You got set up. Or maybe you found her profile through online dating. In any case, you found her. You click ... and she has kids. Here are the things you must-know if you date a single mom.

She's busy

Kids and work. Kids and work. On most days a single mom seesaws between kids and work. And depending on the age and number of kids she may be lucky to fit in the extras like exercise and the occasional date. You can make things easier for her by giving her options as to when you can get together. Build time into your schedule for her. Don't take it personally if she can't swing it to join you for events - especially last minute. Take her busyness as a glimmer of her responsible nature. Because who wouldn't want to be with someone who loves their kids and pays their bills?

She appreciates solidness

One misnomer is that divorce is the easy way out. Divorce is not easy. Divorce is heart-wrenching. Divorce puts you face-to-face with your own demons. A single mom has learned what it's like to be alone. She's gained perspective on the things that are most important in relationships. Things like kindness, patience, the ability to communicate and being grounded in good things. And let's not forget that she's not just dating for herself - she's scoping you out in terms of her kids. Your steady style will help increase her feelings of love for you.

She's got triggers

You said something and then she pulls away. She ends the conversation. She closes off emotionally. You're confused. And you're worried that you might have ruined things with her. Chances are you've come face-to-face with one of her triggers.

We all have triggers. They're the icky Deja vu moment that reminds us of a person or painful experience. Many single moms are aware of their triggers and when they happen - they can reassure their partner: WHOA. I just had a trigger. It's not about you. But can I share with you what happened when we were talking? If she's not yet aware of her triggers - and you feel you may have stepped upon a trigger land-mine - consider talking to her. State the facts: I just noticed that you pulled back after I spoke. Did I say something that upset you? Be patient through this process. Her trust in you and in positive relationships will increase.

She's used to doing things on her own

Let's face it: Single moms are a one person show. They work. They raise kids. They cook. They clean. They pay the bills. And on and on. And single moms get used to the drill of doing most things on their own. In fact, because she's used to doing it all she may feel like if she gives up one thing - all the bricks of life will come crashing down on her. Reassure her that you don't want to change things that are working well for her. But let her know that you'd like to be helpful. Ask her how you can be helpful. And let her know that there are certain things that she may be used to doing on her own, but it would be great if she'd step down and let you do them for her (things like opening doors, helping with hard to open jars, etc.)

She'll put her kids first

Single moms have a fierce loyalty to their kids. It's the way it should be. Consider what it says about her and her dedication to her closest relationships. Contemplate what her kids have been through. And acknowledge that one of the surest ways to her heart is by putting them first too. Find things to love about her kids. Look at life from their perspective. And above all - show them how a good man should treat their mother.

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