I was a single mom for a good chunk of my adult life. If you recall, I gave birth to my boy when I was about 19 years old. His dad and I split up soon thereafter. Being a single mom has it’s highs and lows. But I found that one of the biggest challenges was dating. Yep, dating a single mom: it’s complicated!
For starters, there’s a whole other life to think about, which is sometimes hard for guys to understand. Single mom does not mean “single heart”. In fact, there should be an unspoken rule of the universe: Never break a single mom’s heart!
As a single mom, you have so much to consider – a deeper sense of responsibility and demand. There is simply no time to play relationship games or nurse a broken heart. You are everything to your child! And, as a functioning parent, planning what’s for supper, how to make a human skeleton out of toothpicks and making sure that there are clean shirts for school, seriously takes priority over ‘crying yourself to sleep because he broke up with you AGAIN’.
With that said, gentlemen, when you play mind games with a single mother you are messing with more than just one heart. If you’ve been fortunate enough to be around her kid/s, you kind of have a responsibility to not treat their mom like an old shoe. I’m not saying force yourself to make it work – but heyo, be a gentleman. Having manners is for free. Bow out respectfully and hey, better yet, if you’re not in it to win it, then don’t tap in at all. Do you know what sucks worse than a broken heart? Having to tell your kid why Uncle So-and-So didn’t greet him at the shopping mall today. Kids don’t get it. And they most certainly don’t deserve it.
And if she doesn’t allow just anyone around her kid, that’s okay too! You know the kid is there. They exist. They aren’t going anywhere. Don’t make senseless, selfish demands, as if she has all the time in the world to spend with you. You are not her everything. Maybe you can claim a top spot on her list of priorities one day when you put a ring on it . But until then, recognize that this amazing super woman has a lot more than you on her mind. Encourage her, support her and applaud her.
And anyways, breaking up is harder when you’re a single parent. You don’t have the freedom to take your mood out on those around you – because chances are “those around you” are your kids. You don’t get to lie in bed for days on end, refusing to function because the hurt is unbearable. And you don’t have the space to allow ‘drama’ into your world. Your child’s stability comes first. Your baby’s mental and emotional well being is more important.
What worked for me? Well, I met an amazing man who was interested in being my friend FIRST, which made room for us (my son and I) to befriend him as a family. This guy took the time to get to know us, as a unit and individually, and he genuinely cared. No strings attached! No promises! No demands! I ended up marrying him.
So maybe you’re a single mom and you don’t want to sound like a desperate, needy “I’m not dating unless it’s serious” kind of girl. But hey, guess what, treating your heart (and your children’s lives) with the highest respect, IS serious business. You are a package – a bonus deal, if you will. It’s a beautiful thing! Treat it as such and you will unconsciously give others permission to do that too.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying that single mom’s hearts deserve more looking after than that of other women’s. We should all be treated with dignity and respect. But this one is for the babymamas.