Should You Mention Kids In Your Profile? Is It Ok To Use Photos of Your Kids? Should Parents Post Photos of Children On Dating Apps? Dating as a Divorced Single Mom, Dad

With the growing number of people flocking to dating apps these days, online dating has gone mainstream. Platforms like Hinge, Bumble and have become popular among single parents, widowers and divorced adults. Dating in general can be challenging as is – shared custody schedules, practices, unexpected illnesses, field trips, games and finding a reliable babysitter.

Dating apps can seem super intuitive and easy to use and while setup is straightforward, best practices are still a struggle with folks attempting to position themselves for partners. A few photos and limited character bios is all that users have to tell their story making online dating a rather complicated affair.

For additional etiquette tips regarding online dating:


Dating After Divorce With Kids For Men & Women: Dating Advice For Single Moms & Dads

When it comes to profiles of single, divorced parents on dating apps, one of the most commonly asked questions is whether to mention kids in one’s profiles and whether to include photos of your kids. There are many reasons why someone might choose to omit important details or leave profiles rather ambiguous, but it’s these small details that can greatly affect how others decipher profiles.

Most men are unaware of the number of women who have kids in the United States (go figure). The chart below shows this information and hopefully will enlighten men as they load up dating apps.



Percentage of Childless Women In The United States By Age Chart

Percentage of Childless Women In The United States By Age Chart


Privacy On Dating Apps: Privacy Concerns On Dating Sites

When it comes to privacy on dating apps, many users take a cautious approach to displaying information about their lives, routines, jobs – safety is an important issue that should not go ignored. Catfishing, identity theft and desire to keep one’s private life well private, are all reasons for limiting the information you display about yourself, your life and your children.


Why Parents Use Photos of Their Kids On Dating Sites

Some reasons why parents decide to include photos of their kids or with their kids fall under two buckets – 1) limited photos (all photos are with their kids, family); 2) parents want to convey that their kids are the single most important thing in their lives. Let me address the second point first. It should be understood that as a parent, your kids are your number one priority – this should not only be obvious but go without stating.

If you feel compelled to convey this to possible suitors, it might suggest you have some doubt or reservations about trusting people or have a hard time screening folks who have other intentions. Users on dating apps need to develop skills needed to be patient, ask questions, analyze profiles and bios as well as read people offline and online.

Now for the first point, it is completely normal to have few photos as a single parent or recently divorced parent. If the photos you have are limited, it’s fine to use a few photos of your kids but remember your first order should be focusing on selling yourself in your profile. If you must use photos of your kids, limit them, blur out faces however it is best to use mostly photos of yourself, with friends and family or engaging in activities.

Ideally over time you gather enough photos without your kids in them to use on dating sites and profiles as those are what one should focus on when creating a dating profile.


Why Parents Omit Info, Lie About Their Kids On Their Dating Profile

If you are on dating apps long enough, you will notice some rather ambiguous profiles on dating apps – people who post photos with nieces and nephews, folks who post photos with students or kids at orphanages, people who don’t caption their photos, users who don’t state whether they have kids in the drop-down field and those etc.

One possible reason for this is user error – user quickly assembled profile and did not give these ambiguous details much thought (rare, but possible) and the second reason is most likely the case – those with kids don’t want to hurt their chances for matching with others (they think their kids to disqualify them from suitors).

While this is completely understandable, it is misleading. I am always a proponent of being honest on profiles. With so much anonymity, lack of transparency on dating apps, giving anyone doubt about right off the bat by withholding information makes it hard to trust you and often times signals some insecurity about your situation.

Parents, like all users on dating apps, should feel comfortable and confident in their own skin and lives. Honesty is the best policy here. This is particularly true if you are looking for something serious. Leaving information out about your kids might increase the chances someone thinks you are not looking for anything serious.

It’s often understood that users with limited profiles that are shallow and lack details are more than likely to be searching for a hookup or something casual vs those that put more effort, detail and completeness in profiles. With that said, there is another reason why some women are reluctant to mention having kids on their dating profile. A few women have been open about wanting to avoid predators that target single moms and their kids. This is a legitimate concern but at the same time is something that others may not grasp or think it’s an over-reaction.


What Do Men, Women Think About Dating Single Parents

It all goes back to analyzing people, being patient, asking questions and getting to know people. Sure there are guys that only want to hookup but that is why you shouldn’t rush into anything. Similarly, you should dismiss guys without kids if you have them because there are some great guys that don’t want to have their own kids but are perfectly fine if you have them.

Single dads tend to get more benefit of the doubt than single moms on dating apps. They can be viewed as mature, life is balanced, person is grounded, man has priorities etc. With that said, it’s important to know how a man talks about his ex wife, partner. Bottom line, just like with non-parents, you can’t just make broad assumptions about people unless you are willing to pre-emptively dismiss some great catches.


Online Dating Advice: Etiquette Around Kids and Your Dating Profile

I recommend parents include a few details around their kids in their profiles. Mention you have kids, mention ages as well as how many you have. Some parents or even non parents prefer parents who have younger kids or those whose children are older. Being transparent is key here. Sharing information about your kids conveys your intention, life situation confidence in your situation.

The other key thing to remember is to not sound negative in your profile i.e. ‘don’t message me if you don’t like kids.’ This is referred to as defensive language and can cause serious doubt about your ability to trust folks and give people a chance.

If you are hoping to hide your kids and then bring up this new piece of information several dates in, it can cause distrust and heartbreak. Be upfront and filter out folks right off the bat. Don’t waste your time playing games – you are a parent, your time is precious and you deserve someone who appreciates you for who you are.


