If you are a woman with children braving the online dating world, you should obviously disclose the existence of your kids in your online dating profile — most sites have this question as a simple “yes/no” in the standard profile. Beyond that, what else should you say? From a guy’s point of view, I’d advise saying as little as possible. Include only the type of information which would affect your dating availability. Leave out the stuff you’d use to impress your lady friends. Remember that your dating profile is not your Facebook page. It’s not a diary or a family photo album. It’s your brief opportunity to make a first impression with a man for the purpose of starting a romantic relationship. There’s nothing romantic about your parenthood status (at least not to men).
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Men like facts. We like lists of facts that we can quickly reference without a lot of fluff. For example, here’s a list of the things you should disclose in your online dating profile as a mother:
- The existence of your kids.
- The number of and ages of your kids.
- Whether your children live with you.
- If any of your children have special needs which require an unusual amount of your time.
End of List. These are the things men who might want to date you care about. Obviously, men need to know if you have kids, as some will find this either desirable or undesirable — there’s no point in hiding the fact that you have kids from your dates. They will find out eventually. If a man doesn’t want to date a woman with kids, you’re deluded if you think that you’ll wow him so much with your personality by the time he finds out that he’ll make an exception for you.
You should state the number and ages of your children because they are relevant to the amount of time you’ll have for dating. Also, it gives a man a good idea of when your kids will be out on their own. Stating whether your children live with you and whether any of them have special needs which take up an inordinate amount of your time will also let men know how much time you have available for dating.
In short, you should ask yourself “Does this affect my availability for dating?” before disclosing any details about your kids in your online dating profile.
What Not to Do as a Mom in Your Online Dating Profile
To be safe, you should assume that everything that isn’t included in the list above should not be included in your profile. However, some things that women with children include in their online dating profiles should be avoided at all costs.
Don’t Choose a “Mommy” User Name
If the online dating employs user names, do not use the words “mom,” “mommy” or “mother” in that name. “Tylersmom1980” is not a woman men want to date. Men don’t particularly like to think of women they want to date in terms of their motherhood. It’s just kind of creepy, in a Madonna complex kind of way. We’re looking for potential romantic (and yes, sexual) partners. Defining yourself as a mother in your user name does not cast you in a romantic light. Also, it gives the impression that you have no life apart from your role as mother.
Do Not Say That Your Children are Your World
If you state that you have kids, most men will assume that you love them and pay attention to them. There is no need to say anything along the lines of “I’m a mother of 3 wonderful boys who are my entire world.” I know you’re probably trying to send the message that “I’m a good mother,” but what men will see is “I have no life outside of parenting, so don’t expect me to have anything interesting to talk about.” Remember, this is an online dating site, not a site where you’re trying to recruit new children. Highlight the things which make you a good date, not a good mom.
Don’t Include Pictures of Your Kids
A man looking for a date is looking for pictures of you, not your kids. Your dating profile is not your family photo album. The cuteness of your kids will not get you a date. Also, if you happen to be a middle-aged woman with a 19-year-old daughter who looks like a younger version of yourself, you probably don’t want to include any photos of the two of you side-by-side. You certainly wouldn’t think of posting pictures of you with your hottest friend in your dating profile. The same rules apply to your mature daughters.
Some Men Just Don’t Want to Date Women With Children
When filling out your online dating profile, just accept the fact that some men don’t want to date women with children. Some men just don’t want any children. There is nothing that you can write in your profile to win them over.
For the men that are willing to date women with children, do them the favor of honestly disclosing your kids without beating them over the head with the fact you’re a mother. While your kids may be the biggest thing in your life, you want men browsing your dating profile to know that you’re a fun and interesting woman, not just a mom. Focus on yourself and why men should date you. Even if you’re thinking long term, and you want to find a man who will be good with your children, there is plenty of time to feel this out after your first date. There’s no need to eliminate potential dates by being too much of a mother in your online dating profile.