If You're A Single Mom Using Dating Apps, When Should You Mention Your Kid?

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I've come across a few single dads when swiping through dating apps and I always appreciate how upfront they are about their status as a parent. Right away, I can tell they prioritize family and responsibility, which speaks to their character. It also helps to know, though, because my life isn't very child-friendly at the moment. I travel impulsively, the backseat of my car is basically my second closet, and my apartment building is mostly home to loud, drunk college students so transparency is helpful on both our parts. Let's just say, if I were a single mom using dating apps, I wouldn't want to date childless-me — she's a mess.

Laura Bilotta, professional matchmaker and author of Single in the City: From Hookups & Heartbreaks, To Love & Lifemates, Tales & Tips To Attract Your Perfect Match, has a similar take on the issue. She thinks that, as a single mom, the sooner you bring this up with someone new, the better. "For some people, kids are 100 percent a deal breaker so by not mentioning them, you’re wasting both of your time," she tells Elite Daily. I mean, you wouldn't want to go out with someone who hates kids because, realistically, there's no foreseeable future with them.

Luckily, Bilotta says that there are two ways you can make this known early on.

Indicate That You're A Mom In Your Bio

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Bilotta says, "It’s dishonest to not include your kids in your dating profile because they’re a permanent and important part of your life." Still, your dating app bio should be about you, not your kids. A good strategy is mentioning your kids in relation to something you would have included in your bio regardless, like a hobby.

She says, "Try something like, 'My hobbies include swimming at the cottage with my kids.' That way, you’re bringing them up while still giving information about yourself." Who knows? Maybe another single parent will swipe right primarily because of your mutual interests.

Mention It In Your Introductory Messages

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If you don’t mention your kids in your profile, Bilotta says you at least need to bring them up in your messages before your date. Lying by omission is technically still lying, which isn't a great start to a potential, new relationship.

"Basically, in your conversations, you’re weeding out the people that aren’t interested in kids. Yes, they may be great people but if they aren’t into kids, then ultimately they aren’t right for you [and your family]," she explains.

Bilotta's theory makes sense but there are risks involved when it comes to telling strangers on the internet about your kids. That's why Susan Trombetti, professional matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, thinks it's OK to wait until you meet the person IRL before you tell them that you're a mom.

Wait Until You Feel Comfortable Talking To Them In Person About Your Children

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Trombetti warns that revealing too much too soon is risky for you and your kids. With online dating, she says, "You're putting yourself out there as an individual, for starters. Yes, you happen to be a single mom but [right now] you want to focus on being a single woman," to get the most out of your dating experience.

She advises her single-mom clients to develop a rapport with someone they're interested in before bringing up their roles as parents. "When someone meets you and sees that you are a strong, independent woman and a wonderful mother who values family, they will want you and your child."

Admittedly, the risks of talking about your kids before you meet someone in person are greater for the kids than they are for you. Trombetti, who also works as a relationship investigator, says that online predators might target single moms for a number of reasons, including low-risk burglary and pedophilia.

As a mom, let your intuition be your guide when it comes to online dating. If you choose to mention your kids in your dating app profile or conversations, avoid including photos of them or identifying details until you feel confident in your relationship with someone new.