Single mom will i ever find love

Finding Love (and Marriage) as a Single Mom

Finding Love (and Marriage) as a Single Mom | Psych Central
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Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST — By Sarah Barkley — Updated on Aug 25, 2022

Finding love isn’t easy as a single parent, but it’s possible. Learning about dating when you have kids can help you enjoy the experience.

Dating for single parents might sound intimidating, but a time can come when you think about the idea. Finding love as a single parent is possible, and it’s an exciting part of the journey. Learning how to make it a positive experience can make all the difference, and the tips discussed here can help.

You may have many emotions when you decide to start dating as a single primary parent. It can cause negative feelings, including frustration or disappointment, but it can also bring excitement and hope.

Dating is always an adventure, but it’s an entirely different experience for single parents looking for love. They must consider their children rather than only thinking of themselves. Plus, they’re not as readily available as a single person with no kids.

Although it’s a complicated experience, a single parent deserves happiness and love. Don’t be afraid of the unknown because you can embrace the chance at a new start.

1. Waiting until you’re ready

If you experienced a breakup or divorce, consider thinking about your mental health moving forward. Experts indicate that overcoming a previous relationship can trigger depression symptoms. You can take all the time you need to grieve and heal before considering dating as a single parent.

Making sure you’re ready to handle potential setbacks in modern dating (like this, this, and this) can help you stay positive and confident. It can help you prioritize self-love, making all the difference in finding a long lasting partnership.

2. Determining where you can meet someone

Once you’re ready to start dating, consider where you can realistically meet people. Meeting new folks is essential to the experience, and you might make a few new friends during the process.

Consider attending local events or joining social outings. You can also try online dating sites to connect with people outside your inner circle. A few other ideas include meeting someone at:

  • the gym
  • single parent support groups
  • kids’ sporting events
  • work (depending on your company stance on workplace romance!)
  • community workshops


Sticking to your ‘love list’ but keep an open mind

Having a love list can help you identify what you want in a partner and relationship. It could prevent you from settling and perhaps even bolster your confidence as you find love.

Your love list can include characteristics and qualities that you want in a partner. It’s wise to keep your list short, only focusing on your core needs to allow yourself to maintain an open mind.

You can also keep an open mind about how someone can meet your needs rather than assuming there’s only one way. You may update your list as your life changes because your needs will shift, too.

4. Being honest (with prospects, your kids, and yourself)

Honesty is essential for finding love as a single parent. Consider being open and honest with your children and dates about everything. It promotes trust early on, allowing you to build on a solid foundation.

You don’t have to tell your kids immediately but try being as honest as you can when you start dating. If your children are older, you could use it as a learning opportunity. With younger kids, you might only want them to be comfortable and aware.

Being honest with your partner is essential, too. You can make it clear that you have children — it’s a big part of who you are. You might consider not dating anyone who isn’t OK with you being a parent.

When to introduce your kids to a steady romantic partner?

Psychiatrist Dr. Domenick Sportelli suggests not setting a specific timeframe for introducing your kids to a romantic partner.

Every family is different, and being mindful of your child’s feelings will help you determine when they’re ready.

He also suggests not telling your child about your romantic partner at home. Try choosing a neutral place that your child enjoys. It’ll help them relax and process the information.

Sometimes your child might feel like they will betray the other parent by liking the new partner. It can make them resist forming a connection, and it often takes time for them to come around.

Whichever way you choose to tell your kids about a dating partner, it’s helpful to ensure they know they’re still your priority in your life.

Consider whether your romantic relationship has a stable future so that you don’t inadvertently expose your child to fleeting partners.

Another thing to be honest with your prospective partner (and yourself!) about is what you want in a relationship. Here are some helpful resources to take an honest look at where you’re at and what you really want in dating:

  • How to Navigate Friends with Benefits
  • Do I Like Him, the Attention, or Something Else?
  • What Is Aromantic?
  • Am I in Love? Love or Lust Relationship Quiz
  • What Does Exclusive Mean in a Relationship?
  • Is Your Partner Jealous of Your Baby?
  • When to Move in Together

5. Tune in to your kids’ feedback and tune out unwelcome opinions

Experts describe “mom-shaming” as someone criticizing your decisions and parenting styles. And this shaming can happen to any gender of single parent. When you decide to start dating, not everyone will love the idea.

You might hear opinions from other people and comments said behind your back. There’s a way to take in constructive feedback that comes from a place of love and protection — and keep out others’ opinions of you.

Your kids might have a hard time adjusting to your lifestyle change. It helps to actively listen to what they have to say and consider their perspective. If your kids have trouble coping, therapy can make all the difference.

