DO recognize her kids come before you. This may seem to go without saying, but in reality, it can be frustrating: last minute canceled dates, time restraints, unavailability, dates cut short, interrupting phone calls from the caregiver, rushing home to a babysitter, etc. Assume all of this will happen at some point. This is all part of the deal.
DON’T ask to meet her kids. She will determine if and when the right time arises, not you. Leave this decision up to her.
DON’T be insulted if you never meet her kids. A single mom is super protective of her children. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with her concern for their well-being. Seeing their mom with another partner can be confusing and her priority is to protect their feelings at all costs, and this may mean never introducing you to them.
DO ask her about her kids. Her kids are her pride and joy and mean everything to her. She loves talking (and bragging) about them. Let her. Ask to see pictures of them (she’ll have about a million at her finger tips, trust me).
DO ask her about her other interests. Remind her she’s not just a mom by asking her what else she enjoys, her career, hobbies, passions, etc.
DON’T call her a MILF. Just don’t. You may intend it as a compliment but there’s just something about an acronym containing the words “Mom” and “Fuck” that isn’t very classy.
DO believe her when she says she’s interested. Single moms have zero time for games or ambiguity. I can assure you; she’s not contemplating how many days to wait before texting you or debating when it’s appropriate to send an email. If she’s interested in you, you’ll know. And if she’s not interested, you’ll know that too.
DON’T be jealous of her ex. She will likely have a relationship with him or her for a long time. Get used to that person being in her life. She’s no longer romantically involved with them for a reason but they will be co-parents for life, and the healthier their relationship is, the better it is for the kids, so it’s beneficial to foster and support their partnership (yes, they are still partners).
DON’T get frustrated if she doesn’t respond to you immediately. Your texts, emails, calls are important, but are not her first priority (refer to bullet #1). Don’t take it personally.
DO ask her about her feelings on having more children. Don’t be afraid to bring this topic up; she likely has strong feelings one way or another. This could be a potential relationship-buster if you have different objectives. Best to get this out of the way sooner rather than later.
DO appreciate her independence. Being a parent is one of the most daunting tasks there is. And she does it alone. Therefore, she will be with you out of desire, not necessity. She wants to be with you; she doesn’t need to be with you. She knows how to be by herself. She can do this without you.
DON’T underestimate the Mama Bear in her. She will do everything in her power to keep her children safe and if you say or do anything that makes her doubt you feel the same way, she will walk away and never look back.
DO compliment her appearance. Moms have very little time to dedicate to their physical appearance. Many days, simply taking a shower is a luxury, and spending any significant time on hair and makeup is a foreign concept. When they do get to spend time on themselves, it’s nice to recognize it. It will make her feel good.
DO complement her values. There is no greater force than a mother’s love. She has sacrificed more than you know. Not because she’s a martyr; because she wouldn’t have it any other way. This is who she is. She is a mother above everything else. If you can appreciate and respect that, almost everything else has the potential to fall into place.