8 ways dating changes when you become a solo mum

Many of my coaching clients ask me “is dating any easier when you become a solo mum?”

Like everything it’s not that simple, and I’m quite sure people experience it differently.

I’ve detailed out the 8 things that have changed for me about dating since I had my daughter:

  1. Time is more precious

When I was single and had no children I had a lot more free time. It was mine to use exactly as I pleased. I wasn’t as fussy as I am now how I spent that free time. Dating meant a night out. It meant company, when otherwise I might have been alone. I’m a pretty sociable person and like meeting new people. I was happy to spend an evening out getting to know someone, even if there was little chance of a relationship. I mean you never know right?

These days, my time is extremely precious and I will only go on a date when I really think there might be potential there.

2. I’m clear about what I am looking for

I was very confused when I was dating before I had my daughter. Was I looking for a partner, the father of my child or actually just a sperm donor. It’s hard to separate these out when you can hear the ticking of your biological clock!

Now I am looking for a partner and a partner only. That is clear to me. It makes dating a lot more straightforward.

3. The pressure feels less

I felt a great time pressure previously. The older I got, the more pressure I felt. It was a loud ticking. It meant that I felt like I was in a real rush. I wanted to hurry everything to get to the part where I was ready to have a baby with someone. That doesn’t lend itself to being your best self on a date.

This pressure is now 100% lifted. I have the rest of my life to meet someone. I am no longer in a big rush! Some people have admitted that they feel pressure to meet someone good enough to be a parent to their child. I don’t feel that way. I trust my judgement fully. If someone is good enough for me, it stands to reason they are good enough for my daughter. That is because I would not waste time with someone who wasn’t.

4. Logistics need to be managed more creatively

I don’t have loads of free time. There isn’t an abundance of childcare available to me. I don’t necessarily want to use the childcare I do have to go on a date. This means that I need to get more creative.

A first date will be short. A quick coffee. A quick after work drink. Maybe a quick walk. Who knows, in the future I might start with a Zoom call!

5. The pool of potential partners is more targeted

I will only date someone who is happy to have a child in their life. Otherwise I’m wasting everyones time. I don’t see this as having less options, I see this as filtering out the people that I am not compatible with.

6. Consideration needs to be given on when someone should meet your child

Previously I could move a relationship at whatever pace I wanted. I could invite someone back to my house whenever I wanted. I could meet up with them and see them whenever I wanted. Now it’s not just about me. I have to consider my daughter. When they should meet her and in what capacity.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong on this it totally depends on the individual circumstances.

7. Circumstances can make it more challenging to meet other single people

When I was single, before having my daughter, I was constantly socialising and meeting new people, many of them single. Since having a child, my social circle is mainly other mums who are mainly in couples. It is harder to meet new people who are single. Harder, but not impossible. This may change over time and of course, there is always online dating.

8. My headspace is less

Right now I am a solo mum to a 2 and a half year old. I have a nearly full time corporate job and a successful coaching business. Trying to juggle all that makes dating a bit more challenging. It’s less about my actual time, I can manage to get on a date if I want to, it’s more about having the headspace to invest in dating or in a relationship.

In my experience, the dating process changes over time depending on your childs age and your situation. Some things become more straightforward and others more challenging.

I have found that although the logistics can be more complicated to manage, having that time pressure removed is a huge relief and means I can go at my own pace when the time is right.

I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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