You might feel like you don’t have enough time or energy left, but you can still find companionship — and love if you want it. It’s not always easy, but you can enjoy the experience of finding a new partner.

Percentage of single moms who get married

Statistics show that approximately 40% of children born in the United States in 2020 had unwed mothers.

Another 2021 study looking at the living arrangements of parents with children at home indicates that just over 50% of single parents have never married. Indeed, many single parents choose to stay single.

One study shows that many people are willing to date a single parent, so you can avoid thinking there’s no chance for you. You might keep up hope of finding a partner to complement your existing family.

With many people willing to fill the role, remember not to settle because you are worthy and deserve love.

Finding companionship or romance as a single parent is possible, even as you might need to overcome obstacles. You can make it happen using these tips, finding the opportunity to enjoy the type of intimacy you may crave.

The dating journey might get complicated, but don’t lose hope because you can fall in love. If you want to find love, the person meant for your family is out there.

Last medically reviewed on August 18, 2022

6 sourcescollapsed

  • America’s families and living arrangements (Table A3). (2021). United States Census Cureau. html
  • Gray PB, et al. (2016). Romantic and dating behaviors among single parents in the United States.
  • How to deal with mom-shaming. (2018). Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Michas F. (2022). Percentage of births to unmarried women in the U.S. 1980-2020.
  • Sportelli, D. (2022). Personal interview.
  • Verhallen AM, et al. (2019). Romantic relationship breakup: An experimental model to study effects of stress on depression (-like) symptoms.


Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST — By Sarah Barkley — Updated on Aug 25, 2022

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Will I Ever Find Love As a Single Mom?

Ask Polly: Will I Ever Find Love As a Single Mom?

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Dear Polly,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about giving up dating, and more – giving up on the idea that there is someone out there for me.

I’m 43, and my whole life, the thing I wanted most in the world was to fall in love — the stay-up-talking-about-everything-and-anything, close-down-the-bar, always-know-you’re-in-my-corner kind of love, but it just hasn’t ever happened.

I’ve had relationships. I was married for ten years to a good person who tried very hard to be a good husband. He was loyal, honest, dependable, and funny. I loved him in large part because I felt like he was the kind of guy I should marry. And I bent over backward to be the good wife. I made elaborate dinners and sewed curtains and kept track of appointments. And I followed his career at the expense of my own in a tough cross-country move. But in the end, the nagging feeling that he just didn’t get me, didn’t understand or appreciate my needs, blew up when I finally realized how suffocated I felt by a role that just wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t bring myself to have kids in a marriage where doing so would obliterate any chance I had to build something for myself.

I’ve been divorced for eight years, and aside from one long-distance relationship and a handful of short flings, I’ve been single ever since.  Two years ago, I had a baby on my own. Before my son was born, I had this feeling of being untethered, as if I could float away and it wouldn’t really make that much of a difference to anyone. Now I feel that my love for my son grounds me and gives a center to my life. He’s amazing and it was the right choice for me.

At the same time, I’m still me. And the longing for a companion, someone to talk to and share jokes with and be in my corner and get me, has not gone away. Plus, I miss sex and physical affection a lot. About a year ago, I decided I was ready to start dating again. But I don’t think I was really prepared for how much the online-dating landscape has changed. Before, it was all lengthy profiles and revealing charming details about yourself, followed by a polite exchange of get-to-know-you-banter emails and arrangements to meet for coffee. Now, it is a lot of pictures and swiping right, followed by some text messages if you’re lucky. I’ve been surprised about how quickly it turns to rudeness. Ghosting after a few (or a lot of) text messages and never meeting people in person is common. Giving someone your phone number more often leads to silence than it does to a date. People “liking” you on multiple apps and then not responding to your messages is also common. And the guys I have managed to go out with almost never feel worth the babysitting money. There was one guy a few months ago that I liked a lot and had three dates with, but then he told me I was great but it wasn’t what he was looking for.

The whole experience has been pretty awful. I feel like I’m the only single person over 40 who actually wants a relationship. It makes me feel bitter and frustrated, like I am spending a lot of energy chasing something that is simply unattainable for me.

I’ve asked pretty much everyone I know to fix me up, only to be told that no one seems to know anyone who is available. There seems to be no other way to meet people except through online dating. Maybe I’ll cross paths with the man of my dreams in the grocery store, but that doesn’t seem like something I should pin my hopes on.

