I grew up knowing the challenges of a dating single mum – as the daughter of one I am certain it is not the simplest thing to do. In most nuclear families, women ( and men ) can satisfy their children, their workload, their interests and their sex lives without having to do much hunting or face needless rejections.

Flash forward twenty or so years, and it seems no less complex for single working mums ( and let’s face it, we are all working mums whether we have a paid job or not ). The advent of internet dating, sexting, tinder, grinder, bumble, eharmony and speed dating have not made the pool any less murky or simpler to navigate.

Spoilt for choice, some men tend to discount the single mother – she is less available, takes less shit, expects more honesty and vulnerability and creativity and does not love lightly, if at all. She puts her kids first, herself second and, if you are lucky, you third.

And you will love her for it. Or admire her for it. Or just get off on it. That will be fine. Single mums are squeezing their needs in between those of the whole cast of their family – so do not be surprised if she wants you just for sex, or friendship, or something of a combination of the two.

I want to get in at the get go – a simple request for the men who do take on single mothers. Please do not underestimate her. She is most likely a superwoman holding onto her sanity amongst the dish loads, the washerloads, the motherloads of emotional meltdowns and the school administration and play dates and keeping her children grounded. She wants to find someone who can show her children a mother who is cared for by someone other than them. She is most likely genuine in her affection and admiration for you – or she would not waste her time and stretched energy. She is not a gold digger. Of course she will appreciate gifts but more than stuff, she will want your concentrated time. If you do spoil her, do it with something that shows you have been watching what she needs or lacks or puts second as her child wants something more.

I spoke to and surveyed all sorts of women for this and am sure some of it will resonate with you. If not, let me know and I can always add more spice! Speaking of spice, here is the comprehensive list of why single mums make the best pick of the bunch and, contrary to popular mythology, are not low hanging fruit just aching to be man handled or itching to lick your… anything.

Before you decide whether to date single mums, here is a comprehensive report on what you might be missing out on.
If you are a Dad yourself, you may notice that women without children do not understand you or that you can’t really talk with them about your kids. Maybe you like this. If you don’t, a single mum will always see the sense, pain and passion that it takes to understand and raise your kids. Plus she will never envy your ex.
They are loving and nurturing and apply a lot of passion and sensuality to sex. They don’t want it perfect. They don’t mind it messy. They will put in and think about how to keep it interesting. They most likely will not mess around on you either. Hard enough for her to keep up with you, let alone another.
They understand that sex is important – but that things come up and they will make it worth waiting for.
They are not hypercritical or unrealistic, perfection is not what they are looking for, or wanting
They are not always available or hanging on your every text – they won’t commit to an unplanned weekend away to the Bahamas as they can’t – this can make them an attractive forbidden fruit type of pleasure
They might bore you with their strength, independence, lack of game playing and their decisiveness in knowing what they want. They don’t tolerate rubbish, so if you are into this, then steer well clear
Single Mums have expectations. They want quality sex and are willing to put in to make it spicy and satisfying. They know this requires honesty and they give it as well as receive it. And not just honesty!
Maybe you like surprises. These women don’t. They do not muck around with birth control. They do not muck around with your time. It might annoy you – the seeming lack of spontaneity. The sense that she does not need you and will not tolerate you wasting her precious time.
Surely all of the above is enough to convince you to be judicious and sensible in your dating dealings with any single mothers who come along. If you are tempted by the prospect and in order to balance this piece and play devil’s advocate, here are some of the things that a single mum might have for you, if you are that way inclined. These ladies can be very diplomatic, enthusiastic, moment grabbers and stabbers, and they love wholeheartedly and in a kind and devoted way without expecting the world of you. Be terribly aware – if you do date one to prove to yourself why you should not be with one, single mums make the most of every moment. They have so few spare ones and are used to infusing fun into the most mundane of moments for their family, so it may bleed into their time with you. You know, that could be terribly frilly – kind of like forcing you to feel young at heart.

Well forewarned is forearmed. If one of these women manages to capture your interest, you might need some tips to steer it off course and save yourself from the single mum spin cycle.

