Tips for Dating a Single Mom (from a Single Mom)

single moms datingI have a few newly single mom friends who are starting to dip their toes into the dating pool. Their initial reactions have mostly played between "Oh my God. Seriously? This is what's out there?" and "I think I need a drink."

Sometimes I wish there was a book out there I could give to the guys trying to date us single moms. It would include such tidbits as:

1. Make it worth exchanging our yoga pants for Spanx. I can't tell you how many times I've dragged myself into a pair of Spanx and jeans, fixed my hair, and put on make up to meet a man for a coffee date on a random Sunday afternoon only to show up to the date to find a man who looked like he had just rolled out of bed. Mussy hair looks hot on Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant and really, that's about all. Put some effort into this coffee date. For some of us, it's the only non-child centered social event of our week. Or month.

2. When you find us online, please spell out your words. Nothing is more annoying than feeling I must decode my potential date's writing. While "C u l8r" might have been trendy back in the non-keyboard texting days, in this modern age of Siri, spell it out, fellas. Being lazy texters might make us think you're lazy in other departments, if you know what I mean.

3. For God's sake, put on a shirt. Look. We're glad you've been able to keep your body in shape. We're more than glad, actually. But when you take a selfie in your dirty bathroom mirror with the male equivalent of a duck face, we also think you might have been taking steroids that have eaten away at your brain cells because, honey? You're 43. That backwards cap thing isn't really working for you. Why don't you try to put on a shirt. And pants that don't sag. And smile. Just smile. (See also: The inexplicable selfie in the front seat of your car.)

4. We don't really want to talk about our kids over dinner. While we would typically gush and rave over our child prodigies, when we are on a first, second, or even third date, we'd like to be viewed as a woman first. Sure we have kids, but we also have other interests, things that make us fascinating and intriguing in our own rights.

5. We need to plan things out. Before kids we were spontaneous. We'd jump in a car and drive to Vegas for a weekend with ten minute's notice. Now? We have to arrange sitters or work around custodial dates, there are school events, big tests, sick kids, work commitments, and sometimes we have call in favors to get a night off. Give us a little time to plan and don't cancel on us last minute. Our time isn't just ours anymore.

Do you have any tips for the men dating single moms?