I feel totally stuck. Giving up feels like beginning a process of grieving the loss of a dream I’ve had as long as I can remember. I am caught between thinking that, on the one hand, the grief, although hard, would at least end the misery and hopefully take me to a place where I can just be satisfied with the rest of my life (which is pretty great), and still feeling, on the other hand, that love is a basic human need, so cutting myself off from what still seems like the likeliest path to getting there will only end up stunting my life in the long run.

So what do I do? Do I forge ahead with online dating and hope that it really is a numbers game and that someday mine will actually come up? Or do I just let it go and accept that an adult love relationship is just not in the cards for me?

Single Mom on the Verge

Dear SMOV,

There are people who say that once they gave up on love, they became a lot happier. That makes a lot of sense to me and dovetails with my happiest single days. The aim of “giving up” here amounts to: (1) cutting out the kind of unfocused longing that drives you mad; (2) refusing to waste your time on an online-dating culture that mostly serves people looking for quick sex; and (3) committing to taking care of yourself instead of entertaining the notion that someone else can do this for you. But it doesn’t necessarily involve WRITING OFF LOVE FOREVER AND EVER.

That said, if you’ve never truly felt like “You, Alone in the World!” could be a romantic and beautiful picture, then searching for love will always feel like sitting on a sidewalk somewhere, begging passersby to throw you some emotional change. There is self-hatred in that picture. Why can’t I be loved? Don’t I deserve it? Why can’t I live without love? Am I too weak for that?

Self-hatred can turn any picture ugly, even the bravest single’s life or the prettiest Happily Ever After. So the first step is to absolve yourself of any stigma. You’ve done so much with your life! You grew up, found someone, realized he was wrong for you, broke up, pursued a career, made friends, had a baby. Now you have a 2-year-old. You’re just getting back into the swing of things. It’s not that easy to approach dating with a clear mind when you have a tiny person who cries out for you the second you leave the room.

First-time mothers sometimes don’t realize just what a hurricane of small-person needs they’re living in until that era is over. It sounds like you’re expecting way too much of yourself. You don’t have to charge forward all the time — or declare that you’re officially done with love, either. You feel proud of yourself for making a good decision and having a kid on your own, right? So, bask in that for a while. You saw your son through to age 2. You knew what you wanted and you went for it. SAVOR THIS MOMENT.

Then build on that good feeling. What else do you really want, besides love? Do you want to make some new friends, maybe some single moms who would love to have a partner to do things with occasionally? Do you want to pursue new interests? In your marriage, you gave up everything and became someone who served the marriage alone. If you fell in love now, could you imagine doing the same thing again — throwing yourself into someone else’s world, taking on their needs, folding yourself into their life? There are some hints that you haven’t completely escaped this way of looking at love.

If some part of your subconscious mind views love as an escape from the dreary realities of life, you’ll continue to be haunted, transforming your need for affection and love into a need for someone to guide and define you. Sometimes we crave this in spite of ourselves. But I don’t think you REALLY want to lose yourself to another person. So you need to clarify how it would look to have love in your life. Imagine the boundaries, the borders, the things you wouldn’t want to change.

I’ve abandoned myself and moved into other people’s lives. I’ve sewed curtains and planted flowers and suddenly found myself thinking FUCK THIS. The kinds of men who want you to play a supporting role in their lives aren’t the sorts of men who are likely to make you happy. And the kinds of men you might want — men who look for women with full, rich lives of their own — are naturally going to get flinchy if they start to feel, in their bones, that you’re nursing fantasies about a man who might save you from your life and yourself. You’ve got to clear this fantasy from your view if you want to feel good about your life regardless of what happens next.

I tended to think this way when I was a little depressed and nothing else in my life was moving forward. Back then dating was like moving to another country: I took up the practices and customs of the natives of my new land. I abandoned my own habits and hobbies without a second thought. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT: TO ESCAPE MYSELF.

Also, the kind of love that closes down the bar isn’t the kind of love you want. You don’t want obsessive, stay-out-too-late, let’s-have-another-drink love. Love is not a whirlwind, not for a 43-year-old mother with a full, happy life. Love is not an escape. Love complements your life, it doesn’t replace it.

For now, I would give up on online dating. That culture will change soon enough. New apps for people who hate Tinder will spring up. The Tinder-ization of the world will subside, or at least stay in its own high-speed fuckboat lane. In the meantime, ask yourself how you want to spend your time, what you want to become, how you want to feel. Exercising vigorously every day is mandatory for a single 40-something mother who needs to muster a good attitude every morning. Commit to it. Commit to yourself and your life. Make it look and feel beautiful. But don’t use self-hatred to move forward. Start from what you’ve already accomplished. Feel proud of what you’ve built, and make changes that will make you feel even more proud.

