my mind about guys with kids UNDER 18. I have dated guys with young kids and it ia a pain in the butt. You have to take them with you everywhere, dates are around what the kid wants to do, you have to go to school plays and other stuff. Huge hassles with the ex too. I don’t have kids and don’t want any after my dating experiences with dealing with these kids. BAGGAGE is what it is.

    August 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm
    (5) Lisa says:

    Raising children under the age of 18 is called MATURITY and RESPONSIBILITY and merely summing up parenting responsibilities as a hassle and a “pain in the butt” is completely disrespectful towards any good parent. I am a single mother of 2 and am very grateful that I am dating a self-less man that thinks I’m worth being with and is willing to put up with “baggage” and drama and actually appreciates me more for trying to be a good parent and partner, despite the “drama” that comes with having kids. So, thank you for doing society a favour in making the decision to not have kids — we need less self-centred people in the world raising the future of our society and thinking of them as unnecessary “baggage” and a “pain in the butt”.

    July 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    (6) val says:

    I’ve been dating a single father for little over 2 years now. I have no kids and never wanted any, the kids and I have a good relationship now that we have gotten used to each other being around. The only issue that I’ve found is that I am very strict and always a step ahead of the kids which leaves me frustrated, becauce I’ve noticed that most parents have the ability to tune out thier children.. some more than others.. I can’t do that however, and I get soooo mad. So make a sure you have similar ideas about parenting before settling in… save your self the stress

    June 5, 2011 at 11:51 am
    (7) Single Dad says:

    Hi, Thank you for this post…Good luck too you and God bless!…

    September 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm
    (8) Wink2Date says:

    Yes dating someone single is always a good start :P

    June 16, 2012 at 6:39 am
    (9) Jonathan says:

    It’s so interesting to see how strong emotions are around this issue. I am a divorced father of two young boys. Joint custody with my ex allows some down time to try to fit dating in. I just got out of a whirl wind romance with a woman who has sole custody of her daughter. While it posed challenges, I was so smitten with her I was willing to address the challenges maturely and realistically. Children are people with their own needs. They were a member of the family before you happened along. If you can’t acknowledge that and respect that for the sake of the child and the parent you want to date, I am certain you are in for heartache. In my case, the mom I dated. broke it off because I ultimately did need more availability than she could or was willing to offer. It was a valuable learning experience.

    June 21, 2012 at 11:28 am
    (10) Two of Us Dating Service says:

    I really liked some of the points you brought up, especially how Single Parents are very patient people. I myself raised my son alone, and was very careful to whom I brought around my son. Ive found that dating Single Dads even ones with full custody, generally dont play the Drama Games.

    Excellent Article and thank you for sharing it!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 3:32 am
    (11) Tony says:

    As a single father, I had trouble sleeping. But it was actually my son who acted as the catalyst that brought me to my soul mate. I love my little boy dearly. So I got very worried when one evening, he just took off on his own, went to New York to go looking for his “new mommy”. After some panicky inquiries, I finally managed to track him down … at the top of the Empire State Building. I gratefully hugged him and we were about to take the elevator back down, when suddenly, there she stood, holding my son’s satchel and teddy bear … The girl of my dreams! Needless to say, all three of us took the elevator down together, holding hands, as we headed toward our happily-ever-after life. Thank you, son!

    June 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    (12) Doris says:

    Children are not baggage and living life’s ups and downs is not drama! If I hear words that describes children in that way or someones life, well, I know that person is not worth my time of day! Maturity, responsibility and thinking beyond self is an necessity in a successful, meaningful relationship. There are no guarantees after you say “I do!” Whether divorced by means of choice, becoming widowed by extenuating circumstances, men and and men have learned to recover by survival such an ordeal in order
    to move forward in the next chapter of their life. Most parents have gained strength because they have children. They have endure more challenges, pains, situations, sacrifices that only comes with raising children. The paybacks sometimes painful but other times the greatest that life can return to you. How can anyone not want to date a single dad or single mom. They know more about relationships and give and take, patience, sacrificing, doing for others and receiving. You don’t know what you are missing and most likely a person you can count on being there in the end!

    June 23, 2012 at 3:20 am
    (13) Tom H. says:

    IT’S NEVER A MISTAKE to care for someone. That’s always a good thing. Isn’t it?

    June 24, 2012 at 7:27 am
    (14) Tam says:

    Very true facts. I started to figure out that I don’t want to date anyone who isn’t a single mom. I would have to say that single mom’s are usually the best in my case. It shows responsibility and maturity but there are sometimes where it conflicts with the ex on both sides, depending on the factor I guess.

