August 28, 2016

Dating as a Single Mom.

mom mother parenting

There are things that a single mom needs in this world. Things like…

(a) a husband,
(b) a father figure for her children,
(c) another income earner (sometimes a sole income earner),
(d) a babysitter or
(e) all of the above.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

We can pay our own damn bills, thank you very much!

There are several obstacles to dating as a single mom, obstacles like finding child care, being able to afford child care and dating while keeping said children in child care the number one priority.

Sadly, another obstacle that single moms face is the assumption that we’re looking for any or all of the above.

I cannot count the number of times a dating interest has made a comment to clarify his income, ability to support me or his ability to interact well with my children. I’ve even had a few casually toss out that they wouldn’t mind step-parenting. Several have even gone so far as to ask me to clarify my income situation.

Perhaps all of these statements simply result from the awkwardness of dating a single parent. I don’t know. I’ve never been a single parent before. I do know, however, that those who ask for specifics on my income get shown the door. Additionally, most single moms are not out there in the dating world looking for any of the aforementioned list.

Those of us who aren’t looking wouldn’t necessarily object to finding someone who we may fall in love with and want to marry. There’s not even an objection to finding an eventual father-figure. But that’s not our primary mission in life. And it’s insulting that, so often, it seems like there’s a picture being painted that we are, in fact, looking for these things and these things alone.

As a matter of fact, most of us are already holding down the fort on our own. We’re paying our bills and supporting our children. We’re working and living full lives without a partner, and if we’re interested in sharing even a small portion of that life with you, then please don’t make the assumption that we’re doing it out of co-dependence. Quite the contrary.

Many of us are dating because we’re looking for basic human companionship, a hand to hold, someone to tell about our experiences and to share a connection. We’re looking for someone who can make us laugh, who makes us feel cherished. We’re seeking out someone who enriches our lives, not someone who provides us with some kind of material riches. We’re in search of affection, intimacy, chemistry. We’re not looking for someone to rescue us. We don’t, in fact, need rescuing. We love our beautiful lives!

Our lives are made complicated by our responsibilities, but we’re not looking for a prince on a white horse. We don’t need to live in the castle. We’re not Cinderella—even if we feel that way at the end of a long day when we face the ever-daunting, ever-growing, wicked laundry pile.

We’re looking for a relationship that makes us feel like the belle of the ball, but we don’t need all the trappings that come with that. We’d prefer being showered with attention over jewels. We’d prefer the gift of your time far more your money. While we fully expect to be treated like a queen, we’re not your material girls. We’re grown women who work hard to take care of our families, and we’re just looking for a relationship that will make our full lives even better.

Chivalry may not be dead, but it may be a lost art. Please don’t mistake chauvinism for chivalry. Open the doors. Pay for the dinner. Show us that you value us for the beautiful souls that we are.

But don’t ask to see our most recent pay stub. Don’t comment that we need you because we’re parenting alone. And don’t plan the wedding quite yet.


Author: Crystal Jackson

Image: Flickr

Editor: Emily Bartran

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