Why “Nothing personal, but I don’t want to date a single mom” is totally personal

 

Way back at the beginning of my single mom dating shenanigans I fell in love with an older man. My kids were 1 and 3, his were in college. A few months in, I broke it off over a boozy Italian dinner. “Face it,” I said. “You don’t want to be running around with little kids again.”

He agreed.

Old story: We kept sleeping with each other, he decided he wanted to try dating a mom for real, and a year later broke it off for reals because he didn’t want to date a mom. For a whole bunch of reasons, that breakup was terribly painful for me, and it took me so may months (many of which I admittedly kept sleeping with him. Sue me.) to get over it. “You’re so wonderful, it has nothing to do with you,” he’d say over and over. “It’s just that life got in the way.”

I clung desperately to those words for a very long time. But it is bullshit (even if it was good of him to employ them). Rejecting me because I have children has every single thing to do with me. I am a mom. My motherhood is not a separate island off the coastline of myself. It is part of me. Arguably the very best part of me. I am a mother, exactly as I said I as when I met you online/the office/Starbucks/swing dancing/trashed at your cousin’s wedding.

I’ve bumped into that same floundering position on dating me, a single mom, several times. “I thought I didn’t want to date women with kids, but your OKCupid profile was irresistible,” he’ll say. What he doesn’t say, but what is implied is: “What the hell. I’ll give this a try and if I don’t like it, I’m outta here!”

I try not to be bitter. We’re all human. Can I really fault a guy for liking me so much he goes against his instincts that tell him he’s not fit for blended family life? I’ve got a healthy ego. I’d love to be the one to change his mind! Yet it’s pretty silly that we treat the intersect of romance and children as such an exotic unknown, one worthy of tip-toe trepidation. After all, it’s not like I’m raising feral unicorns in my attic, or foster-parenting gnomes. I am a human mother raising human children, the most fundamental essence of humanity, familiar to all, including every single man on OKCupid, who, presumably, was once a child himself.

On the flip side, I do think it is possible to change a guy’s mind (though I don’t suggest banking on it). A few years ago I had a mini-session with dating coach Kavita Patel, who stands out among her peers as a remarkable insight into dating and relationships overall, and has an intuitive power that is slightly freaky. In telling her about my dating, I said: “If a guy isn’t into single moms, that’s fine with me. I’m not interested in changing anyone’s mind!”

Obvious, right? She disagreed: “Sometimes a guy has to see you with your children. Then he can be open to dating a woman with a family.”

Because she got so much right about me, I could never let that advice go.

Last year for a few months I dated a man who was in his early 40s, divorced but with no kids. We were a mismatch for zillions of reasons, but of anyone I’ve ever been involved with, he appreciated my motherhood more than any other man. He also admitted to discounting a relationship with a single mom before crossing my path. One day a few months in he told me he’d watched some Facebook videos of my kids in which I was audible in the background. “You’re so natural and honest with them. You’re an awesome mom,” he said in an uncharacteristically vulnerable moment. “I adore you.”

Which is exactly what every single single mom wants to hear very most of all.

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19 thoughts on “Why “Nothing personal, but I don’t want to date a single mom” is totally personal

  1. I don’t understand why so many mothers have to play the whole “my child is number one in my life, everyone else is second”, “my child is the most amazing incredible human”blah blah it’s nauseating. You didn’t quite go there but you are coming across the same. Ok we all know you love your children but why do mothers have to be so smug about it and rub it in people’s faces? Why would a man want to deal with “my child comes first, you are second”? By all means think it or tell it to your mommy friends, but the way so many mothers throw it in other peoples faces just comes across as really smug and I don’t see the point either. Not trying to offend I just don’t think it helps mothers with dating at all. You have to realise that your child is amazing to you and your family only and potentially annoying to everyone else you are trying to date. Funny how you dated a man in his 40s with no kids which is quite rare, so did you purposefully go for him because HE didn’t have kids even though you do? Why should anyone “appreciate motherhood”, it’s what most women do, it’s nothing special, wow congratulations you take care of your own kids?!

