In my 5 minutes on the online dating scene, I had more than a few guys completely reject me because I had a kid. And though that may seem harsh or immature or whatever, I totally respect the guys that are willing to man up and know that they are not ready to date a woman who has a child; saves us both time and heartache. There was even one man that messaged me and said he “typically didn’t date single moms, but he liked my profile and my pictures,” so he’d thought he’d give it a try. Um, no.
If you’re wondering if you should date a single mom, gentlemen, here are five things you should know.
1. My Kid Will Always Be My Priority
Sorry, guys. If you can’t handle me putting anyone but you first, I don’t have room for you in my life. That number one spot is taken and will always be a filled position. This means that I can’t drop everything and come over for drinks. I can’t just go out and party for Taco Tuesday without making plans to get a sitter. I may spend all night doing 6th-grade math and watching Disney movies instead of the latest action movie.
When we are out on a date, I may have to answer a call from a crying kid who needs her mama AT.THAT.MOMENT. I may have to cancel on our date because my child is sick. You’re going to have to be flexible and understanding.
2. I’m Not Looking For a Father For My Child
First of all, guys, don’t panic. One date does not equal instant daddy. I’m not looking for you to be a father to my child (she already has one). BUT, if we date and become serious, you will have to be a father figure when it’s my week to have my daughter. This means I expect her to treat you with respect, as she would any adult and you may have to correct her from time to time is she is disrespectful. She may ask you to help her with homework or play with her or ask you to come to her play. If that is scary to you and you don’t think you can get over that fear, then you’re not the one for me.
Not all single mothers feel the same way, so be sure to communicate and understand the expectations before jumping in.
P.S. I’m not looking for a ring on my finger either.
3. You May (One Day) Have To Deal With My Ex
You’re going to have to deal with the fact that my ex will be a part of my life forever because of our daughter, though not by my choice. That might mean when looking through old photo albums, you might see old pictures of me, my daughter and my ex (and as much as I want to toss them, I have to save them; for my daughter’s sake, they will have to stay). This also means that you may have to encounter my ex when we drop off or pick up my daughter. My daughter will probably talk about him, and I sometimes will need a listening ear when I need to vent my frustrations.
4. Spontaneity Is Not In The Vocabulary
As much fun as it is to be spontaneous, dating a single mom means that you have to make plans to do stuff. Last minute getaways aren’t impossible, but they aren’t always possible either. Sometimes planning a surprise may involve having to find a babysitter, having a set time to come home (like a curfew!), and around a school schedule. Sometimes my schedule may not have room to include you – sometimes, mommy time and/or me time will have to come first (not always).
5. I Already Have One Child, I Don’t Need You To Act Like One
I may be a mom, but I’m not your mom. I need a man who can act like a man. Not one that will throw a fit if he doesn’t get his way, have a need to be babied or pouts, pleads or gives me guilt trips. The only games I play are with my daughter and if you are awesome enough, we may invite you to join us in a friendly game of Phase 10 one day!
*Bonus Tip* I Will Come With Baggage
I suppose this is more of a warning and this won’t apply to all single moms, but many of us who have been divorced (and times ten for the ones who have been cheated on also) will come with baggage. We will need your patience and understanding when issues arise.
**Note** There will be an upcoming article called, “Tips For Dating A Woman Who’s Been Cheated On” that goes into more specifics
I hope I’ve scared the guys who aren’t ready to date a single mom away because honestly, single moms don’t have the time nor the luxury to put up with man-children. Being a single mom defines me. I’m a package deal. If you can’t step up, then move on.