Ready to “Stir” Things Up? A Single Mom Re-enters the Dating Scene


As I begin writing this dating post, I’d be lying if I said I’m not totally captivated by this Carrie Bradshaw moment. Though instead of looking out my window onto the streets of NYC, I’m looking at a pile of laundry and stacks of paperwork that needed to go out yesterday. Designer sweaters are not neatly stored in my oven, but instead a homemade lasagna bubbling to cheesy perfection for dinner. And just like that, I’m back in reality. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic reality, but maybe it’s time to add a few characters to this story.

Woman texting on a phone. Text reads : Ready to Stir it up? A single mom re-enters the dating scene.When asked about my “situation” my response is usually a witty, “I’m happily single!” Which honestly is true. When you come out of a bad relationship, being single is not a breath of fresh air, it’s literally inhaling peace and exhaling exhaustion, frustration, and confusion. Right now it’s just my daughter and I and I’m really enjoying that. I’m so comfortable in this new dynamic duo without any of the headaches or let’s be honest, heartache. Why would I want to risk losing that?

RELATED READING: Self-Care For The Single Mom

Many months ago, when your girl was absolutely done, I knew I wasn’t going to jump into the dating scene right away. I needed time to process everything and enjoy the quiet. When your world has revolved around attorneys, mediations, custody documents, scheduling visits, reading co-parenting books, etc. you don’t want a boyfriend, you want a BREAK.

RELATED READING: Separate but together: A Co-Parenting Journey

In my younger days, after a breakup I would have planned a girl’s trip, gone on a few dates or hit a local watering hole (Oh Murdocks, I don’t think it’s even called that anymore) with friends. Then there’s always the text to the college ex that you can’t remember why it didn’t work out with him, until you do.

However, now as a parent, my priorities, and outlook on dating are far different.  What’s a not-so-newly single mom to do when she’s finally kind of, maybe, sort of ready to date again? Try out the latest dating app for single parents – Stir. So, if you’re considering online dating, take a seat, grab a drink and let me share my experience with you. We can laugh, cry and cringe together.

Sound good? Let’s go girls!

Stir dating app promo

Getting Started with the Stir App

Signing Up – I chose to sign up for an account with Stir since it is geared towards single parents. Though I know two very happy couples that met on platforms like Tinder and Bumble, this felt more my speed. There are free plans and those that are paid monthly. I selected the paid one-month trial. With the free version, you can create an account and view other profiles and match, but other features like messaging are not provided.

Stir app pricing

Creating a Profile– Set up is super easy, this site is very gender and relationship inclusive and allows you to select the match that is right for you. You then go through a few multiple-choice questions, such as:

Sunday mornings you’re:
A. Making Pancakes for the kids
B. At brunch with friends
C. Enjoying the outdoors
D. In bed from a late night out

There are features specific to parents like “Stir Time,” which allows you to list days and times you are available to message, video chat and go out. Other questions include, if your kids live at home and whether you want more.

One important question I appreciated was:

When would you want your partner and kids to meet?
B. Waiting as long as I can
C. After a few months
D. None of the above

Since we’re all coming from different situations, having a potential match that was on the same page with me on this was important. Until the relationship becomes serious, I don’t want to introduce my daughter to anyone and want someone who will respect that.

Photos- You are allowed to upload 6 pictures and select a main profile picture. All uploaded pictures go through an approval process before displaying. Thankfully, you won’t see inappropriate content when scrolling through profiles. Ladies, prepare yourself for many, many pictures of men proudly holding fish. I have no idea why, but there are a lot of them. Maybe it’s their way of showing they can catch dinner?

When selecting your profile pic, steer clear of any with other people in it, that could be confusing. Full-length photos will lead to more matches and likely get a conversation going. Go figure! Pun totally intended.

Profile Settings- Options include make public, private, show only who you match with, which means you both must like each other to communicate. Since the Stir app is launched by, you can also have your profile available on that platform as well for no additional fee. For the first few days, I had my profile completely private and wouldn’t “like” anyone, so that was kind of pointless. I decided to change it to public and ding, ding, ding the likes and conversations began.

