Image 2: [single mom photograph]. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from https://umkhontowesizwe.wordpress.com/page/2/
Image 1: [untitled photograph of man meeting kid]. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/jennifer-maggio/dating-and-the-single-mom.html

Everyone wants to be in a relationship, but there seem to be more reasons to dismiss people than reasons to date them. As hard as it is to be a single woman in today’s dating market; being a single mother is exponentially harder because it brings with it a number of misconceptions, notions and hesitant potential suitors. Men are often hesitant to date women with children for various reasons but two very big reasons stand out the most:

1.    The relationships feel rushed

2.    The baby daddy factor

It feels rushed – Men usually have a timeline of events and scenarios they’d like to experience before settling down and committing; when dating a woman with children, one may end up skipping steps.

“Single mothers are more often looking for a commitment not just to have a good time and see where it goes; their time is not to be wasted.” – (Vina, early 30’s business owner from Freeport)

For men that aren’t fathers or aren’t ready to start a family, it can seem like warp speed. You go from single and free to mingle to restricted; you can’t just show up at their house, pick up and go, or plan a getaway, you need to plan around family, activities or school schedules.

Then there is the financial aspect. The burden of responsibility may not be on him to take care of or raise your child, but any man worth his salt is not going to take care of you and neglect the kid, you should worry about a man that would try. The mother and child/children are a package deal and are inseparable; to take care of one is to take care of the other.

Lastly, there is the attachment. It can become easy to begin to put the child first as if in a marriage if you develop a bond with the child, making it hard to break up; and it’s a deep emotional level that scares some men.

The Baby Daddy Factor – The most popular reason men worry about is the baby daddy factor. We worry about the drama that it could potentially bring. Men worry about how the father will react to another man around his kid; rather he still believes he’s in a relationship with the woman, etc. You can believe you’re single all you want, but does the father still believe you’re his woman? The baby daddy is one extra person you must be at least amicable with in order for your relationship to be successful.

“When it comes to single moms; most men are concerned about the relationship the woman has with the child’s father. Is he about drama? Is he a deadbeat? Will me being in the picture create a difficult situation for the mom and/or the child? Sometimes the fathers of these kids base their support of the child on if the woman is in a relationship. Whenever he presumes that she is in a relationship and happy; he may decide to withdraw support if any.” – Andrew (Mid 30’s, health care exec)

Another thing men worry about is rather the relationship or possibility for a relation. Is it completely over between the mother and father? Many men incorrectly believe they are number two. Additionally, some men have correct or incorrect notions that single mothers are damaged and carrying baggage from earlier relationships.Men don’t wish to try to fix, wait or work through that healing process and be penalized for past men’s mistakes. 

“I first have to attempt to dissect the hurt and pain she went through and make sure she is mentally and spiritually ready for a relationship.” (Frazer, early 30’s, lawyer)

There are a number of things that go through men’s minds when it comes to dating single mothers. But it’s mostly about challenges, maturity and if he is ready to man up to that level yet. It’s a greater challenge for men without kids than men with kids because they have an added worry as to if the woman will want to have any more kids. But in today society being a single parent is not a taboo or a complete deal breaker; after mid 20’s it’s almost expected that one of you will probably have a kid. But keep in mind that at the intersection of these decisions are two other important factors finances and the number of kids you have.

Written By: Johnny Brownlee II

Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath

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