Today’s post is a bit more personal I feel like I have mentioned being in a relationship before on the blog but not often and not in detail. One of the first things my ex-husband said when I told him I no longer wanted to work on the marriage was “no one will want to be with a woman who has a child.” This was something I did not believe (my mother had five children and did not have a hard time getting a man), however, I worried about the type of guy I would attract as a single mother.
We all know it is hard dating as a single parent and it seems like the type of guys that want to date single mothers are a different type. A lot of the guys who talked with me after becoming a mom were only focused on sex. Men tend to get this weird idea that because I already have a child I am just going to have sex with any guy willing. The fact of the matter is for most single mothers (including myself) this is not the case. I am not going to lie it is discouraging.
I have posted about one ex-boyfriend in the past but I have always kept the details of my dating close to the belt. If you have followed the blog, you have read How I became a Single Mother. It was a hard and traumatizing road, and changed how I look at relationships. I am not really a picky or uptight person when it comes to who I date, I kind of go with the flow, but I usually get bored or annoyed after 6 months (that is the average length of my relationships).
Well on today my boyfriend and I hit our one-year anniversary. I am not going to go on about my boyfriend what I am going to do is talk about how as a single mother you can find a great guy. First here are some details to highlight the struggle of dating a single mother.
My boyfriend and I have been on three dates (in a year) alone without my son.
We can go weeks without seeing each other.
We can go a few days and not talk.
Plans get broken OFTEN.
Finding a babysitter sometimes is not worth the effort.
I am still in this alone as a single mother.
Here are four things I have to say to every single mom on finding a good guy.
1) Do not lower your standers. This is something that I found a lot of men wanting single mothers to do. Is dating a single mother hard? Without a doubt, but I have learned that I have to know my son and I are worth the work and any guy unwilling to put in the work is not the guy for us.
2) Don’t make your ex apart of your relationships. If you are dating someone new your ex should not come up often (unless he is active in your child’s life and then try and keep it positive). I realized some guy’s kind of liked the drama of my ex, it made them feel better. I hated my ex always coming up in conversations.
3) Be realistic about what you can give and what you need. With this boyfriend I had learned a bit about what I could and could not do. It is not always easy to say, “I don’t want that” even more so when the other person wants it. However, communication is key if you are both on different pages it is going to cause conflict.
4) Make sure he realizes your child is first. This is something I make clear from day one when dating guys. If Noah gets sick, I will break plans without hesitation. One of the first things my boyfriend said when we started dating was “he understands my son always comes first.” I am very happy he not only knew this but has shown that he understands this.
The things I just listed are going to be something that as a single mom you have to be on top off, but there are a few things that the guys you date must have.
Two things to look for in a guy.
1) The guy you choose to be with should have initiative when it comes to your child. I cannot stress how hard it is to be with someone who wants to not take it upon themselves to interact with your child. You cannot build a relationship between your child and the new guy they have to do that, and it is going to require initiative on his part.
2) He understands he is not replacing dad (this does not apply if you are adopting). A lot of guys think they need to be dad; all I say to that is NO! The guy you are with has to understand another man will always be in the picture when it comes to your child. If he cannot deal with that he is not the right guy for you.
Making it six months, one year, 5, years, 10 years dating, or blending a family is work. However, it is worth it if you put in the work.
What tips would you give on dating to single mothers?
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