According to my extensive research (typing “how many single mothers are in America” into google) there are roughly ten million single moms in the U.S.  Wow, 10 million, that’s a pretty high number, right?  And you have to figure, a lot of those single moms are entering the dating scene (is there a worse word than “scene”?), some of them after a loooong time, and maybe they need some tips.  Because I am nothing if not helpful, I decided to come up with some dos and don’ts for my fellow single moms, read on!

  1. Do put some thought into your outfit.
  2. Don’t wear your stretchy pants and mac and cheeses stained tunic. I know those pants are your wardrobe crutch, but don’t you dare wear them out on a date!  Actually you really shouldn’t be wearing them out at all except for a morning coffee run.  I know you had a long day, I did too, but take a few minutes to put your face on and throw on the most flattering outfit you have.  And put on a pair of fabulous shoes!
  3. Do have a glass or two of wine.
  4. Don’t forget if it’s been a while, your tolerance may have decreased since the last time you were on the prowl. I’m going to recommend you have a couple sips of wine before your date even starts.  Pour yourself a glass while you’re getting ready.  Wine is delicious, and it will help you relax, so have a little.  But please, please, please, keep track of what you’re drinking, and know what you can (and can’t) handle.  Don’t be the chick that has to get poured through the front door at the end of the night…take it from the chick that has been poured through many a door in her day.
  5. Do remember your grownup table manners.
  6. Don’t mindlessly reach across the table and cut your date’s meat. Hopefully you’re not at Applebee’s eating chicken fingers (no offense Applebee’s).  Hopefully you’re at a nice restaurant that doesn’t have crayons on the table.  Try and remember that you’re not in mom-mode, sit back, relax, and let your date worry about their own steak.
  7. Do enjoy an evening of adult conversation away from the little people.
  8. Don’t enjoy it so much that you forget there is someone else on the date that may want to speak. I’m a talker.  Plop me down with almost anyone and I’ll be chatting away in no time.  Unfortunately sometimes (by sometimes I mean all the time) I can be too much of a talker, and I monopolize the conversation.  Learn from my mistakes; let the guy get a word or two in edgewise.
  9. Do own up to having kids.
  10. Don’t talk about them all night. Obviously you need to throw the kid card on the table immediately.  You even wait one date and it gets awkward.  Just because you bring up having kids (or a kid) doesn’t mean you get to talk about them all night.  The person sitting across from you does not care if Madison is sorting blocks by shapes. Do people still name their kids Madison?  That name was on fire for a while.
  11. Do compliment your date.
  12. Don’t tell him, “I like your shirt, my son has the same one.” We all love compliments, don’t we?  Well except for a backhanded compliment, or just a straight up weird one.  Now I’m not saying telling your date they have the same shirt as your son is backhanded or particularly weird, I’d just advise against it.  There are dozens of compliments you can give, so try to stay clear of anything that equates your potential love interest to your child, ok Mrs. Bates?
  13. Do feel free to stay out past 9pm.
  14. Don’t invite the dude back to your crib. Maybe I’m a prude (I’m not at all, if you only knew), but I get shocked and appalled by how quickly some women expose their kids to whomever they’re dating.  Listen ladies, your kids do not need people coming in and out of their lives, so slow your roll.  You might believe in love at first sight or whatevs, but take a little time before bringing your new boo home, it’s not all about you this time around.
  15. Do put yourself out there.
  16. Don’t get discouraged. Ok, easier said than done, I get it, trust me, I get it; no one gets it more than me.  The fact of the matter is that we single mom aren’t super easy to date.  We have jam-packed schedules, mile long to do lists, our own set of priorities, and that’s ok.  Not every guy out there is going to be able to keep up, and you can’t let that get to you.  Ok, I know it’s going to get to you, just don’t let it keep you down for too long.  When you’re feeling crappy about being alone just remember, if Snooki found someone, so will you.  That being said, if Octomom or Kate Gosselin get married in the near future I’ll blow up the world.