There are 10 million single moms in the United States, so the odds are good that, at some point, you may have the opportunity to date one. Before you do, here are six things you need to know.

1. Single moms have no interest in playing "the dating game"

Single moms don't have much interest in being indecisive, coy or "playing hard to get." They simply don't have time for it. Get real, and be honest. Single moms appreciate men who are upfront with them.

2. Most single moms are not looking to be rescued

Don't ride in on a white horse and expect her to fall grateful at your feet. If you want a woman who's clingy, keep looking. Many single moms are quite independent and happy with who they are, and they're looking for a friend and companion. With any luck, that might be you.

3. Single moms and their kids are a package deal

Even if there's a "baby daddy" in the picture, a single mom wants a good male role model for her kids. The kids may not warm up to you at first. Or, they may like you a lot - unless you break up with their mom. That would be difficult for everyone. But with the right single mom and the right kids, the reward of getting involved in their lives can be well worth the risk.

4. Single moms have a lot going on

In addition to raising kids, some single moms are busy working two jobs or carving out careers. They keep up with their jobs and their households, and they manage finances. While a single mom may not have much time to spare, she will have time to share with the right man.

5. You will have to work to gain her trust

Divorce hurts. A single mom may have been burned by her ex, and she'll be most vulnerable in areas where she's been hurt before. If her ex had an affair, she'll wonder whether or not you'll be loyal. If her ex left her penniless, she'll wonder whether or not you can manage your finances. Be patient. Find out where she feels most vulnerable and don't hesitate to reassure her. She's not only protecting herself, she's protecting her kids.

6. Single moms are loyal and committed

Single moms are committed to making things work - for themselves and for their families. They're loyal, and they appreciate loyalty in return. If you're lucky enough to get close to a single mother, you'll find her to be a loyal and committed friend.

It's not always easy to date a single mom. There tends to be more complications than there would be if you were dating a woman who had never been married and didn't have kids. But if you're not a player and you're up for the challenge, you may find that a single mother and her children are just the family you've been looking for your whole life.

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