How To Date A Single Mother
The hot woman with whom you’ve finally managed to get a date has not told you everything. At first you admired her from a distance. You then chatted, flirted, and charmed your way into her favor. The first date started well. The two of you got along, and every indication pointed to a pleasurable end to the evening. But then the conversation turned serious. Her voice took on a grave tone, and it is then she told you about her kids.
Most single mothers will mention the fact that they have children before the first date. Some, however, want to be seen as women and not just moms, so they will defer the matter until much later on. Whenever and however you find out that your crush is bringing up kids on her own you must immediately reconsider all you know about dating.
First things first though. If dating a single mother is just not for you, then you should let her alone. Unless she is only interested in a one-night stand, which many single moms are, you should not allow her to think you want something serious when you really don’t.
You may be a man who enjoys women; you may like the thrill and adventure of the chase and the mind games that go along with it. Being a player is fine. But only the lowest of the low, a real scum bag, will make a single mother think he’s interested in a long-term commitment when his real intention is to drop her after he’s slept with her.
Indeed, if you decide to date a single mother you will need to display more honesty and truthfulness than you may be used to. Single, childless women are willing to engage in the same head games as you are to gain an advantage, so it is right that you say and do what is needed to keep your edge. The single mom is more restricted in her time and by her circumstances. She must think about what is best for herself and her children. She will therefore be clearer and more direct about what she wants and will expect you to be the same.
Bearing the latter in mind, the first thing you must realize is that liking kids is not the same as raising them. Do not let the words “I like kids” pass through your lips. She will take it as patronizing and see you as someone who has no capacity for understanding her life. When she tells you that she has kids, the best response is to ask their names and ages. She will do the rest—giving you as much detail as she feels comfortable with. The point here is to humanize the situation. Acknowledge the concrete realities of what she has just told you. Don’t dismiss it with a woolly cliché.
You must allow her to set the pace for how and when you meet her children. In fact, you should let her dictate everything having to do with them. Don’t seem too eager to gather information about her kids as a way of re-assuring her. At best, you will appear disingenuous; at worst, you will look creepy.
Saturday nights are not always free for single mothers. She no doubt has childcare arrangements for the weekdays. But it takes an extra effort and extra money to get a weekend babysitter. You will have to get used to seeing her at odd hours during the week and on some weekend afternoons.
Finally, if the father is still in the picture you will need to figure out a way of dealing with what can be an uncertain situation. On the one hand, there is the matter of relating to him as an ex. On the other hand, there is the effect he will continue to have on your girl as a co-parent: the inevitable disagreements, fall-outs, and disappointments that may leave her angry and distraught.
These are some of the challenges that come with dating a single mother. But if you really like her, if you believe she is special and see a future with her then they are worth taking on and getting through.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.