    October 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    (15) Saul says:

    What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant post.

    June 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm
    (16) Crystal says:

    I am a single mom. I don’t mind dating people with out kids but they so far don’t seem to realize I cant just go to stuff. I have to have a sitter and unlike some people I do not have someone that can just stop what they are doing to watch my kids. On another note, when dating someone with kids guys/girls need to realize that unless you ASK us to go out we wont be able to find a sitter. I have noticed this in quite a few relationships…oddly enough, including the father of my kids. At one point several people said this ” well i didnt think your mom would watch them so I didn’t ask you to go”….. well she cant watch them if neither of us know that I need a sitter….I’m so tired of that. Also if you don’t think you can handle that we cant just go do stuff like that then dont bother us. I don’t want to be your test dummy on whether you can handle dating a single parent.

    June 28, 2013 at 11:34 am
    (17) Lex says:

    Currently dating a single mom with a 5 yr old,and all i can say,its the best relationship i have ever had.I got tired of dating women who act like they own the world,no sense of maturity,responsibility or consequences.

    There were qualities that i had been looking for in a girl before i settled down,and guess what,…this single mom had them all,mostly because having a kid made her mature and be responsible faster than she would have.

    People calling kids ‘baggage’ should be ashamed and learn that those kids have to live with ass holes like you,and maybe they just need real adults so they don’t turn like you.

    July 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm
    (18) Jill says:

    I’ve been dating a guy with a son for the past 9 months. It’s been the most exciting, fun relationship I’ve been in since I got divorced. He is extremely patient, caring and considerate and I attribute this to his caring for his son. The down side is his limited availability. He has his son every other week and hasn’t introduced us. I haven’t pushed because I understand he doesn’t want a revolving door of women in his son’s life and seeing him only twice a month requires a longer time for the relationship to evolve. But another benefit is that have lots of time to still spend with my friends, activities and alone time.

    July 4, 2013 at 11:26 am
    (19) Ken says:

    What I’ve noticed about dating single parents is that they seem to know what they want. I’m a single dad as well. There’s far less games and way less drama. They know what they want and aren’t about to waste their time in something they don’t want. It’s nice to have a set idea of what works and what doesn’t. The quote at the end says it perfectly, once bitten twice shy. We know what doesn’t work and aren’t willing to settle.

    July 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    (20) Jess says:

    I have been secretly dating a single dad for about a year and I am the happiest I ever remember being with someone.
    My family absolutely FORBIDS I get involved with him for the following reasons:
    1. The mom will always be an issue
    2. My priorities would fall second to his son
    3. Kids would not be as special or the same with him
    4. I shouldn’t have to deal with somebody else’s son at my age
    5. I would be “throwing away my future” by dating him
    6. Having a son makes him “bad”
    7. The only reason he’d be with me is I am the only one who will have him and that he sees me as his” ticket” to a better life financially

    He sees his son when he can (he’s with mom 2 hrs away)
    Am I a bad person for not thinking his son is an issue and he isn’t a bad person for having a son? That I can still love him?
    Yes, he lives with his grandma, but it’s because she can’t manage the land and house alone (and he’s paying off some things)

    I don’t judge, I take people for who they are, but does this make me an idiot like they say?

    August 3, 2013 at 1:42 am
    (21) Alroy says:

    Just the help I needed. I’m 23 but I’ve dated so much and failed that I almost gave up on women. She’s 24, 3 kids, one 5, 1 and 7 months. She’s single. It’s a tricky sitch but do I let someone so special go despite her past error. Do I coat myself with a garment of self-righteousness and claim because I don’t have kids I deserve ‘better’? I know its hard but she seems so real, no games, no funny stuff! I think she’s worth it. I’m young but I’ve had to grow up faster all my life and apparently I’m not interested in the things guys my age do.

    August 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm
    (22) Jillian says:

    Jess (comment number 20) I’m going to say that judging by your comment.. you are NOT ready to date someone who has a child.

    It sounds like you need to stop being one yourself.
    This will sound to you like I am jumping to conclusions about you– but trust me. I’d know that ‘tone of thought’ anywhere.

    Problem number 1: You are looking for someone who needs you.
    That’s a sick relationship waiting to happen.

    August 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm
    (23) Single father says:

    Julian ( comment 22): I think you have completely misread Jess (comment 20). I suggest you go back and re-read her comment again!..

