Dating Red Flags for Single Mums – 12 Things You Should Not Ignore


Whether due to a divorce or the loss of your partner, being a single mum can be overwhelming and quite lonely at times. And while the thought of dating again may fill you with apprehension and insecurity, after all, it may be ages since you last dated, and you may still be healing from your loss, you may also feel giddy as a teenager.

With little free time and the many responsibilities that come along with being a single mum, you want to ensure you avoid wasting time with someone who’s simply not right for you, and your kids.

Let’s take a look at some dating red flags single mums should not ignore.

Dating Red Flags Single Mums Shouldn’t Ignore

1. They only want to text

Whether you’ve met online or in person, a man who only wants to carry on a relationship online or via text obviously has something he’s hiding. Maybe he’s married, has a girlfriend, or is running from the law.

While it may not be something major, do you really want to waste your precious, single mum time trying to find out? If he’s not interested in spending time with you in person, it’s not worth pursuing.

2. They are self-obsessed

A man who only talks about himself and doesn’t show any genuine interest in you is not worth your time.

If he’s not curious about the wonderful person in front of him, he won’t show any interest in you or your children in the future.

A man who only loves the sound of his own voice is simply not good company.

3. They are always on their phone

Similarly, a man who is always checking his phone while on a date with you is just no fun and just plain rude.

Even worse? If he’s checking out dating apps while on a date with you! I wouldn’t blame you if you cut your date short if he can’t put aside his phone to be present with you.

It would be understandable if he’s a single dad and checks his phone occasionally, but not the entire time you’re together.

4. There are not chivalrous

Yes, we live in modern times, but good manners and kindness never go out of style.

If he is respectful and courteous toward you and others, then he’s someone worth getting to know. A person who doesn’t put in their best effort at the beginning won’t be kind to you or your kiddos.

5. They tune you out when you talk about your kids

While you don’t want to make your kids the centre of your entire conversation, especially during the first few dates, you want to know the person you are seeing embraces the most important part of your life.

Someone genuinely interested in you should be open to hearing about your children.

6. They are a bad co-parent

You may find you have more in common with someone who also has children of their own.

However, if he makes no effort to see them or doesn’t care to talk about them, it may be a red flag indicating he’s not an involved, caring parent. You may just want to stay away.

7. They have a “complicated” ex

Everyone has “baggage,” but how they handle it can be very telling about their attitude and personality.

A man who drags their ex through the mud and can’t stop talking about them is very likely not over them. He probably hasn’t healed from the relationship. You may want to just stay away until they sort out their issues.

8. They want to meet your kids early in the relationship

Introducing your children to someone new is a very BIG step. You don’t want to parade every potential partner to your kids until you know it’s going somewhere. Otherwise, it can be very confusing for them.

A man you date should understand this and should not press, guilt, or manipulate you into introducing them. Someone trying to move things too fast may want to meet your kids to “seal the deal.”

Trust your gut and don’t listen to ultimatums.

Talking to teens - lessons on sex and love
Source: Adobe Stock

9. They refer to your kids as “baggage”

Anyone who refers to your children as a burden or “baggage” clearly doesn’t understand what parenthood is all about.

A man who says this won’t understand the joys and sacrifices of parenthood. Furthermore, it is insulting to call what’s most precious to you “baggage.”

10. They avoid conflict

Relationships, just like parenting, are not all rainbows and butterflies. There will inevitably be difficult times.

While seeking drama should not be a goal in life, it is sometimes unavoidable. You want someone who can handle conflict and is willing to talk about it instead of sweeping issues under the rug.

11. They tell you how you should raise your kids 

Beware of someone who tries to tell you how to raise your kids, whether they have them or not. Unsolicited advice need not apply here!

You know your children best and should not be judged for your parenting style. If your children are happy, safe, and thriving, then who cares what others think?

Someone who tries to tell you how to raise your kids is likely controlling and you’ll want to steer clear of them.

12. They are not stable

It is not wrong to want someone who has their life together.

As a single mum with responsibilities, it’s reassuring to know the person you’re dating is financially stable, has a fulfilling career, and stable home life.

While you’re not looking for someone to support you and your kids, you do want someone who contributes calm and stability into your life, not chaos and uncertainty.

dating red flags for single mums
Source: Adobe Stock

Dating is hard, especially as a single mum. Keeping in mind the dating red flags single mums should not ignore is a must when joining the dating scene.

However, nothing beats trusting your gut. If someone or a situation just doesn’t feel right, walk away. You don’t need a reason.

Don’t feel you have to settle for good enough just because you’re lonely or you want a parent for your children.

The right person is out there for you, just take your time and keep your eyes and your heart open.

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Avatar of Gloria Ramirez

Gloria Ruby Ramirez is a writer, mother, and lover of coffee, twinkle lights, and rain who believes in the magical power of words. She is passionate about parenting, mental health, and the environment. She is a former agricultural microbiologist/plant pathologist with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Arizona State University. Born in the desert of northern Mexico, she is mum to her beautifully energetic son and Shih Tzu, Gerty. When not writing, Gloria can be found spending time with her son and family, reading, or embroidering.

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