Single mom trend: Whirlwind romances then wedded bliss. What’s up with that?

One day my single mom friend Sarah was telling me about a “panty-wetting first kiss.” The next month, my jaw hit my keyboard when she posted on Facebook a pic of an adorable little girl with the message: “My new daughter.” Within six weeks of meeting a fantastic guy, Sarah was blissfully engaged. A month later, wed.

Sarah is no floozy. She’s a measured, highly educated and successful woman who happened to be a divorced mom. After her marriage ended, Sarah dated for a few years, had some fun and met some duds. Then BAM. End of story.

I’ve noticed the same pattern time and again: Single moms get out of rotten marriages, date around, then meet a wonderful guy with whom they have a very short courtship and then marry. In all the instances I know of personally, they marry very well and happily. How do you explain it?

Honoree Corder, who blogs at The Successful Single Mom, married her husband Byron just 8 months after meeting six years ago. I was chatting with her last week when she chuckled in telling me how her husband teased her for wearing a white blouse stained with BBQ chicken. “I love how you always laugh when you talk about Byron,” I said. “I’m very lucky,” Honoree replied. I could hear her smile through the phone. “Everyone should have a husband like him.” But how does she explain this single-moms-quick-wedded-bliss phenomenon? She told me:

“In my case, it happened because I was a woman of a certain (ahem) age. I had lots of

Honoree and second husband Byron will celebrate their 5th anniversary next month.

Honoree and second husband Byron will celebrate their 5th anniversary next month.

important life experience including a divorce. I also had successful businesses, I’d become a mother, and I had completed all of the post-divorce stages … i.e., I had had fun dating, sexapalooza, and ‘looking for the right one’ dating. Then I got therapy, healed some wounds and got clear about what I wanted. By the time I met my husband, I was not shy about saying what I wanted and asking what he wanted up front to make sure we wanted the same things before we even had a second date.”

Alaina Shearer, who blogs at MsSingleMama.com, and since launched a site for blended families BeautyandtheBiker.com with her new husband, got engaged in six months then eloped in a small family wedding in the couple’s back yard.

Her philosophy about why second-marriage courtships can be so speedy? “It’s easier for single moms to ‘know’ after having experienced the brutal reality of marrying a dick,” says Alaina, who is due with a son in the fall. “We were both divorced, both had kids, and both knew just what we wanted.” They were sure they were meant to be by date No. 3, she told me.

Alaina shares my philosophy that dating as a single mom has huge advantages. She told her readers:  “Single moms have a tremendous advantage over our childless dating counterparts in that we know what we need and what we want. While a childless woman may pick a man because he looks hot in those jeans, a single mother is much wiser and chooses a man because he would make an excellent father and/or husband. Assuming, of course, that she is ready for her next relationship or that she even wants another one at all.”

I wonder if the fact that we are mothers now plays a role. For me, becoming a parent opened up a wellspring of emotions, peace and intuition that no doubt guides me through the minefield of romance. Sarah agrees. “You pay attention to how you communicate with dates, to how to resolve conflicts, to how you interact with each others’ kids,” she said. “You are looking for all those subtle cues when you date someone–all those echoes of your bad relationships. And when they are absent, it builds trust pretty quickly.”For all her wedded bliss, Alaina calls her short courtship “a bad example” and “an exception to the rule” and urges single moms to be very careful in marrying again. After all — while divorce rates for first marriages is between 40 and 50 percent, those figures jump to 60 to 67 percent when least one  spouse has been married once before and to more than 70 percent for third marriages. “Single moms seem especially eager to partner up,” says Honoree, who authored The Successful Single Mom book series. “Often, single moms want to not be a single mom, they want to appear “normal” (whatever that means), or they don’t want to be judged for being a single mom.”

All these wedded single moms offer the same advice for newly single moms: Date around. Have fun (Honoree is a big fan of every divorced mom indulging in a “sexpalooza.” I endorse.). Don’t expect every man to be your husband. Listen to those instincts. In telling me about her new love, Sarah’s words mimicked others I’ve heard: “We both just knew right away.”

