Pros and cons of dating a single mom mandating refundable deposits on

If you’re not prepared to play, don’t step up to the plate.Still, the deciding dating dynamic should always be: Does she have time to date?

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Quite the contrary, there are tremendous upsides—especially if you like children, enjoy making a difference and have a strong sense of family.

Single moms are generally more responsible, straightforward, less promiscuous and serve more home-cooked meals.

They’re also more likely to take it slow, will be more understanding about giving you time off (because she needs it, too) and if she has a son she will know cool stuff about sports, super-heroes and street-sledding—and you get to play along. Everything from dating to sex revolves around her schedule. There is no “off time” and consequently, any date, trip or sleepover is subject to cancellation.

It’s always better to meet her kids later than sooner.

Remember: If things don’t work out, you’re not just breaking up with her, but with them, too.

Easily, the hardest concept for guys without kids to grasp is just how complicated it is to raise one child, let alone more.

Often overlooked during the first blush of single mom lust are the eventual realities of school, car pools, kid events, pets, career, babysitters, the ex, his new girlfriend or wife, her kids, their new kids—ai yi yi!

Her children — and, rightly so — always come first. If you can’t handle this basic truth, dating a single mom can only end disastrously.

Everything you say or do (or don’t do) has rippling affects on mom and her children, and vice versa.

So not only must you pass mom’s dating canons, but each kid’s criteria, as well.

Depending on age, relationship (if any) with dad and past experiences with mom’s beaus, be prepared for a rollercoaster of responses—everything from instant adoration to “you’re not my father.” This is why most moms won’t introduce you to their children straight away. If your relationship is still casual, wait until it isn’t.