    August 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm
    (24) Andrew says:

    Hey ! I am currently in the intial process of getting into a relationship with a single mother, We dont see each other every week, but I want to and she ofcourse does not have as much time. This frustrates me sometimes, but we always have a good time together. We had some issues initially cause we ended up having sex really early maybe within the first few times we saw each other. She freaked out after that telling me that she does not do that and needs more time to know me. We do meet up every 2 weeks usually and we have good conversations and my gut feeling is she does like me. Although she has also told me that she is trying to date other people as well. Since I have more time to do stuff and worry myself with this, obviously it affects me. I am sure there is no point trying to hurry her. I just get pissed off sometimes thinking that I might be getting played, which is unlikely but enough to get me obsessed thinking about her. Any comments would be welcome.Thanks

    September 15, 2013 at 7:12 am
    (25) Saffron says:

    I’m now living with my boyfriend who is a single dad to a 12 year old boy. There’s been alot of adjustments to go through since we moved in together and the hardest thing I’ve dealt with is to accept that I have to share my boyfriend with this little guy. I’ve never dated a single Dad before and he is not always available to me: soccer practice, soccer games, parent meetings etc.. There is no manual to get used to this situation but I do have to be patient when I hear that the birth mother can’t see her son on her allotted night because she’s still hung over. We are getting curve balls thrown at us all the time so I am learning to breathe and not take certain things so personally. I have more time to myself than I would prefer but again, I use the time to get more work done and be productive. This is the life I have chosen. I love kids and I care very deeply for this young boy who’s life I will influence in a positive way unlike his mother. I’m choosing to make this work. Relationships take work whether you have kids involved or not, there are always issues to deal with.

    September 17, 2013 at 1:37 am
    (26) Susan says:

    Saffron, thanks so much for your comment. I am dating a single father with a 14 year old son. This relationship is forcing me to confront two things about myself. 1: My maturity and 2: My selfishness. The man I am with is an amazing person and I want this to work. His son is a great kid and managing his mother’s active alcoholism with grace and a lot of dignity. It’s good to take a relationship with single parents day by day.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    (27) Marc says:

    Good evening to you all, I am a single dad with full custody of my 2 boys (10 and 11), my boys don’t see their mom at all so I am 24-7 with them and I actually love it. I am a fully dedicated dad that is involved in school and sports activities and takes good care of my boys.

    I am honestly so stressed about going back out there dating, who wants a single dad with 2 kids ? Most of the divorced parents have shared custody and I don’t…. Where can I find somebody in the same situation as me who would understand our situation ?

    All comments would be much appreciated.

    October 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    (28) Luke says:

    I dated a single mother who I REALLY liked and was a genuinely nice person – but it’s definitely not for me – maybe that makes me a bad person in some people’s eyes, but it just felt wrong for me and I definitely won’t be going there again.
    If I am going to have kids and be a father to them then I will be the biological father of those kids.

    November 4, 2013 at 12:26 am
    (29) ET says:

    I would never date a single mother. It’s my life and my preference thank you very much! How dare you all make people like myself (never married, childless) feel like demons simply because OUR choice to find someone like ourselves doesn’t gel with YOUR idea of what is right or wrong in a potential mate. We all have different personalities and wants and deal with things individually and accordingly. I don’t need your validation and approval over what is right for MY life.

    I find it especially pathetic how you all get defensive about anything negative said about single moms but have no problem making negative generalizations and assumptions about those of us with no children and how we can’t be grounded and serious. I happen to know exactly what I want and have no time for games either. Maybe you’ll realize that people have the freedom to live their lives as they please and not have to deal with lynch mobs who get offended at whom they choose to lay in bed with. Thanks for reaffirming my belief that single mothers are a bunch of hypersensitive and immature drama queens who refuse to take responsibility for their own poor decision-making skills when it comes to choosing a father for their children. As they say, every break-up/divorce has two sides and I can see why your significant others took a hike on you!

    December 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm
    (30) Sun says:

    Dating a single mum with kids needs a lot of courage and sacrifice. Depends on you can take it or not. At the end of the day, her kids isnt yours this fact cant be changed, and you cant connect with her kids. Moreover, her dad will always come to visit the kids, can you accept your gf seeing her ex every week? Whats on your mind when you see them chatting in front of you? And yes, her kids will always be her first priority and you are just a “extra” person in her life.

    Its hard to date a single mum with kids thats all i can say.

