I was flipping through Facebook late last night, interested in the lives of those around me, relishing in the births, the weddings and the football games. As I scrolled, I stopped on a post from a single mom talking about how frustrating online dating is.
She had met several people online who seemed interesting on the surface. But with further discussion, she realized one was already in a long-term relationship, and the other had a fetish she just could not fathom. My heart sank for her. I understand all too well the emotional frustration of dating as a single mom. In fact, in my on and off years online trying the dating thing, I have consistently come across five types of men who seem to prey on single moms.
I have never felt as undesired as a woman as I have as a single mom. There, I said it. It is not a scarlet letter, but it is a piece of neon “baggage” alerting men to the complications of the package deal. Now, I am one of those single moms who does not introduce my kids to men. Like, at all. I don’t believe in bringing people into their lives if they may not stay in mine. So I add my own barrier to dating in that respect.
I still have hope that one day, a nice man will want to take me to dinner with no expectations for after, and actually get to know me. But as a mom to three daughters, I am finding it harder and harder to find any quality man for one date, much less a relationship.
I did an experiment once, with a profile that did not mention at all that I had kids. I had a TON of interested guys. But once we got to talking, and I mentioned my mom status, they all — and I mean, every single one — said they did not date women with kids, and that I was a horrible person for not mentioning it in my profile. So I added it back, and the same types of men came after me again.
I am not online anymore, conceding to the happenstance meeting should I ever go out without my children again, but I can tell from social media that they are still there.
1. The marrieds
After the Ashley Madison hack and release of all information, which spawned suicides, further falls from grace for celebrities and the best year for divorce attorneys everywhere, we now know that an enormous number of married men are online. Non-affair websites are no exception. The sad stories of the supposed neglect in their marriages are everywhere.
Two types of marrieds always thought I was fair game, even though my profile clearly stated that they must be unattached in any way: the “open” marrieds and the “affair” marrieds. The open marrieds claim to have an open marriage and want to pursue a relationship Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. Not very “open,” if you ask me. The affair marrieds want the same, but with so much discretion that the “dates” only take place in one place: a hotel room.
Basically, married men seem to love single moms. I don’t care what I put in my profile, this was always the number-one status of men who contacted me, no matter what site they were on.
2. The sex-onlys
These are the guys who want you to, literally, meet for a drink and then head to a hotel room. The ones who proposition you from the start. They want the sexting and the verbal play that excites them. They want the naughty photos texted (please, don’t ever do that!), and they want sex to be all you have in common. I get the “meet me for a drink and we’ll see where it goes” email all the time. I reject them, flat out!
3. The nonmonogamous
There are the guys who want to date you, someone else and then someone else. They don’t want a commitment. They want friends with benefits only. These guys may be fun for a date or two, especially if you are not looking for a full-on committed relationship, but they will drop you in a heartbeat if one of their “other” friends with benefits has a better offer for a night out! I tried this one time, and will never do it again. It is like dating a married: very frustrating, and demeaning, in the end.
4. The liars
These are legion. Many men just lie. They are married when they say they are not; they’re in a relationship when they say they are not. They are evasive when you ask questions that should be common knowledge, and they often change plans at the last minute. I used to ask a series of questions, and if a red flag for lying came up, I stopped talking to them.
If you’re dating one of these guys, it can be hard to tell. A safe rule is that if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. When you’re dating someone, they should easily tell you things about themselves without a lot of excuses to go with it.
5. The control freaks
Oh, these guys. They’re the ones who want to talk to me all day and all night. The ones who start talking about when they get to meet the kids and start to fill a dad role. The ones who, even before the first date, start questioning your lifestyle and friends. They want to move in, adopt the kids and take over your life so it matches what they want. They reject nights out with your friends, underhandedly insult what you love and make you feel like it’s somehow your fault if you don’t agree with them on something.
I love these guys, because they solidify my decision to not marry or allow anyone into my kids’ lives right now. Most single moms these days don’t need someone to come in and take over. We got this, and we’re pretty proud of what we have built!
I don’t really date online anymore, though I still get the urge to check in when I think “this time will be different.” I don’t think it is all that safe for me or my kids, anyway. And after several attempts, nothing solid has come from it… except that, every time I try, I am immediately bombarded by these five types of men.
It was different before I was a mom. I met many men online, and had great dates! I’m not sure what about being a single mom has depleted the quality pool, but it sure seems to be the case.