How to balance being a single mom and dating

When my daughter, Mae, was 7 months old, her father and I split up.He left the country -- without saying goodbye, I might add -- to start a new life.We are all free to make up whatever dating preferences we want.

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But when deciding to date a woman with a child, you should be clear about your expectations for the relationship upfront with yourself and her.

In other words, if you’re still in the “dating just to date” phase of your life, involving a woman with a child is probably not the type of relationship you should engage in because your actions will more than likely impact the lives of two people — the woman and the child.

When you think of a single mom on the dating scene, visions of a 20-something who can barely balance her own checkbook (guilty) probably don’t come to mind.

But, believe it or not, not all of us single moms are recent divorcées scrolling through silver fox profiles on Match.

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Nominate your favorite blog by emailing us at Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that while it’s likely the most fulfilling thing they’re doing, raising a child is not easy. Even so, moms are the only head of household for 17.2 million — or about 23 percent of American children. Navigating the myriad roles of momhood — disciplinarian, therapist, chef, maid, chauffeur, babysitter, and diaper-changer, to name a few — can be tricky.

Not to mention navigating the complex emotions surrounding solo-parenting, which can be just as tricky.

There’s a novelty and awkwardness for many situations, like starting to date again or introducing a new partner to your children.

One caveat: Statistics don't tell how many single moms are with a partner (and choosing not to get married), how many live with family (so they have some help around), and how many are truly alone.

But the point is, there are a lot of single moms out there. Even so, single mothers agree that even when overwhelmed, there's usually a way to work out problems.

I'm hoping to change all that, but the mere thought of entering the dating world in earnest is scary as can be. Waiting too long to start dating GIPHY As a single mom, you want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with your children — but making the introduction is a tricky situation."Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella.

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