Know everything about her and ask all sorts of redundant questions
Be fluffy and don’t be honest – she does not need it, all day is raw honesty and dirty dunnies
Do not pay for much – she is used to stretching her budget and you don’t want her to get used to relying on yours
Get all anxious about her kids and any indication they need a father figure
Do not create opportunities that allow her to be seen – she knows what it is like to be invisible an missing in action in all the muck of they day, don’t rob that from her
Trust is going to go in waves – keep her on her toes, and don’t go keeping it simple or easy
Once you’re in, you’re in – this must be myth spun by these black widow single mums
Do not give her what she needs, find what you need and ask her for it. She has so many needs to fill, she must be a pro at it
You won’t get invited home, so just push and press her on it
Her kids are the axis around which she spins and vice versa – do not take too much interest in them. You do not wanting her thinking you are in it for the long term or that you are going to hang around once the party is over
Be disgruntled about her relationship with her ex. You can’t trust him. Or her
Keep her on her toes – if you need to pull out or cancel, do it. She can deal with the disappointment and, if she can’t, tough luck. There must be more of them out there desperate for a single, kid hating dude like you – especially if you are not completely divorced or disenchanted with your last partner yourself
Create high expectations around her body. She needs the motivation after all the damage that bearing, carrying and breastfeeding kids has done to it. You do not need to improve yours – have as many beers and pizzas as you need me to have a perfect body or to apologize for the body I have
In case you are literal like a lot of men are, I might need to point out the above is sardonic. If you are a woman reading, I trust you recognised the sarcasm. However, we all know that matters of the heart are not joking matters. Whoever you end up with and for however long, there is a lot to be said for common courtesy and respect and taking your time to think about what you want and what you have to offer as much as looking for what is there for your taking. It’s not just something you take, it’s given. Rhianna and Mikky Ekko had it right!

I have also spoken to single men who have explored the world of dating single mums, some who were sorely disappointed in their experiences with singles who were not mothers. All women are unique and not all single mums or single women are the same. You should take your time getting to know your prospects and all women appreciate your honesty when you do so. Maybe you are just out for no holds barred sex – maybe she is too! Or maybe you are a helpful companion who does not mind offering practical assistance – she possibly has a few odd jobs that will take her three times as long as you to do – pitching in is a perfect aphrodisiac! Gestures go a long way, but if you are like most men you possibly also like to offer gifts as a provider or patron of sorts.

Nobody hates flowers but let’s face it – after filling the house with fragrance for a week, they shrivel up and die. A single mum is no doubt juggling her budget and going without. Use your powers of observation – has her phone screen become so cracked from being mishandled or dropped by her children? Could you invest a little more and buy her a new phone? Does not have to be the newest or fanciest one but just think of the exposure you will gain. How many times a day do you think a woman takes out her phone and looks at it? Chances are that is how many times she will be thinking of you, and fondly!

How can you contribute to her day? It might be something simple, easy done for you and really straightforward – but to her, it might mean a lot. I still am not sure how but I spent four hours locked out of my house today trying to work out how to get it unlocked in time for the kids who were out on playdates. If I had a lovely helpful and loving gentleman who had my interest at the moment he might have been around and able to offer some assistance and humour in my slight distress, I would have been grateful and probably more enamoured with him as a result.

So if you are unconvinced or already in the pool with a single mum, I trust you are enjoying your time with some headstrong, feisty, fiery single woman; here are some of my tips for keeping her happy
Give practically
Be pragmatic
Be useful and helpful – she really is working hard and kids are a really big emotional rollercoaster!
Apply patience and empathy
Use you noodle
Love her love of her children
Never underestimate her powers or her charms
Put her first
Respect her intelligence and her ability to make her own decisions – but be a loving soundboard too.
Now, whatever you do, keep all this to yourself. You don’t want there being all sorts of big headed single mums staggering around and playing it cool or getting lucky. That would be tragic. Terrible. Leave them be, man. Or take a chance and consider them amongst their single counterparts. If you do, remember how much they have to offer and equally how much you have to give. There is no better way to a single mum’s heart than by paying her attention and using your powers of observation to seek out things she needs. It is not about big spending or grandiose gestures – it is just about being present and aware.

By doing so, you show the woman what an eligible man you are and you recognise what a special woman she is. Isn’t that why we are dating and sharing our time and souls with each other? She wants to be seen as the woman she is – by you. Show her you see her in your touch. Listen to what she has to say. Show her kids how you feel about her. Be the quality time she craves and don’t bamboozle her with bullshit. Get to know her movements and consider her in your plans – big and small – letting her know this will mean a lot to her and will show her your level of commitment.

Strong, Reciprocal, Intense, Amorous, Fun, Relaxed. The possibilities for you and the relationship are endless. Your single Mum may just be the one who brings the very best out of you!