Safety Features- By far the best part of the Stir app. Safety features include:
– Option to run a limited background check on anyone you match with
– Phone number verification
– Fake Profile and spam prevention
– Profile and photo monitoring
– Customer service provided by real humans

Stir app features

Helpful Tips for Using the Stir App

1.) Read the profiles, the entire thing and not just the first paragraph. One of the first men I matched with was a kind and funny single dad from a nearby city. As our communication continued, he asked if I read his entire profile because it may not be what I was looking for. Going back and actually reading through all of it, I discovered he was looking for a polyamorous relationship. I appreciated his honesty and wished him well on his journey, but that wasn’t what I was seeking. So, before looking at pics from his Navy days, birthday skydiving trip or of course, that time he caught that really big fish, read the entire profile!

2.) Remember, “those guys” will always be out there. As wonderful as the safety features are, you still risk matching with someone that may not have the same motives for the app as you. I matched with a handsome engineer and after a few conversations he asked me to drive up and spend the weekend with him since he didn’t have his son. I laughed, assuming SURELY he was joking. He was not. That was the quick end of that, but at least I found out his intentions and ended it.

3.) Keep it light, at least at first- You matched with someone, fantastic! The conversation is going great, wonderful! That does not mean you should stop talking to other matches and put all your energy into someone you’ve known a few days. Don’t picture holidays together, selecting furniture, or start planning blended family vacations. You’re just in the getting to know each other phase, so keep it fun and easy breezy baby.

4.) Enjoy the process and leave the mom guilt at the door- As single parents, a lot of us tend to put ourselves and our needs last. My daughter will always and forever be my top priority and come first. However, given her unconditional love for me, I’m sure she wants to see me happy and in a healthy relationship one day.

Just because you are a single parent does not mean you aren’t supposed to want to date and love again.

Let’s take a cue from Disney because we’re all parents here and know every line and song. Remember in the Lion King, Rafiki tells Simba, “Remember who you are?” Time to do that and rejoin the circle of life, well dating life at least. Yes, you’re a parent, but you’re still a woman too! It was a challenge seeing myself as anything other than a mommy to my amazing 5-year-old, but guess what? I am. And remembering that has made me a better parent.

So the big question, have I met someone? Well, I promised him I wouldn’t write about it. 😉 I’d like to think so. I guess I do have a type- in uniform that says, “yes, ma’am” and remembers the kind of coffee I like. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up talking/texting with someone until 3AM and laughing so much. It’s new, but it’s exciting, and it’s refreshing knowing this part of my life can still exist, but only if I make time for it.

I’m a big believer in manifesting, but we need to do our part too. SatisfACTION requires action. I love my Target curbsides, especially now that you can add Starbucks when picking up, but I’m probably not going to meet someone that way. Get out there, like out of the car and your house! As my wise mother says, “Everything starts as a friendship, and you can never have too many friends. If something becomes more than that, well great, but it’s all first just a conversation.”

Whether it’s trying out the Stir app, another dating app, or finally meeting your coworker’s cute, single brother, say “Yes!” Have fun and enjoy that part of your life again. One day your children will be grown and if it’s not your plan to go through the next chapter solo, then “Stir” it up! It’s your move mama.

Wishing you all the butterflies, “Good morning, beautiful” texts, fun dates, first kisses and hopefully an authentic connection with someone as amazing as you are!

Previous articleLet’s Get Digital: Working Out at Home
Next articleHow I Found the World of Spicy Romance!
Melissa Palacios
Melissa Palacios is a Corpus Christi native and loves raising her daughter Gianna in South Texas near their family. Melissa enjoys taking her daughter on walks, performing duet Disney Karaoke, learning new recipes and has recently started doing yoga and meditation with her mini me. She is a proud member of Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas, The Islander Alumni Association and the Texas Jazz Festival Society. When she’s not planning themed dinner parties, she loves to explore the Coastal Bend with her daughter, sip coffee outside with friends and plan weekend getaways with her family.