Online dating as a single mum is hard work. From having no idea which dating site to use, through to a constant fear of being matched up with someone you already know (like your child’s teacher – eek), it’s ALMOST enough to make you give up before you’ve started.
And even though you’d much rather meet someone through friends or work, as a single mum who doesn’t get to go out much, online dating seems like the best option.
Here’s a lighthearted look at 13 truths about online dating that single mums know.
1 You spend ages picking which dating site to use
Honestly, you’ve not felt pressure like this since picking your child’s school.
Do you go for one that’s purely for single parents? And what about the free ones? Or are they all about one night stands?
Ooooh hang on, there’s one for men in uniforms …
Aagh, so many choices and you haven’t even started looking at the men yet.
2 You stress over taking a selfie
When you were in a relationship, one of your major bugbears was that your ex never took photos of you with the kids.
Meaning you have almost no photos of yourself.
Cue spending hours when the kids are in bed trying to take the perfect selfie. In the kitchen, lounge, bathroom, garden … aagh, they all look weird.
Right, time to log in to Instagram for some Kim Kardashian inspiration.
3 You get ahead of yourself
You’ve read loads of stories about people meeting The One online. Which means you’re secretly hoping you’ll instantly be matched with the perfect man.
However, it’s only Day One of discretely scrolling through the online profiles while your kids are watching TV, and you realise it’s going to be a loooong process. Sigh.
4 Your kids keep trying to grab your phone
Normally you’d leave your phone on the side.
But now, with constant pings alerting you that ‘you have a match’, your kids are suddenly demanding to know who all the messages are from.
Eek, the last thing you want is them finding out about your online dating … and worse, telling all their mates.
5 You have NO time for men who look nothing like their profile picture …
Finally you find someone you like the look of. And even though the photo is shot from a funny angle with the top half of his head missing, you decide to meet up with him.
Only to discover he looks nothing like his photo which, on meeting him, you’re sure was taken at least a decade earlier.
6 … or men you’re pretty sure are married
You quickly develop an eye for working out which of the men on the dating sites are actually married.
They either only show a body part (and if you’re on Tinder it’s usually THAT body part) or they are are cropped down the middle.
Which you know means they’ve cut out the person next to them in the photo. Probably their wife.
7 You dread being matched up with a dad from the school
So many people use online dating sites that it’s the second most common way to meet a new partner.
Which means you know it’s only a matter of time before you’re matched with someone you know. And you’re desperately hoping it’s not a dad at your child’s school.
8 Or worse, a teacher
Aagh, your latest online dating match is the deputy head at your child’s primary school. Right, you’re never going to another parents evening EVER AGAIN.
9 You spend days chatting to a man online …
.. only to meet them and realise there is ZERO chemistry. Gah, what a waste of time.
In fact, you’d much rather be at home doing the laundry. (Yep, the date is THAT bad.)
10 You are amazed by what some people put on their profile
From rude emojis to demands that you must be a certain bra size (yes, really) there are some total losers out there.
But at least they’re giving you ample warning of who they are so you don’t accidentally end up on a date with one of them.
11 You realise you’ve been ghosted …
There’s nothing more depressing than meeting up for a date, arranging to see them again … only for them to disappear off the face of the earth.
Being ghosted – something which has happened to 78% of online daters aged 18-33, according to a study – is rubbish.
And NOT what you need if your confidence has already been knocked by your last break-up.
12 … or ‘breadcrumbed’
The latest trend in online breakups is breadcrumbing – when the other person responds just enough to make you think they are interested. But they really aren’t.
Ugh, why is dating so HARD?
13You log off
Being a single mum is hard work. So you decide you really don’t need the added hassle of online dating which, quite frankly, can be pretty soul destroying.
(Yep, nothing like being sent an explicit photo from a guy online while you’re trying to make the kids’ tea. Ugh).
And instead, you’re going to try the ‘old fashioned’ way of dating instead: actually talking to people IRL.