12 Dating Red Flags All Single Moms Should Know

Trust me mama, I know the feeling. Dating as a single mom can be challenging. You think you’ve finally found someone worth letting into your life when it happens — you start to notice the dating red flags. Something he says or does sets off alarm bells that he’s controlling, toxic, or narcissistic. You might even have a few promising dates before seeing them appear, but here are the ones you shouldn’t ignore. 

12 Dating Red Flags All Single Moms Need To Lookout For

You’re right to be a little apprehensive about dating, especially if you’re still healing from your last relationship. 

And while there are lots of wonderful men out there waiting to meet you, there are also plenty of duds. So here are some of the biggest, brightest red flags that you should be on the lookout for when jumping back into the dating pool as a single mother.

1. He talks too much about himself.

Is there anything worse than a self-obsessed man? Watch out for people who talk themselves up too much. If he’s not thinking about you when you’re right in front of him, he won’t be thinking about you later on down the road. 

But if he shows genuine interest in you and truly listens to what you have to say, it’s a good sign. 


2. He isn’t chivalrous.

Whether or not you consider yourself old-fashioned when it comes to dating and gender roles, it’s always a bit of a red flag when someone doesn’t put their best foot forward on those first few dates. When you’re dating as a single mom, those courteous gestures tell you a lot about a person’s values. 

3. He doesn’t have his life together.

Stability should be the first thing you look for in a potential partner. Does he have a stable career? Is he financially independent? Is his house clean and orderly? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” don’t waste your time.

4. He has too much baggage from past relationships.

Everybody has emotional baggage. You may still be mourning the loss of a relationship that didn’t work out – that’s okay. But when you’re seeing someone new, there should be a tacit agreement that the baggage from your last relationship won’t enter the equation – especially not during the courtship phase.


5. He talks badly about his ex.

No matter how tumultuous a relationship was, there’s no reason to drag someone’s name through the mud. A person who talks badly of his ex is telling you two things – first, he’s not over his last relationship and second, has nothing more interesting to talk about. And those are the real red flags.


6. He has a bad co-parenting relationship with his ex.

No one ever said co-parenting was easy. But you should be wary of people who haven’t come to a place of respect and civility with their co-parent. Even if they’re entirely justified in their bitterness, you probably don’t want to enter the equation if he’s not on good terms with his children’s mother.

7. He has legal trouble.

He probably won’t tell you if he’s in legal trouble. And he might very well have something in his past that’s cause for concern. Do a background check. Pro-tip: you’ll need to know his name, birthday, and where he’s lived. 

Most jurisdictions have an online case search. If not, you can file a records request. But if you feel that compelled to run a background check on the guy you’re dating, that might be a red flag in and of itself. 

8. It’s impossible to find traces of him anywhere online. 

In 2022, it’s a little unnerving when a person has absolutely no digital footprint. Sure, not everyone uses social media – and if your date isn’t on Instagram, that might be a point in his favor. But not even a LinkedIn account? An About Us page on the company website? Nothing? It’s suspicious. 

9. He has extreme political beliefs.

You don’t need to give him the third degree about where he was on January 6th, but if he talks about politics in a way that seems angry or devoid of nuance, consider it a red flag. Politically charged conversation is exhausting.

10. He’s love-bombing you.

Love-bombing can be hard to spot. Is there anything better than dating someone who is enthusiastic about you? But if it feels like he’s lavishing you with a little too much affection early in your relationship, he may be love-bombing you. 


11. He wants to meet your kids really early on.

Meeting the kids is a big step. While there’s no right or wrong answer as to when it’s appropriate, it should feel right to you. If you haven’t defined the terms of your relationship and he’s already talking about meeting your kids, it should be a big red flag to you. 

12. You just have a bad feeling about him.

Trust your intuition. When your gut is signaling to you that something is wrong, listen. Humans have evolved over the course of millions of years to sense danger. Never make excuses about unusual or untoward behavior. If there is anything that seems “off,” even if you can’t put your finger on it, politely decline next time he asks you out. 


Your Sixth Sense is Your Greatest Weapon as a Single Mother. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you need in a partner. But at this stage in your life, it’s critical that you take dating a bit more seriously than you might have before you were a mother. The thing about red flags is that we often don’t spot them until it’s too late. 

Keep your guard up and let your power as a single mom carry you through the minefield of the dating world. Prince Charming is out there, and you won’t settle for anything less than you deserve. 


Your turn, lady! What are some major red flags that all mamas need to be on the lookout for when they get back out there in the dating world? Let us know in the comments! 



My name is Jenna and I am the founder of Single Mom Spot. I've been a single mom for almost 10 years now. I'm a Christian and mama to two kids that I love like crazy. I started this site because I know how difficult single motherhood can be...and also, how beautiful. I believe that single motherhood helped make me into the best version of myself as a woman and mom. My hope, is that through a connection point like Single Mom Spot, women can share their experiences and grow together. What an amazing thing if every single mom could live her best life as a woman and mother right now, in the middle of her most challenging life circumstance. How bold. How beautiful. How unforgettable. Thank you for reading and supporting Single Mom Spot.