    If motherhood is the best part of you and children are so fulfilling then you also don’t really need a man or to be dating at all do you?

    1. Well put, you must understand single mothers saying “my child comes first, no exceptions” don’t realize they are even being smug about it. Also, can you imagine a 35+ year old man with no kids never married saying i cannot be financially responsible for another man’s offspring? You will be shamed for your good (smart) decision making abilities like using contraception, paying off your stuff, investing the wedding/honeymoon money because let’s face it, her side of the family isn’t paying for any of that shit.

  2. Divorcees with kids belong with other divorcees with kids. The problem is that they casually waltz in to the dating world of the unencumbered and act as if saying “I have kids” suddenly gives them a carte Blanche to burden normal daters with their baggage, always self-righteously citing the “but I told you I have kids!” Really though, we know that often time in human relations, chemistry has to run its course. I believe a single parent has an added obligation not to meddle in the affairs of unsuspecting daters, especially those inexperienced with dating a single parent. (I’m in the “once and never again camp myself).

    Dating a single dad affirmed my belief that 1.) Divorce is fundamentally flawed and should be avoided at all costs and 2.) Those who talk about “blended families” are trying to rationalize the insane (that’s why they have to do so much talking and explaining in the first place).

    A single parent dating an unencumbered single (I use this term to describe daters who have never been divorced and don’t have kids) is nothing short of a breeding ground for resentment, frustration, and deluded hopes, especially if the unencumbered single is a woman (we typically value he idea of a family more) or just a person in general who was raised to want to set a traditional example for their children. (e.g. When I have a daughter, I want her to know she deserves to be a FIRST wife, and that any children her husband has should be FIRST and only with her, nothing less. After all, wouldn’t anyone want the same for their little girl or boy?)

    There’s enough talk about “think of the children!” In these cases, as if the unencumbered dater must resign him/herself to a life of having his/her needs always take the back seat (no matter what is said verbally, in PRACTICE they do). Truly single people must stand up for THEMSELVES and support each other in this simple mantra: “I DESERVE BETTER.”

    Unencumbered singles deserve to feast at the banquet of a first marriage and a first family; nothing less. Even single parents don’t want their kids to marry someone with baggage, although they may say “I just want him to be happy” to save face and not look totally hypocritical.

    As an unencumbered single there’s no need to a angrily sling insults at single parents who try to act as if they’re available in the realm of normal dating. That only adds fuel to the fire of their “that bastard/bitch didn’t like my kids” rallying cry.

    All an unencumbered single must do is remember to stand up for HIM/HERSELF and what he/she deserves.

    Single parents can throw out as much self-righteous indignation or proclamations of “I’m fine,” they can bombard us with cutesy mommy/daddy patois, but it doesn’t make the reality any less true. Divorce and raising or playing second fiddle to another person’s child (who, by the way, your partner banged to create) is flawed beyond repair and should be avoided.

  3. By the way I’m writing this from my phone so excuse any typos or poor grammar in the post above. Cope and deal – it was my first iteration.

    One more thought: In effed up, polygamous Mormon communities the women are told by male elders to “keep sweet.” It’s a mantra to basically tell them “shut up and don’t question what’s happening to you.”

    I can’t help but see the parallel between the Mormon “keep sweet” and what society tells step moms and/or women who date men with kids.

    It’s fundamentally insane to ask a woman to share her husband with the offspring of another woman, compromising her finances, her privacy, and the time and attention she and her children deserve with their husband/father. In other words, I want my husband to be “all in” (financially, spiritually, emotionally) for me and for our children. I don’t want him to be torn between two lives, and a man shouldn’t want his wife or girlfriend to be torn between two lives or two families either.

    So screw “keep sweet,” and let the single parent and his children’s grandparents peddle the “think of the children” line on someone else. If they really “thought of the children” they wouldn’t have gotten divorced and they CERTAINLY wouldn’t be dating.

    Don’t “keep sweet” and seek to “play it cool” and rationalize the insanity of having a child your partner banged to create interfere with each and every aspect of your life! Stand up for yourself, stand up for your single friends, and move on!

