How to talk to men without making a complete fool of yourself

How to talk to men

Let me start by saying the right person will accept you for your quirks. They will accept you despite any “foot in mouth” moments.

That being said, dating as a single mum can be tough, especially when you’ve been out of the scene for a while. You might be a little off your game, and end up tongue-tied and red faced.

If you are nervous about an upcoming date, we have some handy tips. Here is how to talk to men without making a complete fool of yourself.

Further reading: The beginners guide on how to date as a single parent.


Turn Down the Mum

Picture this …

As you closed the front door you left behind a trail of destruction. You waved goodbye to your babysitter and wiped the snot off your sleeve. The toddler was holding Barbie to ransom as retaliation after his sister destroyed his DUPLO tower. You used all the negotiation skills in your repertoire just to diffuse the situation. Now you are on your way to a first date.

You need to go from Supermum to Supersexy.

It can be hard to switch off. But, we suggest not talking to your date like he’s your child. Maybe don’t prompt him to order veggies if he wants chips. While it’s OK to talk about your kids, try to avoid too much poo poo, wee wee on a first date. Yes, you are a proud mama because your “mini me” did a number two in the potty. Grandma might like to see a photo, but the man on a date does not.

When Things Get Awkward

People say things that catch you off guard sometimes. In this situation you may like to take a deep breath, and a quick break to go freshen up. It can also give him a minute to calm his own nerves. Remember, it’s your time away from your kids, and if you are not digging it … excuse yourself.

Sometimes there’s just no common ground. For example, once I was on a first date, and his topic of choice for the first hour was the existence of aliens. Followed suddenly by “do you have a vibrator next to your bed?” Moving on. #awkward.

It can be easy to fill an awkward space with awkward conversation. Or your attempts to make it less awkward could backfire into a full blown awkward extravaganza. One of you might even escape through the bathroom window.

Here’s a tip …

Ask questions. Not “how about this weather?” But, open questions such as “what have your other dates been like” always get a laugh. People love talking about themselves, and good listening will help you navigate the conversation. Here is a list of first date questions which will help you in the more desperate moments. A great little to tool when preparing yourself for how to talk to men.

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

Your sense of humour is a funny thing (see what I did there?), but it might not be universally friendly. For instance, you and your besties might be all like “Heya bi-atch” which is cute and all. But, he doesn’t know you yet and affectionately being called a “loser” might be taken the wrong way.

Also, if your date shows up and is not what you expect (which will probably be 9 times out of 10), try not to mention his profile discrepancies despite how hilarious you may be. For example, he’s two feet shorter than advertised. Your opening line should NOT be “The Lord of the Rings called and they are missing a Hobbit.” It MAY be excusable when you have good intentions, but even worse is when you are trying to upset them.

Whether you like him or not, try to be polite because every date is an experience, and even the bad ones will help you practice for a good one.

Don’t Bring Another Man to the Party

When it comes to how to talk to men, there is a list of topics which should be approached with caution on a first date, and right at the top is, you guessed it … the ex.

A brief mention in conversation is human but OMG.

Please do not spend the whole night whinging, or crying, over your ex. If you aren’t over him go home. Phone a friend. Eat a kilo of ice cream. You don’t HAVE to be over your ex. It takes time. But a stranger who is meeting you for your company probably doesn’t want to hear about another dude. Take care of yourself.

Further reading: How to know if you’re ready to start dating again.

A ‘Hi’ Before the ‘Hi’

The beauty of all these online dating apps is that you can get to know him at least a little bit before the actual date.

You can tell him if you are nervous. You can do some background research to find out the basics for a conversation.

As a person who hates approaching someone I don’t know, I once raised this prior to a date. The solution? He decided he would wear a red shirt for visibility, and we agreed a “high five” would break the ice. Yep. Two strangers high fiving outside a restaurant can quickly take the seriousness out of any situation.


By following these tips on how to talk to men, it may just get you to a second date.

Let it be noted that the person I ended up marrying was not any of the men in this article. He was the one I got too drunk with; the one I affectionately called a loser; the one I whinged about my ex too. At the end of the day, as the Amy Schumer movie “I Feel Pretty” proves, the right person will like you for you and no amount of verbal diarrhoea will stop that!

Happy dating Mamas!!

How to talk to men | Beanstalk Single Mums Pinterest

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Anna Wood

About the author

Anna lived the single mum life for a number of years and has an ex who is truly one of a kind. She knows single mamas are some of the strongest women, who come with a wicked sense of humour. Anna hopes her experiences will help other mums facing tough times.

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