Tricks to successful online dating for single moms?

I have multiple single mom and dad friends using online dating services to find matches — some successfully (the dads) and not so successfully (the moms).

The Huffington Post recently wrote an article about how to create your online profile without looking divorced and desperate. Some of the tips included: Be honest about weight. Have a friend help you edit it down. Be tastefully sexy — a little cleavage, not your boobs hanging out. Post multiple photos. And do mention the kids.

So I am wondering what are your best tips and tricks to be successful meeting men online when you have children?

So here are my questions:

How long after the break up do you wait to date? Do you have to wait for the actual divorce?

Is there a better service for single moms? Do you like Match.com or eHarmony or something else? Does one cater to older people with kids? Do you think the Christian dating site would have more sincere people?

What do you put on your profile? What are you looking for on his profile? What are key words to use or look for?

What are some red flags on a profile?

Do you want a guy that has never been married, divorced or widowed?

How much do you believe on their profiles? How do you suss out if they are full of it?

Do you want him to have kids too (so he gets it) or does that just complicate things?

How much do you talk about your kids with him?

When do you introduce him to your kids?

Do you ever do overnights with the kids in the house?

Do you think men bring women around to help out with the kids?

Are online dating services the best ways for single moms to find dates? Would work, church or schools be better?

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catlady

January 12th, 2012
6:55 am

Well, I haven’t been in a hurry. My “breakup” was in 1987! I don’t know anyone who has used online matching services. I certainly would not.

I did have a colleague who asked me, about 4 months BEFORE her husband died, about dating prospects. She had nursed him through a year or more of illness at the time, and I tried to understand, but found myself shocked and angry at her question.

Don't know, don't care...

January 12th, 2012
7:47 am

…these are personal choices – let’s see – last week the blog leader had two topics on spousal cheating – this week she is bringing up single mom dating – just coincidences?

Figment

January 12th, 2012
8:15 am

My boyfriend and I met through an online dating website so I can offer some insight. Don’t waste your money on the pay sites. I used eHarmony for 3 months and not one single person would answer my messages. I met plenty of nice men on the free dating sites and also met a few not so nice guys.

Most importantly, be honest! If you have children make sure that’s clear on your profile, list some of your likes and hobbies, try to stay positive. Post more than one picture and not just your face so people can see the real you. Communicate for a few weeks before you meet the person, some sites also have a chat feature.

I had no problems dating someone who had children, divorced or never married was no problem either. Watch out for people that are still married but are seperated or going through a divorce. Usually those people are not ready for dating yet. Also look to see if the person is looking for a serious relationship or if they are just looking for someone to go out with. Most of guys I met were not actually interested in a relationship, they were just looking to date openly, which I wasn’t interested in. So best to be clear with what you are looking for and want.

Do NOT introduce anyone to your kids or bring them around your children until you know this is the person you want to be with. Children should not be exposed to your dating world until you are in a commmited, long term relationship. And even then wait to introduce your children.

☺☻Have A Smile!

January 12th, 2012
8:24 am

I don’t know anyone who has used online matching services. I certainly would not.

What planet do you live on? Not sure how the boat passed you by, but I can assure you that tons of people using dating sites.

Some people even own a computer. Every heard of one of those?

☺☻Have A Smile!

January 12th, 2012
8:30 am

Ok, since I’m a and I’m single, I’ll chime in here. And yes, I am in good shape, educated, and a nice person.

1) Way to many BBWs on dating sites. No thanks

2) I’ll be honest, generally I avoid women with children due to the issues that can come with it. On the other hand, I try to take things on a case-by-case basis and might consider a lady with one child.

3) If I know she’ll put out, definitely ups the chances :)

4) I don’t know what it is with some American women, but having a 5-paragraph description where you talk about all the things you WON’T accept and how a man has to meet your super-high standards, when you are in fact an obese, dry personality single mom is not going to work.

I’ve run across a few single moms here and there who were pretty cool and really did seem like they’d be nice to spend time with. Just haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

☺☻

January 12th, 2012
8:33 am

…and one more thing..

way too many women on Craigslist have major personal issues, are not reasonably mature, want to play text games, etc. From what I’ve been told guys there are even worse!!

It seems to me it’s hard to meet a nice & reasonably stable non-obese woman after the mid/late-twenties since so many are already taken.

FCM

January 12th, 2012
8:51 am

Met my (now) ex-husband online.

Have not had luck with match or eharmony.

No idea when/where/how I will meet whomever I will be with next. Indeed, I do not know that there is a whomever.

My suggestion is get to know yourself so that if you do not end up meeting someone, you do not end up miserable either.

Kat

January 12th, 2012
9:07 am

What is a BBW?