I think we all need to give up on the idea that there is ONE PERSON OUT THERE FOR US. There are lots of people out there, actually. The good ones won’t notice you when you’re stressed out and swiping right; they’ll notice you when you’re in the middle of doing something you love, something that engrosses you completely. They’ll notice you at the very moment when you’re feeling like you don’t need anything else in your life. When you’re open to love, but you feel sure that you’ll never give up on yourself again.

Take those hours that you spend dating, and turn them into hours where you leave the house feeling independent and fully alive. Take some new classes. Swim in new ponds. Engage with the world passionately and follow your own path. Do things that make you feel proud of who you are. Now imagine what it will take to live that way when you’re 50, when you’re 60, when you’re 70. I think women have a tough time thinking ahead like this. Maybe everyone does. But instead of imagining ourselves as getting older and grayer and less interesting and less useful, we women should take pains to imagine ourselves as growing more interesting and capable and bold and gorgeous and EN FUEGO, MOTHERFUCKERS.

There will be challenges. There will be setbacks. But if you honor yourself, there will always be love out there for you. Someone will come along. Maybe in five years. Maybe in five minutes. The world is filled with someones. You’re not remotely done with love yet. You are only halfway through your story. But how do you want the second half of your story to go? Don’t ask someone else to write it for you. You have to write it yourself.


Order the new Ask Polly book, How To Be A Person in the World, here. Got a question for Polly? Email [email protected]. Her advice column will appear here every Wednesday.

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Ask Polly: Can I Find Love As a Single Mom?

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Mission accomplished.

How to marry a single mother? | Person | SOCIETY

Single mothers know how to change plugs in the electrical panel, repair taps, and use a drill. But they could be wonderful wives. One has only to throw the wrong thoughts out of the head and look around.

He came himself

“So I have nothing to do with it, it's all my husband,” Polina Stepanova answers the question of how she managed to get married successfully, being the mother of a seven-year-old son. - He first established communication with my son, and only then with me. After two marriages, I didn’t want to get married at all!”

Polina met Nikolay, who, by the way, is a few years younger than her, in karaoke at a friend's birthday party.

“Then he, along with the same mutual friend and her husband, came to visit me,” recalls Polina. - I spent a lot of time with my son Seryozha, they immediately became friends. We started walking together almost every day. A new friend taught Seryozha to ride a bike, and in general taught him a lot. The son quickly became attached to him, worried if he was delayed. Children generally love the sincere.

It immediately became clear to adults that they had many common themes and that they were close to each other in spirit.

“I understood what it means to be “married” long before going to the registry office, already a couple of weeks after we met. I got used to doing everything myself. And then all the everyday problems were solved for me: changing the tires on the car - please, fixing something at home is easy. It became clear that I would not find another like that - that I would not only love, but also respect. In the most serious dispute, I have never heard a single negative assessment addressed to me. Never!"

And in her relationship with her son, Polina did not see any fawning or desire to please. Only an honest interest to teach the boy to be stronger, smarter.

“You need to honestly tell your child that you are going to get married, and explain that you love your chosen one very much, and he loves you, and therefore your son,” advises Polina. “And that for the child in your heart, no matter what, there is always a separate room.”

Now a charming little girl Elizaveta has appeared in the friendly Stepanov family. The older brother helps his parents not only to deal with his sister, but also performs various male chores around the house - the “second dad” taught him all the intricacies of working with tools.

Dismiss doubts!

“For some time after the birth of my daughter, I lived with her father, but the relationship was very difficult from the very beginning - we did not plan a pregnancy,” says Elena Zakharova . - And we met my current husband when the child was six months old: he was fond of photography, and I was on a dating site. He found me and offered to be a model. We walked around the city center, filmed the material. After this meeting, our communication was mainly reduced to rare calls “How are you?” and "Congratulations on...". He was in a different relationship at that time, and for almost a year we just talked as friends.

Natalia does not hide the fact that she always wanted a healthy, full-fledged relationship with a man. But the “woman with a child” complex was also in her head.

“Then I found out that he had broken up with his former girlfriend. One of the boring evenings I decided to flirt with him via SMS, and somehow it turned out that he called me on a date. And it spun! Night walks around the city, conversations until the morning ... After 5 months, we decided to live together - and we still live. The daughter herself began to call him dad. A year after the wedding, her husband adopted her and gave her his middle name, ”says Elena.

Of course, not everything worked out so perfectly in this story. There were breakups and fights. Elena for a long time "chased" in her head the thought that her husband did not love her daughter as much as he would love his blood.

