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As a society, we’ve come to welcome non-traditional family units.

Majority of the time, it works out well and the parents involved raise children who go on to be productive citizens in the world. My relationship with my father was imperfect and strained.

Even with that encouragement, the early stages can present such hurdles like quality time and giving your budding relationship the level of attention it warrants.

Dating a single mom forces you to learn and practice a deeper level of understanding and compassion.

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 GIPHYAs 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.

As a stepparent, you can serve as a buffer – for both your child and your spouse.

The other thing is when the other parent is actively involved, there may be times where the support system will have slight cracks.

And at this point, I don’t want to be overwhelmed by someone else’s experience of fatherhood before mine gets a chance to really start.

You have to make the most of whatever time you do have.

There’s also the chance that you’ll be forced to interact with the dreaded ex.

Blended families and the role of stepparents isn’t a particularly new phenomenon in the family structure.

We see it in celebrity culture – the Kardashian/Jenner clan and Will Smith’s family for instance.