Figment

January 12th, 2012
9:18 am

@Kat – BBW = Big Beautiful Woman

K's Mom

January 12th, 2012
9:34 am

I met my husband via an online site. I had never been married and he was divorced with one child. Having never dated with children, I do not have a lot to offer in that area, but my biggest piece of advice would be to view it as a forum to meet more people than you normally would. You will go on a lot of first dates and probably not a lot of second dates and that is ok. I had very low expectations and got really surprised. I know a lot of women who think of every date as a potential husband and they get really disappointed. Have fun with it and do not let it break your heart.

JOD

January 12th, 2012
9:39 am

@Smile – Interesting stuff. What is a BBW?

Not much perspective on this, since I met Hubs the ‘old-fashioned’ way…at a bar in college. I mean, at church ;o)

It sounds like dating as an adult is really difficult!

JOD

January 12th, 2012
9:39 am

Dang, I type too slow!

K's Mom

January 12th, 2012
9:46 am

JOD…online dating is a lot like meeting someone in a bar, the bar is just a lot bigger ;o). Chances are it will not work out, but if you go into it with the right attitude it can be a lot of fun and again you may get super surprised and meet the right person.

☺☻Have A Smile!

January 12th, 2012
9:46 am

Have fun with it and do not let it break your heart.

That is some pretty good advice, and realistic also.

One thing I learned after talking to women in personals ads, both in the USA and abroad, is that they frequently get guys wanting money (Nigerian scammers), enticing the women into sending naughty photos or webcam, send the women pictures of their junk, and much more.

I would hope that is not really the case for more legitimate dating sites.

Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of silliness at the minimum, for example people who seem to avoid making a real phone call (vs. texting all day), can’t respond like an adult in a timely manner or with honesty, etc. Or suddenly “dissappear” because they can’t be bothered to say honestly they’re not interested in going further.

So take don’t take it too seriously and learn to filter out the clowns. You’ll get much better at seeing who’s wasting your time very quickly. I promise!

Maybe a single mom would be the better option to begin with–at least they’re usually well grounded in reality!

☺☻Have A Smile!

January 12th, 2012
9:49 am

BBW = big boned woman, usually means “big beautiful woman” though (in other words, plump girls).

Yes they use the term “BBW” in their ads sometimes!!

Seems to be much, much more common now, not surprisingly.

Teacher, Too

January 12th, 2012
9:55 am

I’m single with no children. I just came out of a long-term (8 year) relationship about six months ago, and I thought I’d give online dating a try. It’s very difficult to meet decent, eligible men if you teach school and are over 35!

I joined Match two weeks ago. Lots of men have viewed me, but no one has contacted me that I am interested in (based on profiles and pictures). In fact, I seem to be attracting men over the age of 60…I’m only in my 40’s! I have sent a few emails to men around my age, but I’ve not had any response.

I followed all the rules– used pictures taken in the past month, wrote a very positive and upbeat profile. I joined for three months…if things don’t improve, I’ll try something else.

E Harmony keeps matching me with fat chicks

January 12th, 2012
9:56 am

Yeah……I have problems with E Harmony.
I tried Christian Mingle, but it seems women there won\’t date atheists.
Match is mostly women who think too much of themselves.
Plenty of Fish is free, so the tramp quotient is high.

So far, the best I did was getting an inflatable doll. It doesn\’t talk during the game and it can\’t call the cops when I smack her around.

At Teacher Too

January 12th, 2012
9:57 am

Try dropping a few pounds. Just saying.

Figment

January 12th, 2012
10:05 am

Some men like BBW, some men don’t. Some women like husky guys, some women don’t.

I never tried Match, after the disaster the eHarmony is I gave up on the pay sites. Plenty of Fish is full of men looking for action and nothing else but there are a few hidden good guys on there. I’d also recommend OK Cupid, it’s a free site and very active. Stay positive and keep looking.

JOD

January 12th, 2012
10:07 am

@Figment/Smile – That makes me laugh – unless you’re an Amazon, I don’t know that broad-casting in that way will work! Also, I would have thought that ‘adults’ (people in their 30s and older) would know how to be more up front in relationships, but I suppose not.

@K’s Mom – Good point!

Don’t know what the fascination with texting is – watched a movie with my BIL recently, and he honestly texted the whole time. I consider it a victory that I didn’t drop-kick the phone.

