I'm hoping to change all that, but the mere thought of entering the dating world in earnest is scary as can be. Waiting too long to start dating GIPHY As a single mom, you want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with your children — but making the introduction is a tricky situation."Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella.To remedy my fears, I turned to seasoned dating coaches, Julianne Cantarella, MSW, and Elisabeth Lamotte, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert, to figure out the biggest dating mistakes single moms make (and the smart moves that should replace them). "It's not only the woman who can be hurt if the relationship ends, but the children as well." A savvy single mom should wait as long as possible before introducing her kids to the potential boyfriend and never make the intro around the holidays, the experts advise."Women should gain a sense of her boyfriend's interaction based on how he treats her and possibly his own children if he has them," says Cantarella, who suggests erring on the side of caution.

"Once the boyfriend is introduced there is no going back, and expectations are raised," she adds.

What to do instead: Time is the best measure of knowing when to introduce the children.

You might have a really fun time with your nephew at Christmas, but this isn't the same as cleaning up vomit at 3 a.m. Planning time for mascara is hard enough; popular culture becomes the Great White Buffalo.

Ask about what she loves about being a mom, ask about what her kids' interests are, admit that you've never seen 3. At least not until you're all functioning as a family unit, which takes time, honesty, and patience, and possibly some therapy.4. Do make her a mixed CD and enjoy watching Netflix together after the kiddos hit the hay. Throw everything you know about scheduling out the window.

Every time a single parent makes a date they have to find suitable, affordable childcare for their kids and this isn’t always easy.

Meeting for lunch when the kids are at school, or on the weekends if they go to stay with other family members, are sometimes better alternatives to traditional evening dates.

It’s not a situation to be taken lightly because being in a position to shape a child’s life as a chosen, additional parent is an honor.

There will be moments where you’ll have to play counselor and confidant. Sometimes, it can wear on a relationship when a child doesn’t feel free to express themselves.

They will naturally be reticent about introducing someone new into their children’s lives too soon – they will usually want to be sure of the relationship themselves first.

It is natural to want your new love to lavish you with attention and affection but if you are dating a single parent the chances are their kids get the largest share of their attention.

That doesn't mean a relationship with a single mom or dad can't be amazing, and that you can't enjoy it, but dating someone with kids is completely different than dating someone without kids.