Single mum dating tips

If you’re a single mum, dating can present all kinds of challenges, but the right attitude and the right dating site can still lead you to the right person

Finding the perfect partner is hit and miss for everyone at the best of times – and for single mums, dating can throw up more obstacles. For a start, balancing your needs and feelings with those of your children means there are already more than two people to consider in any new relationship. But while returning to dating after having children or coming out of a relationship can be daunting, you’re not alone. Last year, there were about 1.55 million single mums with dependent children in the UK, compared with 210,000 single dads in the same situation. So if you’re a single mum seeking simple dating, read on for some tips that can help make your love life satisfying and fun.

1. Get ready for dating By ‘getting ready’ we don’t mean how to make yourself presentable in the half-hour between your babysitter arriving and you leaving for a date. This is about knowing what you want from dating. If you’re a single mum dating for the first time in a while, it’s likely your previous relationship didn’t work out as you hoped and that your confidence has been dented. Now is the time to think about the kind of person you would like to meet next and the kind of relationship you would like to have – but before you do even that, it’s worth reflecting on the person you are now. Write down three lists: the good qualities you have, the ones you would like in a partner, and those you are seeking in a relationship. You can share these with a trusted friend or keep them to yourself, but either way, they will make you feel better about yourself and clearer about your dating goals. This is a great way to remind yourself you now have a blank canvas on which to create a relationship that’s right for you. For example, for older women, dating a younger man may be top of their list – or it may not even be on the page. The point is that this is your list, your life and your choice, whether that means looking for love or simply dating and having fun on your terms.

2. Make time for yourself When dating as a single mum, it can be important not to leave yourself with no ‘me time’. That is easier said than done when you are trying to juggle a career, motherhood and a new relationship, but any time you can devote to self-care will help in the other areas of your life. This can be as simple as making small changes to your weekly routine, say setting aside time to see friends, take an exercise class or join a group of other single mums. Even a weekly pampering hour, where you enjoy a long soak in the bath or put your feet up, can be a way to recharge yourself. You might also try to find time for a personal project, such as organising a book club or pursuing one of your personal interests or passions. Anything that is separate to your love life and your identity as a single mother will give you a feeling of productivity and a greater sense of identity, both of which breed the confidence that can be highly attractive when it comes to dating.

3. Embrace online dating Online platforms can be great for dating as a single mum. Not only are there a growing number of sites that offer a safe, effective service and help to facilitate genuine connections, but there are also a number of factors that make online dating much more suitable. Single parents are often time poor, making it hard to spend evenings away from home. Instead of trying to meet people socially, you can use online dating from the comfort of your own home, while bouncing a child on your knee or propped up on the sofa when the kids have finally gone to bed. Online dating naturally invites a “getting to know you” period, during which you communicate solely with matches via instant messaging or texts. This gives you an ideal opportunity to learn about your potential date before making any commitment or meeting them face to face. As for which dating sites to use, you can sign up to online agencies that cater for everyone from professionals to wealthy women dating, covering all age groups, interests and lifestyle choices. If you’re a regular reader of The Telegraph, for instance, you can sign up to Telegraph Dating and meet people who share similar views on politics and current affairs.