Teacher, Too

January 12th, 2012
10:21 am

Um, I’m a size 6… I wouldn’t call myself ouverweight! I also run 25-30 miles a week.

jmb

January 12th, 2012
10:30 am

Pesonally I’ve never tried them but our geologist has been through them all and not had a lot of luck. He’s a 53 yr old man, handsome and his home is paid for so he’s quite secure financially. Since I’m married, I don’t know many single women so I’ve not been able to help him in his search but I just don’t get it. He’s got a great personality, loves to travel and many other things so I don’t understand why he’s not found someone. If any of you single women out there are looking, email me and I will hook you up with a great guy!

jmb

January 12th, 2012
10:31 am

Oh yeah, he travels abroad 2-3 times a year and loves to try different foods out.

Teacher, Too

January 12th, 2012
10:41 am

Sorry– overweight

Jeff

January 12th, 2012
10:53 am

The following terms/phrases are a huge turnoff:
Strong willed
Independent
Confident (especially when all used together in the first sentence)
Live/laugh/love
Bitching about your exes faults by projecting what you are unwilling to accept (everyone knows you don’t want a drug addict, cheater, and alcoholic)
Pictures where you try to pose being sexy

DO add things like:
Activities you like
Favorite musicians
Generic family relationships
Be easygoing
A favorite memory from childhood that influenced your life
A relationship you do admire and why

Jeff

January 12th, 2012
10:59 am

Btw, look around you next time you’re in public. The percentage of attractive people (relatively low) is not much different than online. Keep that in mind as you weed through the mess. On the upside, you get to weed through THOUSANDS of people in very little time and relatively cheaply (especially for men). Narrow it down to a few and send a genuine email. Don’t send the same canned catch phrase email to all of them on the same day.

Single & Happy

January 12th, 2012
11:17 am

I don’t understand why some women feel the MUST have a man in their lives. I’ve been divorced since 2006 and I absolutely LOVE being single. I can do what I want, when I want.

I have no problem doing things by myself. I enjoy going out to dinner, catching a movie, etc. If I can’t find someone to do something with, I’ll do it myself. I have gone on several vacations alone and it’s very refreshing. I can travel on my own schedule and enjoy doing the things I like to do.

Yes, I did enjoy being married, but he was a bum. I’ve been having so much fun in the last 4 years, I don’t know if I ever want to be tied down again. I have no kids, and I’m fine with that. What I do have, is PLENTY of money in the bank, and it’s all mine. I don’t have to worry about educational costs, putting kids through college, etc.

It’s all in your mind. No one can make you happy, you have to make your own happiness. If, in the future, a really great guy comes into my live, I will cross that bridge at that time.

In the mean time, I’m having a blast on my own time, doing what I want to do.

Oh, and by the way, I’m 45.

Single & Happy

January 12th, 2012
11:21 am

Oops….I meant 6 years, not 4….forgot what year it was..LOL

MomsRule

January 12th, 2012
11:32 am

@jmb, I can’t honestly say you are the first person I’ve ever heard say “but our geologist.”

I’ve never tried a dating site so I have nothing to offer. I do know of people that have found success though. (Success defined as long term/marriage)

K's mom

January 12th, 2012
11:40 am

Single and Happy has a point too, enjoy being single and it will show that you are interesting and fun without a mate.

Also genuinely become interested in something that the opposite sex likes. Don’t let it be fake, but real and it will open doors of conversation that you will never believe. I am by nature a very girly girl and prissy, but I LOVE SEC Football and follow my alma mater all year long from recruiting to coaching to regular season. My husband went to another SEC school and on our first date he asked if I enjoyed college football and I said yes with genuine enthusiasm and backed it up with knowledge. He says he fell in love with me at a cookout several months later when I gave a reasonable opinion on a current pro football issue at the time and convinced another man that I was right. My love of football is not fake and it was not developed to catch a man, but it gave me something to talk to a man about other than decorating ideas, my cricut (a paper crafting machine for those of you with a dirty mind) and recipes. So I highly suggest to any woman that wants to date to find a topic or interest that is a good bridge to the opposite sex. I also suggest that men learn to enjoy something like cooking or wine to offer a similar bridge.

Dating sucks, but being in a bad relationship sucks way worse. I tell my step daughter that you have to be a friend to have a friend and I think with dating you have to be datable to get a date.

K's mom

January 12th, 2012
11:43 am

And I will also add that I had I followed my own advice in my 20’s, I would have enjoyed them a lot more. When 30 hit and I stopped caring and started being me, I had a lot more fun with dating!

Albert

January 12th, 2012
11:45 am

I am disabled and have never been married. Before I ever had a computer, I tried an offline dating service. I had to pay fifty bucks up front just to join, then I sat around waiting for three months with no results. (They had promised results sooner than that.) Finally I had to prod them into action, whereupon I got about five character sketches sent in by different women, all out-of-state. This made it more difficult since I can’t travel easily. I then got a letter from a divorcee with adopted children. This person made no attempt to ease me into getting to know her kids. We began corresponding, but she eventually stopped corresponding after I offered her only sympathy after she had told me her financial woes. And every letter she wrote was mostly about those kids, not about herself. I don’t know to this day if I was almost conned or what. After about six months, I discovered I had to renew my subscription (another fifty bucks) if I wanted to continue using this service. I wasn’t about to fork over that amount based on the results I had already gotten.

