Monday, January 30, 2012

Common Misconceptions of Single Mothers (And Dating)

Since venturing out into the dating world as a single mother, I’ve experienced some highs and lows, ups and downs, some good first dates, some great dates, and er, a story of “love” and loss. Remember them? Sigh.

But now that "I guess I got my swagga back" (Cue Jay-Z and Kanye), I’m reflecting on some of the things that people think about single moms who date. And I don’t like ‘em. I may be independent, but I still have my moments of insecurity and doubt every now and again, especially whenever my love life hits a bump in the road… just like every other single person out there. And the misconceptions don’t help with those insecurities. So… it’s high time that I set the records straight.

We’re not all looking for the next father for our kid(s).
Aiden already has his other parent. And even if he’s not as involved as I would expect a parent to be, he’s still Aiden’s other parent. So if I agree to go on one date, it’s not because I’m looking for Aiden’s next other parent. Negative. Not even close. I agree to go on dates for the same reason any other single person agrees to go on dates – companionship. That’s all. If it works out, like way, way, waaaayyy down the line, then I would hope that dude would be a father figure for Aiden, but not today. Or tomorrow. Or in three months.

We’re protective of our kid(s).
More often than not, the child of a single parent has already been through something major in their lives (like divorce or separation), and in Aiden’s case, a parental break-up. So I’m protective of him, and rightfully so gosh darn it! I once had a guy ask if he could take both Aiden and me out… for a first date. Umm… heck no! I’m sure he was trying to do the “I can totally be a good step-father” thing and whatnot, but I wasn’t having that. There’s no easy way to put this, but to me, it just sounds pedophile-esque. If and when the time is right, I’ll be happy to introduce Aiden to the guy I’m seeing. But not a second sooner.

We’d want to date the guy, not his bank account.
Not all single mothers are gold-diggers, just like not all women are gold-diggers. Baby, I have my own money and my own bank account. And I think I’m doing pretty well so I don’t need Mr. Man to hold it down for me financially. That being said, with the right guy, it’s… nice. It’s nice to have someone to share with and depend upon if/when it’s necessary. Which brings me to my next point…

We appreciate when Mr. Man pays for dates.
Not all of the dates. But some of them. Like I said, it’s… nice. I’m independent and self-sufficient, but damn, I’m not rich. So while I won’t expect Mr. Man to offer to pay for babysitting and all, fronting the bill for dinner and drinks is a little gesture that’ll go a long way. If dude thinks that that’s too expensive, he should just think about how much babysitting costs per hour. And then offer to pay.

We appreciate when Mr. Man plans in advance.
Calling to ask me out the same day will not work most of the time. My babysitters have lives too. Not to mention, it’s just bad forum to call a girl up the same day and ask for a date. So even if I wasn’t a mother, I’d have an issue with it. It would make me feel as though dude’s first choice fell through and he thought I was second best. Homie don’t play that.

We’re busy.
If I say “I’m busy, Aiden has ______,” it’s usually because I’m actually busy and Aiden actually has ______. I’m not “playing hard to get” (not too hard anyway) and I’m not playing games. I’m just busy. However, if I chronically use that line on the same dude, eek! Well, that’s just single mom speak for “not interested.”

Now… everyone share this list with a single, hot, well-mannered, driven, smart, fun, ambitious, and sexy guy that you know and tell him good things about me. Just kidding. (Sorta.)

14 comments:

  1. Not a single mother, however, I enjoyed reading this piece. Must forward it to my sngle mother friends;-)

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  2. That all sounds very reasonable and logical!

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  3. I hope guys read your post so they'll be enlightened! - Bicultural Mama

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  4. Is there a facebook group for men dating single mothers and they don't have a clue?? well - this should be posted there

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    1. WORD! Haha... someone needs to post this there.

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  5. I don't go out with men who don't pay for dates - especially in the beginning. And that has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a single mom. This is how I've always dated.

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    1. Ditto! I've always been like this too. Call me old school or something, but maybe after we've been dating for a while I'll pay... but def not in the beginning.

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  6. Great points! So glad that you mentioned single moms aren't looking for another daddy for their kids when they date. During my stint as a single mom, when I told one of my friends I was thinking about dating, she was like oh Moo need a daddy? Uh no.., I needed the romantic companionship.

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    1. @YUMM: right?! We just want the romantic companionship!

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  7. Girl, these are good points!! All the single guys need to read this! I loved all your entire list.

    And p.s., I am old school and think a man needs to be paying for the dates! :-)

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I love reading what you have to say!

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