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Why Online Dating May Be the Single Mom’s Best Friend

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Has being stuck inside made you crave companionship? Should you consider dating? A growing number of single adults are giving online dating a try, making it a more mainstream, acceptable way to find love and companionship. However, dating as a single mom is a whole different story. Your free time is more precious and you need to find a good man who is willing to accept the whole package—you and your children.

If online dating feels right, go into the process with your eyes wide open and take reasonable precautions. If you’re considering online dating as a single mom, here’s some Q & A to get you started.

1. Who should do it?

Online dating is real dating. If the wounds from a divorce or death of a spouse are still fresh, it might be best to wait to date until you’ve had more healing. In our opinion, any single adult who is emotionally ready to consider a romantic relationship is a good candidate for online dating. The major benefit of this style of matchmaking is the thorough survey used by the best sites to pair up likely matches. Unlike traditional dating, borne out of casual social introductions, these more complex systems increase the likelihood that you’ll share more than just physical attraction with one another.

2. What sites or apps are good?

Do your homework before signing up for an online dating profile. Read about the methods used by the site or app to generate “matches,” the degree to which your privacy is protected from any unwanted admirers, and how much it costs to join (if anything). There are more reputable options available than ever before. Here are a few that are trustworthy:

eHarmony: This company broke new ground as “the first service within the online dating industry to use a scientific approach to matching highly compatible singles.” Founded by a clinical psychologist with 35 years of experience in marriage and family counseling, eHarmony has been a standard in U.S. dating since the year 2000.

Hinge: Building a reputation as an app for singles who are seeking serious dates and relationships, Hinge uses your Facebook friends (and their friends!) to facilitate connections. It has a slightly younger demographic than eHarmony.

ChristianMingle: Designed for people who wish to find new relationships with others who share their faith, ChristianMingle gives like-minded Christian singles a place to connect. The site takes a little bit of pressure off the entire process by stressing the importance of meeting other Christian singles for friendship as well.

3. Heads-up!

There are some caveats associated with finding love online:

  • Stick with reputable, nationally known sites. Googling “online dating” might funnel you toward pornography or other undesirable sites.
  • Just in case you haven’t been warned yet, steer clear of Tinder, OKCupid, and Hot Or Not. And if simply reading the website or app name makes you blush or cringe, it’s probably not for you.
  • Be careful with your personal information. Make sure any information that could lead a person to your address is protected.
  • Be cautious with in-person meetings. Take your time before planning to meet and learn as much about your potential date as possible. Then choose to meet in a public place where you’ll be safe. If you’re still concerned, consider arranging a double date with trusted friends (and remember, you’re not obligated to meet or even chat with every guy who expresses interest in you).
  • Realize that there are creeps everywhere. Even on a site designed for people of your faith, you likely will find a few duds. Carefully screen your matches so you can eliminate the ones you definitely wouldn’t meet before you invest time or effort.

If you are ready to dip your toe back into the dating pool, here are some other tips to remember. And if your kids are old enough to date, too, here’s a dating contract to discuss with them.

Do you have any online dating tips or experiences to share with other single moms who are currently dating?

Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.


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