JOD

January 12th, 2012
11:53 am

@K’s Mom – I know what you mean; Hubs’ attention was piqued the night we met when I noticed the glass packs on a classic car going by the patio. What can I say, I’m a Daddy’s (albeit girly) girl :o)

@Albert – Sounds like she needed a dumping ground with a wallet and you are far better off without her!

motherjanegoose

January 12th, 2012
11:57 am

No experience here but a professional friend, who is my age, found her now husband online. He seems like a really nice person and lived close by but they never connected in their regular world. Both are divorced with kids that are grown. They seem quite happy and I am delighted it worked out for them!

BlondeHoney

January 12th, 2012
12:03 pm

@Single & Happy, I’m with you 1000%; I’ve been divorced since 2004 and loving the single life for all the same reasons. My kids are adults now, 25 & 26 so like you, I’m free to come and go as i please and in no rush to jump into another relationship. Plus I have an awesome friend with benefits so I’m good all the way around ;)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 12th, 2012
12:29 pm

Jeff — I think that’s a good list —

single and happy — I am constantly surprised by how quickly women want to jump into dating again after separating or getting a divorce. I can’t decide if their marriage was over so much earlier than the break up so that is why they are ready to move on??????

I just think if Michael and I ever got divorced I would be so devastated and so worried about the kids I wouldn’t be focused on other men at all.

Jenson Button

January 12th, 2012
12:48 pm

I just think if Michael and I ever got divorced I would be so devastated and so worried about the kids I wouldn’t be focused on other men at all.

========================================================================

Uh huh…..More denial about your affair…..Maybe you write at a 3rd grade level, but we don\’t think at a third grade level.

Desperate Mom

January 12th, 2012
12:51 pm

I can change I promise, just give me a chance!!! I must be married or my life is nothing!!!

Jenson Button

January 12th, 2012
12:58 pm

Don\’t know, don\’t care…
January 12th, 2012
7:47 am

…these are personal choices – let’s see – last week the blog leader had two topics on spousal cheating – this week she is bringing up single mom dating – just coincidences?

Ace, the man in the elevator

January 12th, 2012
12:59 pm

I dont understand the \”tricks\” part of the headline……Are you asking us for deception utilized by magicians like David Blain? Dating is a card trick to you?

MOMOF2

January 12th, 2012
1:05 pm

Being married, I am so out of the loop on dating. I’ve had single friends who were looking for a down to earth person, and I just didn’t now anybody who I would have hook them up with. I have wondered about these dating sites and how effective they are, I’ve always thought they were for those people just wanting to have a good time. I don’t think I would join the website for fear of all the “creeps” I might come across. lol….. Going through all the request would probably feel like work, something I should’nt feel If I were to ever be looking for a mate or a friend. Its nice to actually hear from some of the people activly using the sites.
Thanks for all those tips and maybe next time I encounter the situation I can encourage friends to use them….IF they ever sign up.

jarvis

January 12th, 2012
1:18 pm

@Ace, it’s the third defintiion in the entry.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tricks

The thing you are missing about being a smart azz is that you’re supposed to be smart.

Voice of Reason

January 12th, 2012
1:20 pm

I’m so very glad I have been happily married for over 20 years and have never had to play these stupid mind games you single people seem to have to play with each other every day.

Does he like me? Did he send me enough texts today? OMG I haven’t gotten a text from him in like 2 minutes WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

jarvis

January 12th, 2012
1:21 pm

“Illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money….or candy.” – GOB Bluth

jarvis

January 12th, 2012
1:22 pm

“Does he like me? Did he send me enough texts today? OMG I haven’t gotten a text from him in like 2 minutes WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?”

Ironically this is the least reasonable opionion stated today.

Voice of Reason

January 12th, 2012
1:29 pm

@jarvis

And yet I see it every single day from my single friends.

/Even reason must give way to reality
//Granted, divorced women with children are probably much less likely to play head games

SJ

January 12th, 2012
1:35 pm

@Jeff,

I’m curious as to your problem with women who describe themselves as “strong-willed, independent and confident.” I would think those would be fairly attractive traits to a strong, confident man.

I can’t help wondering what kind of man would prefer a woman who is “weak, needy and insecure.”

Albert

January 12th, 2012
1:44 pm

Do you have to pay a fee right off the bat at eHarmony? If you just want to see your matches, will they ask you for a fee after that?