Dating Bio For Single Mom: How Should A Single Mom Write A Dating Profile (Examples)

Ask any guy and the most cliche, cringy profile for a single mom goes something like this i.e. my child is my world, swipe left if kids are a deal-breaker, my kid comes first etc. If you have to state something so obvious, it’s raises doubts that you are not the parent you think you are. Yes, by default the assumption should be you are a good parent first who prioritizes their kid, if not, it suggests you don’t know how to screen profiles or have dated many awful guys are jaded and unable to trust anyone.

Rather than list what you don’t want, focus on what you do want. Some people would say how many kids and rough ages are good to know as single dads may factor that in their considerations for women while others are nervous about privacy issues and creeps. Creeps and awful men are everywhere not just dating apps. Dating sites requires a leap of faith and optimism as well as good judgment, patience. 

Profiles should focus more around you, what you seek, how you spend your time, what you prioritize in life and what you want to do more of now that you are single. No one is going to think you are a bad parent if you use photos of your kid in your profile or don’t state something obvious like the above. Dating apps are merely introduction apps not ordering apps. The background checks and filtering of people is a result of dating not through being dismissive, untrusting or trying to weed out people upfront with negative language.

If you find guys are not reading your profile, are lying about what they seek or forget that you have kids, then it’s likely their fault not yours. Take the time to get to know someone vs rushing into a date. Don’t ignore red flags because you haven’t been on a date in a long time, are lonely or have to settle because of lack of options. Many red flags can be ID’d with time, video dates, casual first dates i.e. coffee, drink etc or a quick Google search.


Dating A Man Or Woman Going Through Divorce

When it comes to separation and divorce, things take time. Even if both parties are in agreement and good terms, it can take months if not years to finalize a divorce. Some people stay married on paper to for health benefits, costs associated with divorce lawyers or school districts for kids.

Is it ok to date before divorce is final? Yes, absolutely but time is needed alone to heal, go through emotions so one can be ready to build up their lives again. The longer a relationship lasted the more time is needed in general. Sometimes it takes 6 months, sometimes a few years. There is no standard timeframe or mathematical formula.

It can be tricky to know if someone is indeed single and has moved on, is still healing or is actually in the process for filing for divorce. The only way to know is to spend time, ask questions and judge body language, communication and openness. If someone is dodgy about answering questions, it could be that they are misleading you or it can be that they are uncertain about their situation or it could be that they don’t think you would understand.

The thing to look out for is to see if the person is transparent, doesn’t talk bad about their spouse and is focusing on the future.

How do I know if I am a rebound? Look at the messages sent – are they always sexual in nature? Are dates always physical? Are things moving quickly? Is the person still emotionally unavailable? Does the person dodge questions or refrain from making grand gestures in the relationship that require not only thought and effort but vulnerability?


Best Dating Apps for Single Moms, Dads, Best Dating Sites For Single Parents

Depending on your area, it’s best to focus your time on the apps for relatioship focused individuals. I suggest Coffee Meets Bagel if you are under 40 or Bumble. Tinder is used for more casual relationships, hookups, pen pals but it might be the only game in town depending on where you live. With that said, marriages have started on Tinder and liars exist on Bumble. It’s up to you to use good judgment, be patient, screen profiles and identify red flags.

Dating as a single mom is hard. Making time for yourself is almost non-existent. There are a few great guys (no kids) out there willing to date a single mom but you have to be patient. Get help with your dating profile. Market yourself first and make sure you are emotionally, socially and physically ready. The ability to screen time-wasters, lazy guys and creeps is a skill that is helpful outside of dating apps.

Avoid sounding defensive or distrusting i.e swipe left if, no-hookups. Part of dating is getting to know someone and it’s hard to get to attract someone if you sound jaded from the get go. Similarly, everyone knows you love your child, no need to state the obvious. Doing so suggests that your parenting skills have come under attack and you feel the need to defend yourself.

Focus on your passions, hobbies, curiosities and how you spend your time. Avoid laundry lists, quotes from friends or generic adjectives that can’t be verified without meeting in person.


Online Dating Tips: How Long To Wait To Date After Divorce For Men, Women

Some people would say to wait until the divorce is settled but that can take 1-2 years at least. It’s less about time and more about mental state, ability to give someone a clean slate and details of the divorce i.e. was it already known or in the works vs something that was spontaneous? Were the two of you drifting apart or was there infidelity or abuse in the relationship?

Depending on those factors it can be 6 months to 3 years. It’s important that you show a clear indication of separation (finances, pets etc.) as well as leave no doubt for getting back together or having a good idea for when the divorce will be finalized.


Dating Single Dads, Moms Red Flags

The way a parent treats their kids is a great way to learn about a single mom or dad. The tone of voice, scheduling, prioritization, consideration when dating someone, checking in etc. Don’t ignore they signs early on when dating. It’s hard to balance kids, work and dating but take note of communication between the parent and kids / caretakers as well as between the parent and you. 


Online Dating As A Single Mom, Single Dad

It’s tough. Many people will filter out anyone with a kid mentioned in their profile. This doesn’t mean you should hide or lie about the fact you are a parent. Dating apps can be superficial so if they are not working for you, get some help with your profile (unbiased feedback) or defer to offline methods.

Personalized Online Dating Profile Critique

Strategy (App Choice + Timing + First Messages), Photo Critique, Bios + Prompts + Photo Captions, Wardrobe Feedback, Body Language, Smiles & More

About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.

In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally. 

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