Dating can be a challenge no matter who you are, but if you have kids in your life, that can add a whole new dimension to your love life. Of course, your kids will always be your number one priority, but exploring your love life and finding someone who can make you happy can — and should — be a part of your life if that’s what you want. While, of course, dating around is a great way to explore your options and see what’s out there, you may find yourself getting along well with some great people and looking to settle into a more serious relationship sometime soon.
However, even if you’re in a place where you’re looking to start dating again, there might be more you need to assess beneath the surface. Specifically, there are red flags that you should keep an eye out for as you date — and especially as you get more serious with potential matches. As a busy mom, you don’t have the time for unstable relationships. Plus, you have your kids to think of, too. If this is someone who might be a part of their lives in the future, you want to make sure that whoever it is, that they’ll be a good influence and source of positivity for your family.
Of course, you should always look out for red flags in a relationship, but it can get even more serious if you have kids involved — but this is likely a good thing. When you have high standards for who you want around your kids, you’ll have high standards for the company you keep, too, and you deserve that. So here are a few of those relationship red flags that could send someone packing.
This is almost always a red flag in relationships, but especially if you have kids that are in the picture. Not only could a controlling partner transfer some of that behavior onto your kids, but they could also interfere with your relationship with them. Plus, controlling behavior is likely to get worse over time, so it’s best to take that red flag as exactly what you see it for.
Cheating is never fun to navigate within a relationship, especially as a person who has been through a lot and has kids to take care of. Even if someone seems like they have moved on from their mistakes in the past, cheating can hurt, and a consistent history of cheating can sometimes mean that they’ll continue to cheat in the future. Just be wary.
While not the same as cheating, relationship hopping can also be a red flag in relationships. Essentially, it can be a sign of constant rebounding and never reaching stability and self-satisfaction when people constantly jump from one relationship to another. You deserve to be more than a rebound, and you deserve someone who is self assured in their life before you get together.
Codependency can show up in a lot of different types of relationships, especially romantic ones. When someone is codependent, it can take up a lot of your time, effort and energy on your part to reassure them, which can be a lot to handle when you already have kids who rely on you and actually are dependant. Nobody needs someone who needs them for everything, especially moms with a lot on their plate. Early on, signs of codependency can be anything from low self esteem to trouble saying no to things. Either way, that’s something to look out for, as enabling doesn’t heal the problem.
If your prospective partner is a parent themselves, that might seem like a great fit at first! However, each parent is different, and while you likely put your kids first and prioritize their needs, you may not see that all across the board. To put it bluntly, if someone you’re seeing isn’t a good parent or if they neglect their kids, you probably don’t want to invite them into your life.
Similarly, you need to date someone who is on a similar level to you. You’re an adult living an adult life, and you probably don’t have time for someone who doesn’t have their life together. If you notice the person you’re seeing is irresponsible in multiple areas of life, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to move on.
If you’re a single mom looking to get back out there, it’s likely that you know what you want. And if you’re looking for commitment, that’s what you deserve in your relationships. That being said, if you find that you’re starting to get deeper with someone who just can’t make solid life decisions and move forward, they might not be the person for you.
Dating is already hard, but dating with kids might mean that you have to get even more selective. But you can find someone who truly meets your needs and fits into your life however works best for you. You might have to wade through some red flags and kiss a few frogs, but the right person is out there for you.