“But my husband explained that his daughter was part of me,” says Elena. And now a small miracle has also appeared in this family - to the delight of parents and a 9-year-old sister.

No need for a sissy

Ekaterina Bolonicheva, psychologist advises:

Where should a woman with a child look for a husband? In the same place as a woman without children. You should always be ready to meet a possible future husband, look good and be interesting.

Many women look for the father of their child rather than a husband. And this is fundamentally wrong. You don't need to drag a child in here - he didn't ask you to. But there is no need to hide anything from him. Talk to him frankly, explain everything as it is in accordance with age. A child will be happy if his mother is happy. There is always a strong emotional bond between children and mothers.

If a man likes a woman, he will not mind her child. But his mother may be against it. If this situation occurs, you do not need this man. This is an incapable of making decisions, a dependent son who has not come off his mother's skirt. You need an independent, self-sufficient man who can take responsibility. And the opinion of others does not matter.

You need to set yourself the right goal. What do you want? Relations? No, you already had falling in love and the game of hormones. You want a family, comfort, a caring and loving husband.

It is important to clearly imagine the image of a husband. What is he like, who does he work for, how much does he earn, what is his hobby?

An adequate man is not afraid of a relationship with a woman who has already been married, who has children. If a woman aged 30-35 has a child, this is normal. It would be suspicious that by this age she would not have had time to acquire a child. In the same way, 35-year-old men who have not been to the registry office are suspicious.

Gone are the days when men felt like the kings of the situation and could sort it out. After the war, there really was a shortage of men, so women spoiled them, trying to please in everything, just not to be left without a husband. It is these women who are now sitting on the benches and condemning the girls who "hung their child on a young guy. " They are not worth listening to!

“Everything is in our hands”

Olga Sukonina, head of the marriage agency:

Most men under 30 years of age, turning to a marriage agency, immediately note that they are against women with children. After 30, approximately 1% considers brides with and without children.

Among grooms from the 40+ category there are those who are ready to start a family with such a woman - about 30%. Indeed, most often such men already have their own children from a previous marriage, they stand firmly on their feet and can take care of the children of their chosen one.

But everything depends on the woman herself. If she "hooks" a man, if he likes her, he will not care if she has children. She is pretty, smart, in the eyes of the fire - then the child is not a hindrance. And if a woman with a sad face and gloomy eyes comes, she will not interest anyone.

Sometimes even those men who indicated in the questionnaire that they want a bride without children, I give photos of those who have already become mothers. If he likes the girl in the photo, he asks about her. Of course, I can’t hide the fact that she has children, but I don’t say it right away: she doesn’t suit you. The fact is that men who are timid and modest can pass by true happiness. And we will push him to it!

Advice for mothers who want to get married to use all the chances. Exhibitions, museums, clubs, restaurants... In general, be everywhere and always look good! It is not known where you will meet fate.

How to find a man if you are a single mother — video by Alena Nikolskaya

Psychologist Alena Nikolskaya, based on her almost 20 years of experience, assures that almost anyone can find their soul mate. Of course, if you need a man with a height of 2.5 meters, always blond with black eyes, dimples, snub-nosed and with a red beard - this is a problem. Well, if you are a single mother with a child or several children from a previous marriage, who for some reason decided that her time has passed, this is ridiculous. Believe me, if you want, you can find a person with whom you will spend your whole life and grow old in one day - you just need to behave correctly.

But first, what you need to get rid of is the very fear that your children from a previous marriage will prevent you from building a new relationship. Right now, get these stupid thoughts out of your head and fill in the empty space with the right information - about how to behave with a man if you already have children.

Spend more time alone with him, think about the future

When you first meet your potential spouse, you should not immediately dump all your personal history on him. After all, it is possible that in the past everything was not always perfect for you, there were both disappointments and pain. Give your new relationship some time, let him fall in love with you, be enchanted. And when the time comes, talk about the past, but succinctly, briefly and exclusively in a positive way - only about the good. Remember, now you have a different life, a different story - think about the future.

Make it clear that he is not a competitor

If the conversation comes up about children, be sure to let the man know that, yes, you devote time to the child, but not all 24 hours a day. Your chosen one must understand that if everything works out for you, he will not be left without attention, he will not become a fifth wheel. He will certainly want to hear that both he and your relationship are very important to you. If a man feels that he is competing with a child in the fight for your attention, he will leave, do not allow this.

Look for a spouse and partner, not a dad

One of the most common mistakes made by single mothers is the assumption that the new man will definitely want to become a mega-father for their children. Such women are looking for a dad for their babies, but in fact they must look for a spouse and partner for themselves - this is how a man should be considered.

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