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18 thoughts on “Single mom trend: Whirlwind romances then wedded bliss. What’s up with that?

  1. I am in the “fun dating, sexapalooza” stage of being a single parent. I am totally okay with knowing that this is all I want right now. When I tell my married friends this, they look at me strange and say but don’t you want to be married again or have a serious boyfriend. Nope, I am just looking to have some fun, I just got out of an abusive marriage two years ago. I want awkward first dates and fun.

    1. Divorce finally finalized after 7 1/2 months and I am ready for the sexapalooza! Thanks so much for letting me know it’s ok to feel excited about this part.

    2. Yay! Here’s to sexapalooza! (@Honoree – you need to trademark that). I also love that you’re looking forward to “awkward first dates.” Good for you!!!

  2. I am a single ‘divorced’ mom of 6 years now and I have gone through all of the stages of grief, healing, sexapalooza and relishing in my new life alone. I think that we as single moms have that sixth sense of just knowing when it comes to a guy. My radar is working pretty good so far because up until now it’s been all duds… Just waiting for that right one to cross my path :)

    I am so glad that I found you and will bookmark yourblog to follow. I love following Alaina’s blog as well.
    You ladies are awesome!

    1. Welcome, Kelley! One thing I’ll say: a) Don’t ‘wait’ for the right one to cross your path — go out there and have fun figuring out what you want. and b) why stick to just one? Enjoy all the ones you find along the way. If you’re open to my idea that we are but serial monogamists, you agree that there is no soulmate, but lots of wonderful people to enjoy. So, enjoy!

  3. i agree so much with this. i’m a single mom – never married – and i’ve been through most of those stages. now i’m just not looking anymore. if it happens, it happens.

  4. ABSOLUTELY love this article. I have been following Ms. Single Mama since my divorce, almost five years ago. I have crossed the spectrum of dating, sexapalooza, looking for Mr. Right, manbaticals, healing and learning to love myself. GREAT piece!

  5. @Cicily: “manbaticals” LOILL!!!! I just started one TODAY following a date which included this quote: “I just CANNOT make a decision. Today I went shirt shopping and was so overwhelmed I had to call my mom”

  6. Found this blog while searching for information about how my girlfriend should include her children in our relationship. Really liked this article, life truly does begin after divorce. Glad I met a person I could give a “panty wetting kiss.” LOL! Love your humor and your articles. Keepin it real!

  7. Great article … Im a single divorced mum who met a man and have been in an on again off again for 5 years and now pregnant with with his second child and he didnt want anymore children(long story )… Now he had started dating other women and I’m pregnant and devastated. I love sex but now I can’t sleep with him or anyone else … Any advice ?

  8. Ladies, I know how jaded this is going to sound…preface and forewarning. I, too, jumped into the second marriage and blended families quickly after meeting my second husband. Blending families is SUPER tricky. I now know that it is less about forcing two families to become one as it is more about two families co-existing in one home. Be very careful toeing that line of ‘his kids are my kids.’ It is a lovely, heartfelt and honorable thought and shows how much you really love your husband. Just be careful. It is rare that step-parents fall in love with their step kids (and vice versa) within just a few weeks. In fact, it may be downright impossible. My 2nd husband and I ended up divorcing, despite still loving each other very much. Our blended family situation did not work out the way we intended it to. Heartbreaking all around, but the best decision for us all. The best advice I can give a sister who is newly wed and in a blended family situation is to listen to your heart, even if what it is telling you isn’t “pretty” or “rosey” or what society dictates you should be feeling. Talk to experts and others who have been through it, especially the grown children of blended families. I just want you to be happy and avoid having my and my family’s painful experience. Love and blessings to you.

    1. You speak the truth about blended families really being about 2 families co-existing in one home. That will never seem like a great idea to me. Instead a “living apart together” (LAT) arrangement sounds like a far better solution to the 2 family issue. Also easier to unwind it all when the statistically-likely divorce eventually happens.

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