  4. Single men see single moms as disposable playtoys that they can use for sex and toss away. There I said it. They may not admit it, they might attempt to lie to themselves that they’ll accept the single mother offspring

    Deep down inside single men (even ones that have kids) loathe dating single mothers for the simple fact that they are supporting another man’s offspring. Any single man who dates a single mother is secretly regarded as a simp, fool, chump, weak, dumpster diver by other men simply due to the evolutionary forces that identify which men are weak and which men are strong and beautiful. The women are the ones who choose who gets to be strong and who gets to be weak among the men by virtue of the value of their vaginas. Every man desires the best case scenario to happen to him, and that is to impregnate young, fertile women before anyone else and leave the offspring for others to raise. If he does not get this then every other scenario is an affront to his male pride. Being forced to date single mothers simply tells the world that he has no options, can’t get a young girl with elite genetics and is a failure at life. This is the type of guy, no matter the stripe, that ends up with single mothers. The only saving grace for this whole charade would be if the man is able to impregnate the single mother – or her daughters – and then leave as well. That would be the only way to redeem his strength in the eyes of other males. If the young single woman is a vessel for pride for a man, the older single mother for all intents and purposes is merely a vessel of humiliation.

    The man who impregnates the woman first and leaves the offspring is a strong man since he got first dibs on a female’s valuable fertility and even better got someone else, or the government, to take care of the children. He gets to spread his genes without any repercussions. He gets the female body at its freshest, before childbirth disrupts the hormones and curdles the uterus with birthing scars. The very ovaries from a young nineteen year old never-impregnated are healthier than a single mother of the same age, that is the hormonal affect of pregnancy on the female body. The weak man, who was not able to sire children with beautiful young women and leave them, is the one who cares for an aging, spoiling, less fertile female in exchange for sex and maybe offspring(that will be weaker.) Both parties when entering into these relationships are almost confirming their second rate status, hence why single mother daters tend to break it off so quickly. Also deep down inside the males in these relationships instinctively want to kill all of the offspring of the single mother, exceptions come into play only if the male sees an opportunity to breed with the younger female daughter. If not he’ll want to kill her too. Unless the male is gay or exceptionally fem, this will be his instinct. This is why single mothers and their offspring tend to encounter so much domestic violence. The males have put themselves in a humiliating situation in the eyes of society and her offspring have triggered their ancestral desire to wipe out the children of other men. The fact that most single mothers can’t fathom this and think that any new male in their life is a godsend is simply a reflection of their female naivety. Single mothers place their kids into the hands of wolves.

    This is why men who single mothers date are invariably weak males or sex addicts looking for women with problems that they can exploit. When a male attempts to date a single mother he is gambling that her baggage will be effective in forcing her to supplicate to his will. The issue with baggage is that quite often the woman will saddle the baggage onto the male, which is the first step into ultimate humiliation and terror on the male’s part. This is the domain of weak men who are forced to raise another man’s child. Their own insecurities, personal faults and lack of attractiveness are only highlighted as the single mother foists her children’s costs onto him, dismisses his presence for her kids and introduces him at parties to other more successful men with their own offspring. The social affects and reminders wear down the inner shields around the male’s ego until all that is left is the humiliation, anger and contempt at females for not allowing him to make his own single mother on his terms and be seen as a strong man. The dissatisfied male will often go online and find out what other men really think of single mothers throughout the many horror stories he reads and by osmosis realize how low a male must be in order to consider dating one. Every situation with the single mother will remind him of his status and how disgusting his own life has been compared to other more blessed males. The single mother becomes a monster in the male’s eyes, a creature containing every slight, every taunt, every rejection the male has ever experienced encapsulated in a lower tier female form. This is why many males consider single mothers the ultimate in evil because they are deceptive snakes that slowly manifest every reminder of the male’s low place and another male’s higher place. During these periods the male often explodes with anger at the single mother albatross around his neck. The violent confrontations, punches and destruction the man displays during domestic interactions with single mothers are merely the symptom of the man’s realization that he is weak or low in beauty in the eyes of fertile females and that the single mother is the stinky 4th place prize for him. The only exception to this is the man who dates a single mother AND her daughter(s) at the same time. That is an awesome situation and deserves a lot of respect. If a male boy is present in the situation he must either be sent away, put up for adoption or killed.

