Unless you live under a rock, you are likely aware that no woman is immune from nightmarish pick-up lines and dating stories.
It’s the state of affairs out there in the romantic world. From my own experiences, however — and those I’ve heard from other single moms — the horror stories appear magnified for single women who have children. A friend of mine went on a date where the guy told her that he doesn’t believe in child support. Another friend was told that she was just, “a party girl with a souvenir.” And I’ve been called a MILF by more online suitors than I’d like to disclose — which amounts to straight-up harassment, and all because I have a child and would like to eventually have a boyfriend.
Regardless, dating as a single mom can be clarifying and freeing. Here are the nuggets of wisdom that real single moms have learned about dating in a scary, romantic world. Maybe these gems will set you free, too.
1. “Sure, not every guy wants to date a woman with kids. But I view that as helpful for wading through my options, rather than as rejection.” – Jenny C.
2. “There is a lot of freedom in dating as a single mother. I’m too tired for the fancy dates, the clubbing and the romance of more ‘normal’ dating. The fact that I can talk with a guy over dinner or bond by watching Netflix makes it easier to see who he is at the beginning, rather than feeling blinded by infatuation.” – Cari R.
3. “The crap I used to put up with from men is no longer an option. It’s not just me anymore.” – Carole Z.
4. “I listen to how my dates talk about children. A date’s response is instantly clarifying about the type of man he is.” – Kaity I.
5. “The men who want to date a single mother are often more responsible types. They’re grown men, which is a nice change.” – Kathleen T.
6. “I’m not going to waste my precious alone time with a dud.” – Danielle E.
7. “It can be lonely, but my perspective as a single mom reminds me that the loneliness is never as bad as the loneliness of a terrible relationship.” – Fiona G.
8. “I’ve learned that there is no shame in online dating. It lets me sift through potential dates from the comfort of my couch, after the kids go to sleep.” – Ashley F.
9. “My priorities are different this time around. The things I want most from a man now are respect and thoughtfulness. I never thought of dating that way before.” – Lois G.
10. “There isn’t time for game-playing. It’s all very adult.” – Brooke E.
Tell us, single moms: What have you learned about dating with kids?