So you’ve got your eye on a ?single mum. She’s smart, strong, and beautiful, but also a bit of a mystery. How can you make this relationship work? And how do you let her know that you’re not just playing games—without getting overly involved too soon? Before you start dating a single mom or explore taking this relationship to the next level, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1.You will not be number one

The mother-child bond is intense. If you want to get with a single mum, do not expect her to place your wants and needs before those of her child. Do not try to make her choose because truth be told, she will not choose you over her child. Take solace however, in the fact that there is enough space for both of you in her heart.

2. You have to fit in her schedule

Juggling work and motherhood is no easy task. When you are dating a single mother, you can’t just show up at her house asking to take her to the movies. You need to plan in advance. These plans however can be cancelled at the last minute should Junior be taken ill.

3. She is not looking for a father for her child

A single mother may be raising a child on her own but do not assume that she is desperate for a replacement for her child’s father. He may not be in their lives but she does have male role models for her child. All she wants is to know you and enjoy your company. Stop trying to play daddy to her child.

4. There will always be an ex in the background

When there is a child involved, it is possible that there is an ex lurking in the shadows.  You have no reasons to get jealous or paranoid. They may be co-parenting but she’s with you. If she wanted to be with him, she would be with him.

5. She has no time for games

The best thing about dating a single mum is perhaps the fact that she has seen it all and she knows exactly what she wants. She will not play mind games with you. She will also not sit by the phone waiting for you to call her. If you are interested in her, make your intentions clear. If she thinks you are too much trouble, she will steer clear of you. The only games that she has time for are those that she plays with her child.

6. She is not looking to be rescued

You may imagine that because she is raising a child alone, she is looking for a man to rescue her. That she is looking to settle down as soon as possible is perhaps the biggest misconception about the single mother. She may have dreams of settling down sometime in the future but this is after she has found someone good enough not only for her but also for her child.

7. You are not doing her a favour by dating her

One might imagine that because of her circumstances, you are doing a single mother a favour by dating her. You are not. While she will appreciate it if you pamper her, you will be lucky if you win her heart and trust. Her single mum status should tell you that she is likely to have been hurt in the past and it is up to you to prove yourself worthy of her and her child.