    The single mother issue must be looked at through the prism of sex and only sex as that is how single men see it. It may hurt to read this wealthysinglemommy, but these are the ancestral forces you are dealing with at this moment.

  5. I think I need to recover from shock after I have read the comment before mine. I will try to bring balance and common sense to the situation now. First, this is what happens when you leave Christianity behind. You either have touchy feely irrational social justice warriors or ice cold scientists who view every human interaction through the glasses of genetics, sex and evoloution. So you end up with Alpha versus Beta males, men who secretely want to kill the offspring of another man and women who are only worth their beauty and nothing more.

    How about stopping to sleep around outside marriage and every one looking after their own children? That would solve all of these crazy problems. Then nobody would be humiliated or taken advantage of. This crazy world the sexual revolution of the 60ies has created can’t stand the test of reality, it is about to crumble! We really need to see this and go back to basic standards of virtue.

    Hebrews 13:4

    “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

    Ephesians 5:33

    “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.”

    1. The science completely backs Grinning Caesar’s comment. Hard to understand why this would shock you, unless you are so steeped in Hollywood fantasy that empiricism and reason play no part in your life.

      Bible quotes do not change the evolutionary facts. The single mom is a losing proposition, a bargain basement scratch-and-dent in the sexual marketplace, for the very reasons Caesar cited. In addition to having extensive supporting scientific evidence, I think what he wrote IS common sense.

    2. Christianity is gloss. It’s like a plastic film rolled over the heart to keep it from being dirtied. It’s an etiquette put over the primal male a lot like putting on clothes to cover your naked body.

      Beneath is still the wild animal that wants to eat, kill, conquer and screw.

      If you do not understand this you do not understand the very role of your religion.

  6. I don’t hate ’em, just won’t date ‘ em. There is never a reason to carry another man’s freight. Better to be alone.

  7. There pretty much is no reason for a man who has his stuff together to date or have a relationship with a single mom. If one crosses your path, you have to ask yourself one question: Could I pull a woman of her caliber if she didn’t have kids? If the answer is yes, what are you doing bothering with a single mom? If the answer is no, then she’s settling for you and that’s exactly where you don’t want to be in a relationship with her. A woman who is settling isn’t really attracted to YOU, she’s attracted to you’re STABILITY. You’ll just be divorce number two when the shine wears off. The wise man avoids.

  8. “Any single man who dates a single mother is secretly regarded as a simp, fool, chump, weak, dumpster diver by other men simply due to the evolutionary forces that identify which men are weak and which men are strong and beautiful.”
    But why would a man care about what other men think about him? I mean, no one really cares if you don’t.

    “Every man desires the best case scenario to happen to him, and that is to impregnate young, fertile women before anyone else and leave the offspring for others to raise.”
    WTF is this shit? :D

    1. To understand why it matters what other men think of a particular man you need to understand the nature of respect. Respect is male currency first and formost. A man who has no respect is less than nothing in society. We’ve all had that boss at work whom no one respects. Even though he’s your superior, his orders are obeyed grudgingly if at all. It’s because for whatever reason, he has no respect. A man who has respect will be treated much better. He will be deferred to, obeyed quicker by underlings, and regarded much more highly by the men around him. Men strive all their lives to EARN the respect of other men. We exchange respect ‘tokens’ with one another. Dating a single mom is a huge hit to a man’s respect ‘account’ among other men. He is seen as being willing to accept another man’s leavings and do all the heaving lifting in the place of the man who got there first.

