Good morning, noon, evening or dead of the night depending on where upon planet Earth you are accessing the web and in turn my writing (if you are reading this).
I am going to get into a potentially sensitive and explosive topic but hear me out until the end before you slam down the lid of your laptop or close out the browser page on your smart phone or computer. I know there are tons of daytime talk shows with females as their targeted demographic and also a boatload of women’s magazines (in print and online). The majority of these segments and pieces is to empower and support women – married or single. I get that. Now to jump out of the plane with my homemade parachute and hope I do not splat to ground at an incredible rate of speed.
In these format outlets, there are varying pieces (usually from the female perspective) on how to find a good man, how to stretch your budget, how to give yourself (or friends) a winning makeover and on and on. I am going to take a spin at one very specific topic deep in the vein.
Dating a single mom.
A hush has fallen and the tension level has risen. Most of the pieces on dating a single mom are very informative and are firmly up on the high horse for the single mom’s side. The single mom has to provide enough love for her child(ren) as compensation for two parents. In addition, she has to balance her life while trying to cover all the bases for her child(ren). So any guy coming into her life better be the best of Prince Charmings with nothing but the most honorable of intentions (few guys do, let’s be honest).
Single moms are basically regular women with alot on their plate plus another plate or two spinning while standing on one foot. A mom first, a provider/protector next and then everything else afterwards. So any guys who edge into the picture are either wolves trying to butter her up for a potential hit and run or are decent guys wanting to try to see if they can break into all those mother/child(ren) selfies.
What am I talking about? Look at her phone or social media account. Check out how many pictures she has with her son or daughter. What does that have to do with the prices of wind chimes in Northern Japan? That little person is number one in their life. If they have multiple children, then they are #1, 2, 3, etc or all co-number ones. Still not follow?
In most traditional boy and girl relationships (sorry gay couples I am not excluding you intentionally, I am just making a generalized point) the girl and boy fall in love and possibly start a family. In a perfect world, for the boy the girl is number one (priority) and vice-versa. Once a child is born, sometimes the dynamic changes and child may usurp the number one standing for one or both of the parents. In those couples, they can experience some loss of intimacy and the relationship is altered. OK so this is my hack take on why so many marriages change and erode over time.
So what does this have to do with dating a single mom? Putting aside all the old fashioned do’s and don’t’s for dating that seem to not exist anymore – when a guy engages a single mom for dating, seeking friends with benefits or to build a long-term relationship – he is walking in looking at the number two spot in her heart (at best).
I am sensing some hackles raising. Please let me finish. In the traditional relationship (without kids on either side), generally the woman may have strong emotional ties with a friend or parent that eventually gets surpassed by the (different) love shared by a man and woman (just my opinion and experience). Obviously that does not mean that their feelings in those other arenas are inconsequential, but that new, raw feeling forges a very strong connection. But with dating a single mom, her first priority (as it should be) lies with her child(ren). So it takes a strong and dedicated kind of guy to open up and try to make the single mom and her child(ren) part of his family. It takes a tremendous amount of humility to walk into that situation knowing you are not that person’s emotional universe but just a portion.
Typically another pitfall walking into a relationship with a single mom is her ultra-thick defenses. She is typically on her guard (for BS) as she is not only trying to protect herself but also her child(ren).
In this world of on-line cheating sites, secret chatting apps and network of hook-up options – the single mom and women in general are being preyed upon by single (and not so single) guys looking to work some game and get some pix or hook-ups under false pretenses. Admittedly I am from a different generation and take some pause about the lengths guys will go to when trying to manipulate women into sexual conversations and the exchange of explicit images and ultimately hook-ups.
I know I delved a bit into the pitfalls a single mom has to navigate when looking for a partner in life but I was really trying to give a bit of the good guy perspective. When he (the good guy) is being bombarded by all these articles: 21 Ways for a single mom to see if he really is a keeper or a sneaker; or 10 Things every guy wanting to date a single mom must do before the first date; or The Bill of Rights when it comes to dating a single mom. Yes we should value the single mom, but if she is really worth dating you should value her whether she has a child or not.
I am not going to get into a checklist of things for the single mom to look for in a guy because there are so many players out there using so many angles to ‘get what they want’. Instead, I would just say to trust your gut and pay attention. If the (new) guy you are talking to does nothing but turn everything into a come on or an angling for sexual activity especially only really late at night then he is probably looking for something flitting and not long term.
So tying this in back to my current situation, I have been dating and living with a single mom for almost two years now. Her son is a sweet kid and obviously the heart of her universe. Like any relationship there have been peaks and valleys. Sometimes the issues involve him and our dynamic and sometimes not. But over the course of time, she has lowered the castle defenses and we are a decent little pseudo family unit. I didn’t need any Wendy Williams help or Cosmo slick pages to find my way to this point. I just relied upon the upbringing my mother instilled in me. My mom is pretty amazing. She didn’t raise a perfect son by any means but I think she did a nice job making me into a decent human that a single mom would like to share her life with and help raise her son.
Unless I get hit by a bus later today, there’s more to this story and I am excited to see how it unfolds.
Have a great week and enjoy whomever in your life makes you happy.