Originally Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:48 AM as a gift to you from Professor Ashur
Before you start chewing on our lovely guest blogger, I wrote that headline. As a single man without children, I have seen and heard that comment many times in real life and in the online dating profiles of single moms. I will admit that reading or hearing it gets my hackles up a bit, so in the interest of clarity and female mindset visibility, Professor Mentu and I have invited a single mom to comment from her perspective.
A friend of the faculty writes:
At the request of Professors Mentu and Ashur and against my better judgment, I’m going to wade deep into the waters of the manosphere, open myself up for criticism, and write a post from a single mother’s perspective. I’m going to talk about what a single mom is looking for in a relationship with a man, then offer a few words of caution and encouragement. I realize that many of you gentlemen are not interested in dating single moms, and if that’s the case, you can skip this post.
But for those of you who are open to the idea and willing to pursue a relationship with a woman who has children, let me share with you a little about the mind and the heart of a single mom. One of the first issues that comes up when a single mom starts to date is the question of her what her priorities are.
As a single mom, it really is a challenge to divide affection and attention between your children, who are your own flesh and blood, and a boyfriend.
The first piece of advice I would give to any man who is interested in dating a single mother with small children is to bond with her children.
Obviously, there is a huge difference between dating a single mom seriously versus just going for the “pump and dump” or any variation of a short-term lay. If you are only looking for something short-term, there is no shortage of lonely single mothers looking for a ‘sponsorship” and/or male validation and companionship. Many women (myself included) go through a period where their self-esteem is at an all-time low and they need male companionship (read: sex) to feel desirable again.
If you seek a long term relationship with a single mom, the best way to “get in” with her is to make an effort to really get interested and involved in the lives of her children: their extracurricular activities, their school (help with homework if possible) and talk to them about whatever it is they are interested in. Once you bond with the kids, a mom won’t be able to help but fall for you (if she hasn’t already).
This scenario assumes that you, the single man, don’t have your own children. If you do, then by all means, get the kids together (Brady Bunch style) and do family outings and try to get the kids to be friends if possible.
Now you may be wondering (especially those of you without kids) how you can do fun stuff like going out to a nice restaurant for dinner without the kids, have a movie and cuddle night (and of course sex with no kids around) and everything else most couples get to enjoy. You can and should have all that. It’s just a matter of juggling the priorities. Try to be understanding when the last minute cancellations come up- Timmy has a fever or Susie has a last minute softball game; she doesn’t want to cancel, she has to cancel.
This doesn’t mean being a doormat, however. If her kids are disrespectful, you don’t have to stand for that. You are not their father; however, the kids should be aware that they need to treat you with respect. The best thing you can do in that situation is to talk to your girlfriend and come up with a plan of how to talk to the kids about how their behavior needs to change. Most of the time (and of course, depending on ages) children will adapt to a stepfather gradually and see him as a friend. This assumes that the children have an involved father in their lives. For those who don’t, the children will get attached more quickly and view you as their potential new dad.
If the children are disrespectful and you don’t see it changing, you’re really going to have to consider whether or not it’s worth it to stick around. A good single mom has her kids well-behaved before she starts dating because she knows that most men don’t want to have to deal with bratty, spoiled children who aren’t even their own.
As many single fathers will tell you, dating with children is not easy. There are many added stressors that come with dating a single mom or a single dad. But there’s also an upside. From my perspective as a single mom and being friends with many other single moms, here are some words of caution and encouragement.
1. Regardless of what they say, many single moms are looking to snag a provider for themselves and their children. A single mom and a single girl without children have the same nature, but a single mom has more at stake, so she’s more likely to ramp up the manipulation. The good news is most single moms show their colors in a few months, so you can weed this type out pretty quick.
2. Check the laws of your state and make sure you’re aware of your exposure. In Professor Mentu’s state, if he provides shelter for a child for 36 consecutive hours, he’s legally obligated to continue providing that shelter and would need a court order to remove a single mother and her child from his own residence. For privacy reasons, I won’t talk about my state, but the laws are similar. Single moms enjoy many more resources and educational opportunities than single men, so rest assured she knows the law much better than you do and will have access to many more free services than you will if there’s a matter that must be settled by the courts. In a handful of states, this applies even if she doesn’t have children.
3. Say what you want about the nature of women and if/when they deserve negative treatment. But remember those children – even though they’re not your responsibility – will get attached to you fast. A promise made to a single mother can be rightfully recalled if she doesn’t live up to her side of the bargain, but those children are innocent bystanders. There’s not much you can do if you have to leave, just be aware that your actions (regardless of how justifiable they are) have lasting effects on children who are already paternally disadvantaged. Yes, this may be 100% the mother’s fault, and no, you should never stay with a single mother for the sake of children that aren’t even yours, just be aware of the situation.
1. Under the right circumstances, an instant family can bring instant satisfaction to a man who desires fatherhood but for whatever reason does not have children.
2. While even I admit many of my single mom friends are delusional, the right single mom will love and adore you in ways a woman without children cannot. In time, that affection and fierce protection she has for her children will be applied to you, and she’ll stand by you like no one else.
3. For all the blowhard woman-bashing misogynistic game talk Professor Mentu posts here at UMan (Ashur and I can both assure you that his game is rather impressive) his world absolutely stops and he turns in to a teddy bear when he gets a Skype invite from a certain 6 year old girl in Houston. She’s not his child, but you would never know it. Player or not, many men find value in influencing and guiding the next generation.
Hope this helps for any of you gentlemen who are interested in single moms. I’m sure Professor Mentu has something to add to this in his follow-up post. [Two archived posts away]
Thanks for reading.
-A friend of the faculty