    2. Why would a man care what another man thinks of him? Well some men have more access to resources than others either by bloodline, fate or willpower. In order to progress through the social ranks typically you need to impress other men with your strength, acumen and quality of woman in your life. Men exchange things including access to females. Males with resources want to find other sources of attractive females particularly once they are bored with their girlfriends or wives. They do this typically by using subordinates as agents to learn of social progresses, in modern parlance they keep facebook friends who have equally attractive facebook friends. If your subordinates are all dating obese women or old single mother dragons what kind of women do you think the man dominating this group will have future access to?

      Successful men tend not to hire other men who attract loser females. Or at the very least they do not keep them in their inner circle. So it is all about access to sex.

  9. Some of the comments above are just horrifying. I really don’t think any of you are in ‘danger’ of dating any women at all, let alone a single mom! Single mothers would absolutely run from you! Guess what? We can support ourselves, hence the ‘wealthy’ part of wealthy single mommy. We actually don’t need you for money. Anyone talking about killing women or children as instinctual requires psychological help immediately!! Women absolutely run from men like this. Women who are strong enough to leave abusers in the first place never look back! No woman deserves to be abused or thought of as an object. You are exactly the kind of frightening mysoginists that are thankfully now being exposed. Women can do it all ourselves now, happily, successfully and so powerfully. We date because we love who the man proves himself to be over time. We no longer need to buy into male dominance and redicilous power and status games for our survival, those days are GONE FOREVER!! Divorced women who left a dangerous or unfit husband are some of the most amazingly brave and discerning women you will ever meet. You won’t need to worry about your precious status being eroded, we would be rejecting you first because our precious family deserve better than some scary psycho!

  10. Why would I date a woman who called a napalm strike on her family by divorcing the children’s father, then spends her dating time talking about how her twin thirteen year-old boys need a father figure when the biological father has been destroyed by her and family court? Stop getting divorced and put your children before your hot pants. I have a mother and sister who plays this game, and I am sickened by both. Let’s not even touch what abortion has done to most of them. Stay away. Run away. They napalmed their children.

  11. Here’s another male perspective on the issue of single mothers. First off, a man who is single and has no children of his own derives absolutely no benefits from raising and paying for another man’s children. All he does by doing so is expose himself to potentially huge and unlimited personal and financial liabilities. If he’s lucky, he might get some occasional sex out of the deal, but this usually tapers off once the mother feels she has the guy locked in financially and legally.

    How does all this happen, you might ask?

    Well, the minute he pays any amount of money for any reason in respect of a child that is not his, and does so on a regular basis, he falls into the trap of something called ‘in loco parentis’, a Latin phrase that means ‘in place of the parent’.

    So-called family courts frequently rule that men who support children who are not their own, particularly in the context of a relationship with a single mother, effectively have assumed the mantle of parenthood and accordingly, will be held financially responsible for that child until it reaches the age of majority, even if the relationship he has with the mother breaks down (whether by divorce or other means).

    Then there is the personal risk involved in having an unwanted child with a single mother. Presto, you become responsible for a child you didn’t want. You can count on the single mother forcing the the issue and insisting that the pregnancy be carried to full term because this is one way she can legally lock in access to your wallet for the next 18 – 25 years. Potentially she also stands to get half of your pension if the relationship was long-term.

    Most single mothers form dyadic relationships with their children to the point that they not only do not have time or space for a man in their lives, but they also don’t have the emotional capacity to accommodate a man, regardless of their protestations to the contrary. When I say ‘dyadic’, I mean a relationship in which the same bond, or equivalent, that one finds in marriage is formed. In effect, the children become a substitute mate for the mother.

    When a single mother in this position brings a man into her life, it’s not because she loves him, it’s because she wants an extra paycheque in the household that she doesn’t have to earn, and a lifestyle enhancement for herself and her kids and potentially a future income stream if things don’t work out. As a side benefit, she gets someone who becomes not only a free babysitter, but someone who will actually pay her for the ‘privilege’ of being such. In most cases, men who form relationships with single mothers that result in cohabitation or marriage find themselves dead last on the totem pole, and actually rank lower than the family dog or cat. Part of the reason for this is that men who enter into such relationships are merely invitees and functionaries who can be easily disposed of when they cease to be of any use to the single mother or her family.

