Dating as a single mother is hard. Not only does it take a lot more time and effort to date, but you aren’t the only person you need to think about – there is a beautiful little one waiting at home. You may be juggling the role of mom, but you also need to focus on your own happiness. How can you manage it all? Lucky for you, we sat down with the amazing dating and relationship coach (for us everyday singles and E!’s Famously Single celebrities) Laurel House, to talk about navigating the dating world as a single mother.
MM: Why do you think dating as a single mom is different from dating as someone who is childless?
LH: Your priorities (and your life) are no longer your own. As a dating coach, I went back to work one week after giving birth, because I am a single mom and I need to support myself and my child – that is my priority. Part of my job is to help my clients date online. I happened to be online and saw this guy who was also a single dad. We began communicating online extensively which is what I call pre-qualifying. We really got to know each other very well online, and started to have hour-long phone calls before we finally met. We met when my son was 3-months-old, started dating, and now we are together.
MM: If you’re a single mom and you don’t have much time, do you think pre-qualifying is the way to go?
LH: It could not be more essential when it comes to dating. Mother or not, you do not meet someone in person until you have pre-qualified, or you’re going to continue going on first dates and in the first three seconds you know it’s not a match. Particularly, when you’re a single mom you have to pre-qualify.
Have those extensive email or chat conversations that then lead into an extensive phone call: I call it a phone date. On that phone date, you are having a real conversation as if you are on a date in-person. You can even do it over Skype so that you can see each other. At the end of the day, as a single mom going on a date, you have to leave your child for the evening, hire a nanny, and then you are stressing the whole time about whether they are OK while you’re out… which does not create an environment for connection! The last thing you want is to sit across from someone and say to yourself “Oh great, this is a wasted night”.
MM: What do you think are the best dating apps for single moms?
LH: None! As a single mom, I think that dating apps only create what I call “text style communication,” which really doesn’t help to get to know each other. You are only sharing little short bits of information each time you chat on an app platform, substantial online dating websites /…/