Can single moms afford to join the hookup culture that made us single in the first place?

A lot is being written lately about our “hook-up culture” and how great it is for women. In summary, women today are just as free as men to have casual sex, and — turns out — this is good for women because it means we get some booty while delaying marriage and children, which is good for our careers and Fidelity portfolios. Hana Rosin wrote an article in The Atlantic on this phenomenon, “Boys on the Side,” (excerpted from her new book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women), where she writes: “To put it crudely, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture.”

I find this reporting fascinating and relevant, and in general, give all my sisters a big high-five (except that this argument ignores that fact that our hookup culture also leads to women crying into their pillows and taking out second mortgages to finance IVF treatments because all that delaying means THEY CAN’T GET PREGNANT at age 47. Or that it opened the door for all all of us to be single moms, for that matter. All of which is fodder for a future post. Or Ken Burns series.).

I recently split from my boyfriend of one year, and it can feel sad and lonely to be truly partnerless. And when I read about all this hooking up, I’ll admit it’s tempting. Just sayin’. The other day my brother said, “Why don’t you just go out on some casual dates?” Even if that were my style, the reality is: I can’t afford it.

Sure, I could get together the cash to pay a sitter, wax my junk and buy whatever the kids are wearing these days. My kids won’t die if I go out once a week. But the emotional, time, energy –and yes, financial — investment that is required to sip some Portland microbrew I’m supposed to be familiar with next to some dude who I’m 100 percent sure I never want to see again (despite brags of hedge fund earnings) is just too steep.

Now, partly, this is just me. Some people find it thrilling to chat up strangers — even have sex with them — and they may be better women than I am. Even when I was totally single in my 20s, I just couldn’t get excited by casual dating — for me it’s all or nothing. Either we totally hit it off at the party and I CANNOT wait to see you again (and I’m pretty certain you feel the same), or, honestly, we can participate in a Twitter follow 69 and call it a day. Likewise, your OKCupid profile better have me envisioning you ripping my clothes off with your teeth and playing Candy Land with my kids (not at the same time, duh!), or honestly, don’t even try to IM me. Because even innocuous digital blather costs me precious time and energy I could spend hanging out with my kids or making money or just reading — an actual book. In other words, the connection has to be close to fireworks if it is worth missing tucking my kids in that evening.

While Rosin goes into detail about how most women (and men) outgrow hooking up as they seek serious relationships, the paradigm seems to be exaggerated for single moms — women whose time, emotional and often financial resources are especially precious. The reality is that most single moms work more hours outside of the home to make up for their now-lower income. As a result of this, plus any shared custody or visitations with the ex, she sees her kids less than if she were married to said ex. And while this lesser time may sit just fine with some moms (again- better women than me!), that is not usually the case. If you are like me, you feel guilty that your kids have less time with one or both parents, and by default, feel guilty for casually dating.

Even  if the occasional hookup is totally fun. Just sayin’.



11 thoughts on “Can single moms afford to join the hookup culture that made us single in the first place?

  1. My sentiments exactly, girlfrang. It seems like the pool of available men for me has been drained and I’m left with the mosquito infested MUCK at the bottom. I dont have the time, energy or patience for casual dating. Another vote for “all or nothing” over here!

  2. Glad this resonates, but let me clarify – I actually feel there are lots of wonderful men out there. I’m just not into sitting through a slew of boring dates to find one.

  3. I am just content being lonely right now, It gives me space to think about my future and my daughter. I really dont need a man to complete, what I need is my own consciousness and sanity and men I have found take that away.

    1. Hi Blessings – I like and agree with the perspective of using lonely time to think and plot for the future. That is so important to gain clarity, then make good decisions — so many people want the quick fix to loneliness and make bad relationship decisions as a result.

  4. i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditionalspellhospital for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he traditionalspellhospital casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you traditionalspellhospital for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

  5. You will find men who will F you no prob, but men know to avoid women with high mileages on their vaginas. Like Luke said they lose the ability to “bond” with you. If you’re a woman’s first she’ll never forget about you. If she’s been F’ed by 20 guys she’ll toss you aside without a second thought. No thanks.

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