    Another issue is that children frequently hate their step-parents. This is because they harbour fantasies that someday, somehow, ‘mummy and daddy will get back together again, and everything will be like the way it once was’, and to try to realize that fantasy, they will try to sabotage and obstruct the single parent any way they can. In short, as a step-father or just partner of the mother’s children, your presence is often deeply resented, and you are seen as a threat. Many a man has found himself leaving a single mother’s household because of this very problem.

    Finally, single-mother households are frequently chaotic places. Because there is no strong or consistent male presence in the household, discipline problems are frequent, and trouble with the law, school and other authority figures is potentially a constant. This happens because women are not very good at being disciplinarians as they lack the gravitas and threat of force and consequences that men can display without even lifting so much as finger. The other reason is that single mothers are loath to damage or break up the dyadic bond they develop with their children in which boundaries are porous, and the mother tries to be a friend or super-mummy to her children in a vain attempt to compensate for the lack of a father or male presence in the household.

    Contributing to the chaos, confusion and instability is the more or less constant parade of men who enter the mother’s life and don’t stay.

    No sane man should ever get involved with a single mother, as there is very little and usually nothing to be gained. More to the point, single men who have no children of their own should not get involved as they don’t have the experience to know how to deal with manipulative children.

  12. I thought about it and I’m really not interested in a single mom. Divorced, or never married. I have dated some single moms in the past. All were pretty, but I learned I will not be number 1, and the horror stories of men who marry a single mom who go through divorce? Shelling out money for another mans orgasims? Sure, every single mom is angel.

  13. Stumbled across this site not so much by accident but searching for answers. As a bit of background, I am 52 yrs old and a white collar professional/executive business owner with a occupation that requires a great deal of travel. I have no children and was briefly married 20+ yrs ago. I was recently involved with a single mom, with one daughter (Age 20). When we met via an online dating site, she portrayed her daughter as responsible and directed in life. Reality quickly diverged from her fantasy. Upon meeting her daughter, I almost immediately discerned she had no direction, was self-absorbed, irresponsible and a liar. Typical millennial. However, I had deep feelings for the Mother and thought I could suck it up and try after all, we are all works in progress and no one and no situation is ideal or perfect. After some time, she asked would I move in her house and I agreed. Upon moving in, I frequently voiced my displeasure with the daughters constant lying and disrespectful behavior, which was the source of continual argument between the mother and I. I grew up in a very chaotic household as an only child with a very irresponsible single Mother parent, so I am extremely sensitive to dysfunction and very self-reliant (worked to put myself through private high school and college). As such, work ethic is important to me. The arguing got to the point that it began to affect our intimacy and harsh words once said can’t be taken back, things deteriorated further. However, I continued to contribute to the Mother financial. I helped fix up the house, which I had no economic interest in, replaced appliances, floors and painted the interior and exterior of the house. It was virtually a total makeover. Never received any appreciation for my contribution nor understanding of the travel issues related to my profession and the toll that takes on me. In any event, after constant arguing we decided to go to counseling and in session I told her and the therapist that I had no doubt that in short time the daughter would be pregnant as she constantly dated loser guys and was a party girl. I was vehemently shouted down by both Mother and therapist for my “prediction”. Sure enough within 3 months the daughter was pregnant! Within a month I moved out but was blamed for not accepting the “joyful” situation. I attempted to remain cordial as well as helpful to Mother and daughter throughout the pregnancy as well as the Mother’s medical issues. Mother had some surgery and I shut down business travel for one month to be local to help her recover, which cost me $10,000 in lost business. Again no appreciation. Let me add, I was NOT sleeping with her (no physical intimacy) for 3 yrs but still helping. Moreover, I had no desire to do so but I was trying to be a “friend”. In retrospect, I should have avoided this single Mother but I have learned a painful (still very hurt) lesson. I see now it was ALL about money. She wanted HELP because she was tired of handling everything by herself and here I was a nice guy who was successful. Like most con jobs, the victim becomes more angry at themselves than the perpetrator. I guess that’s where I am now. Angry. No more single moms for me.

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