    December 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm
    (31) CAT says:

    I’ve read several comments on different posters on the site and it’s good to see other’s point of view. My position is a little different in my own way. I am a 35 divorced woman with 3 beautiful children. I am at a point in my life where I am ready to settle down and not stop living just because my marriage did not work out with my ex. I am raising my children on my own and do have sole custody of my angels. I’m blessed and thankful and they have driven my to be the sucessful woman I am today. I look back at my childhood seeing by having a father who married my mother with 3 of her own children. He was mad enough to accept that responsibility of raising all 3 of her girls while he had none. When you love someone you accept them as they are no matter whether they have children or not. A father is not the one that only seeds up a woman the man who raises the child or children as his own and trust me there are plenty of men and woman that don’t have an issue dealing with children that aren’t theirs. It’s all up to the person and how they feel about their partner and their children. Anything is possible with will and work towards something both of you can work at. :) - Happy New Years to all..

    January 11, 2014 at 5:29 pm
    (32) UnusuallyPatient says:

    I have been dating as single mom of 2 young kids for about 9 1/2 months now, (-3 months last summer when she got scared and left me to figure things out). I am very much in love with this woman, and I love her kids too. Her kids adore me as well. It has not been an easy adjustment for me. I was with one single mom in the past, but it was a FWB relationship, and the kids were never involved. I can tell you, dating a single mother is NOT easy. It takes an insnae amount of patience. You are not even in the top 5 on her priority list, or even top 10 as in my case. She won’t have a lot of time to give to you, so it can be lonely at times. There will likely be very limited opportunities to be alone together, or be intimate. If an active sex life is important to you, go ahead and leave now. Not gonna happen. So, with that in mind, Hostorically, in a relationship, I love spending time with the woman I am involved with, and I am a sexual person. So, you may ask, what the hell am I doing involving myself with a single mom, who is unable to spend much time with me at all, alone, or with the kids, and has limited time, or desire for a sex life. Believe me, I have asked myself that many times. The answer is simple. I love her now more than I have ever loved another woman. How is that possible? Well, I don’t know, but it is what it is. She stole my heart. Her kids stole my heart. And here I am, trying to be the most patient, understanding man on the face of the earth. Part of it I guess, is that I am hoping that as time goes by, the relationship will get better, and I will move up the priority list, and get more time with her. Only time will tell. And I’m still here.

    So the moral of the story. If you are single man with no kids, and you want to date a busy single mom, and want it to work. You have to be more patient and understanding than you ever thought was possible. If you absolutely can not handle that basic requirement, then honestly don’t waste her time, or yours.

    January 26, 2014 at 7:14 am
    (33) Suzie says:

    To Marc (post 27),
    Wow. . I am sole parent of my 5 year old… You sound like my ideal man! Don’t doubt there are many of us who’d look at your situation as an asset in a potential relationship. Very attractive! Good luck in getting our there :)

    February 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    (34) Kate says:

    FYI – if you share custody of your children you are not a single parent, you are a co-parent. Single parents do not have the luxury of leaving their children with their ex-spouse to enjoy alone time with someone they are dating, or to work a full time job with young kids or get things done around the house when they are alone.

    February 21, 2014 at 6:52 am
    (35) emily says:

    Hi I’m a single mum (22 years) with a beautiful daughter at 2 and a half and I’m also pregnant…
    I was feeling really down tonight with the whole forever alone thing but I read this post and it helped a bit but what really helped was reading all these comments from both men and women. It gave me a bit of hope :)
    Thank you

    March 6, 2014 at 5:33 am
    (36) Christian says:

    Hi i read this article because a single mom broke up with me and i want to be with her. We have been dating around for two years and she has a 5 year old son i spend nights by her i take them out i will do anything for her i gave her money what i can afford to gave her but we broke up because she said i don’t gave her enough in terms of money she has her own house and i do my best to make her comfortable it have lots of things to fix around the house and the past two years i got most of it done for her the problem that i have is when we are upset i intend to lose my temper and be very loud when quarrelling and thats the problem because she lives around family and i embarassed her but i will do anything for her, her mother got involve and told me i never did nothing for her for the two years we have been together and my girlfriend stayed quiet while her mother made a decision for us and said we are done How can i make back up with her?

    March 10, 2014 at 8:10 am
    (37) HappyDad says:

    Well am a single Dad myself.At the moment i have my daughter once a week. I am dating this lovely Mum of one and i have to say after being single for 2 years and dating mainly single women she is by far the best thing that happened to me.
    You have to admire her strength,patience.
    I think it`s all about the Maturity and also love her parenting style.
    Single Parents rocks and we are not for the faint-hearted.
    Date us only if you think you got your shit together….

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