Dating Boundaries Single Moms Should Have

Women's Dating

Dating Boundaries Single Moms Should Have

Hayley Hofbauer

Written by: Hayley Hofbauer

Hayley Hofbauer

Hayley Hofbauer is a Toronto, Canada-based comedy writer and actor. Most importantly, Hayley is a proud single mother who honestly reveals the realities of divorce, dating, parenting and reinvention through her blog The Single Mother Diaries. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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People date with all sorts of intentions. If you are looking for a potential long-term partner, as many of us single moms are, then I hope these words find you:

If you approach dating from a place of scarcity, insecurity and neediness, then you will never, and I mean never, find a date and/or partner who will treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve.

Whenever I sought out a man to save me, I rushed into a relationship without taking reasonable time to get to know his intentions and character.

As a result, I dismissed red flags and was prone to projecting a desired fantasy image on to him, which was, as I would always discover, not at all based in reality. That’s how I became a single mother in the first place!

Single mothers are the most vulnerable demographic in the dating world to being treated poorly.


Because many of us single moms, especially if we have young children, are struggling to satisfy the emotional and financial needs of our kids and are in turn longing for someone to support us.

It’s hard being a single mom and some of us fear we are less desirable to men as a result.

Couple that insecurity with many of us in our 30s, 40s and 50s who may also have a tragically misguided and distorted sense of urgency to find a mate before becoming too old and accept an obscenely low standard of treatment as a result.

This is a dangerous frame of mind to date within.

Without self-esteem and self-worth, the single mother lacks the ability to create the healthy dating boundaries and standards required to discern between a quality partner and a predatorial player.

Having established clear goals and boundaries from dating, I am no longer a victim to the epidemic of online players who are only interested in dating women for sexual gratification.

Just last week I met someone from an online dating site who was clearly grooming me in a highly manipulative way.

“Time always reveals a

person’s true character.”

See if any of this looks familiar:

  • Constantly showering me with compliments about my profile picture and amazing personality, which he didn’t actually know.
  • Inundating me with attention via phone calls and a flurry of texts conveying affectionate feelings of missing me, talking about our future and how “unprecedented” his feelings for me were. We had yet to meet in person!
  • Reiterating that he was a late-night person. I believe he did this to size up my openness for late-night rendezvous potential.
  • He used the word “us” often as if we were already in some kind of relationship.
  • Opened up by revealing he has never been in love, even with his ex-wife and mother of his two children. He eluded to having feelings for me that he had never experienced, even though we had only exchanged emails and talked once on the phone.
  • When we did meet, he began kissing me as if we had some undeniable chemistry. Yes, there was a seemingly mutual attraction, but I did not share his hysteria. I repeatedly reminded him that we did not know each other and anything sexual was out of the question until such time that we did, in reality, find out if our personalities were compatible.
  • He declared a desire to get off the dating site now that he has met me and repeatedly referenced future activities we would do together.
  • He talked a lot about himself, what a good guy he really was and that his intentions were honest and pure. He didn’t ask about me or my life but kept gushing about how amazing I was.
  • At the end of the night, my firm boundary of not having sex with him anytime soon was clear.  However, I did express a desire to continue getting to know him on another date.  He again professed his strong feelings and that he would move to whatever pace I was comfortable with before we parted ways.
  • I received only a few texts from him since that night, (compared to the zillions I received before we met), one of which cancelled our next date!  That was the last I heard from him.

Case in point:

These online dating sites are loaded with these kinds of predators who look for women they perceive to be vulnerable, like single mothers, and use flattery mixed with the possibility of love and family to subdue them into sexual submission.

Predators only seek out easy prey, and if a woman is resistant to their con, they will quickly move on to their next target.

The only way for a woman to assess the authenticity of a potential suitor is to have clearly defined boundaries and standards.

We single mothers have gone through too much to end up exactly where we started with the wrong men, and we also have the well-being of our precious kids to consider.

Now is the time to know our worth and be picky! Time always reveals a person’s true character and there are no shortcuts.

I always remind myself of the quote from Candace Bushnell, which is especially true for single moms, “Better alone than badly accompanied.”

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