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Do Guys Like Single Moms?

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: After my dad died, I started wondering what it would be like if something happened to my husband and I became a single mom. No one looks in my direction when I have my 9-month-old in my arms, so I wondered how hard it would be to meet someone new.

mom with kids
I mean, I can tell you right now that the stretch marks on my breasts and my C-section scar are not selling points. Not to mention the fact that I can never shower long enough to shave my legs. So I decided to start asking people. A few of my guy friends said they wouldn't care if a potential date were a single mom because it was no big deal or they had always wanted to adopt. One friend said, "At least we know she has sex."

But a few others said, "Absolutely not." They don't want to have to deal with someone else's kids. I asked a few single moms about it, and they said they absolutely had a hard time dating. Having a kid brings up all sort of dating challenges: How to tell the guy about the kid; when to introduce the kid to the guy; what if the kid gets attached to the guy and you break up ....

I watched my mom struggle with this with her last boyfriend, and when they finally ended their eight-year relationship, she realized it was a loss for my little brother as well. She even offered him the chance to call the guy and say goodbye. 

You see people like Reese Witherspoon dating with kids, but you wonder: Is it because guys really don't care, or is it because she is Reese Witherspoon? All of those girls on "Teen Mom" are dating up a storm, too; however, I don't think their teenage boyfriends are really looking to settle down yet. 

Being a stepparent is a huge deal. It can be really hard and really rewarding. But hearing "You're not my real dad! I don't have to listen to you!" can take a toll on any relationship. So I wonder how hard it would be as a widowed/divorced mom to meet someone new. I mean, my baby is cute. I could put a "Be My Daddy" T-shirt on her and hang out on a street corner. Other than that, though, how would I even have the time or energy to date? I eat at 5:30 PM. And I am in bed by 7:00 PM.

Single moms, what have you experienced?

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28 comments so far | Post a comment now
Todd J. List October 18, 2010, 3:24 PM

Are single moms dateable?

I’m not a single mom, but I have dated a few. My experiences have generally been good. It seems that desirable women (regardless of whether they have kids) in my age range are rare.

I’m a (very) part-time single dad, and step-sibling compatibility would be a factor for any long-term relationship.

bel October 18, 2010, 3:25 PM

I’m a 20 yr old divorced single mother. I’ve been divorced for 6 months but seperated for a 1. I have yet to find a date. I really hope I can start dating soon.

Lee October 18, 2010, 7:07 PM

Ok my opinion is a very negative one I had a guy I dated (I am a divorced single mom) tell me that I would always have to settle because guys don’t like single moms and that I would never find a good guy that was “good enough” for me and up to my standards because of being a mom. Yea, this guy was good to my son but lol not good enough for me his words not mine. And he also said that the only time I’d find a good enough guy (he was referring to looks) was if they wanted a booty call. Of course I’m not with him anymore but lol I wonder myself if good men real honest men would think bout dating a single mom I hope so….But that’s just my experience with a jerk

Bre Johnson October 18, 2010, 7:56 PM

I am a single mom, never married and now in a culture where most women my age(24) and with a child(16m) are married I find that I don’t catch a second glance. I had a coworker ask me once about “hooking up” and when I let him down about how I was waiting for a guy in church he told me that that guy would never approach me because he would be “scared” of me. So far so true. I haven’t been on a date in YEARS.

Susan October 19, 2010, 3:08 AM

I’m not judging, but I’m wondering if dating is a wise priority when your child is a baby.
I was kind of surprised to read this post and find the emphasis was on the single mom of very young children. Then again, I am a single mom of kids who are 12, 15, & 18, and I’m 46, so I was hoping to read this and have it resonate. Oh well… :-)

I have dated in the four years since my divorce.. And the reasons things haven’t worked out between me and the men I have seen have had less to do with kids, more to do with chemistry and good-fit. I think that might be one of the major differences between a single mom of younger kids and one with older kids. That and the fact that you don’t need a babysitter anymore. :-) Still I do think the older you both are, the more likely it is that someone is looking for a travel buddy and I am not at that point in my life. Why? Because of the kids!!! :-D
Either way, good luck! It’s kinda tough out there!

k October 19, 2010, 8:35 AM

I have been separated for 6 months now and have met many men thus far who do not seem to mind the fact that I’m a mom. I’ve also met plenty of men who are completely turned off by it. I think it depends on what the guy is looking for first and if he’s not interested in having children at any point in the near future, why waste your time looking at him anyway…YOU HAVE A KID!

I think it’s also important for the woman to make sure to prove that she has an independent life. If a mom goes out with a guy and talks only about her kid/s that’s going to be boring, her identy is not and should not be solely her child.

Anonymous October 19, 2010, 9:33 AM

I’m 31 years old. I have been divorced for 1 year. At that time my daughter was 7 years old. Dating was a breeze for me. I met a new guy had a baby and things did not work out for us. My daughter is 9 months old and 8 years old and guys are still approaching me.

I think as long as you look good and don’t let yourself go, guys don’t mind at all. They do mind when you look tired and beat up. Buy if you are a hot mama, they come to you like flies. So ladies, take care of yourself and make sure your looks are just as great as a single women without kids. My ex husband and ex boyfriend only wish they had a piece of this :-) Happy dating.

Anonymous October 19, 2010, 9:40 AM

Why don’t women mind when men have 5 kids or more and we are so concern about them thinking about us with kids??? bias bull if you ask me. I personally hate men with all the baby momma dramas! Do women mind men with kids should be the question!!!

Claire October 19, 2010, 6:05 PM

Personally, my experiences in the single-mom dating field have been great, after I divorced my first husband, the guys came like water-they wouldn’t stop coming. Now I’m engaged to a wonderful man who is great to my kids as well.

Jazzie October 20, 2010, 3:30 AM

I don’t what’s running inside the minds of men who likes single mom. I got a lot of suitors but I don’t wanna make another mistake.

Sandra October 22, 2010, 6:45 PM

I’ve met one guy who became my boyfriend since I’ve been a single mom. No one else seems interested. I get asked all the time by any and every one “Why are you single?” because apparently I’m so beautiful, intelligent, well educated, fun, and a dozen other adjectives to describe the great person that I am. Yet no bites. I see single mothers hooking up left and right of me. Wasn’t there a royal in Europe who recently wed a single mother? So I don’t really know what the catch is. Am I exempt from the lucky single mom pool? I only have one. Kudos to all of you who find the special someone. As for me…we’ll see.

gravura metal October 24, 2010, 12:40 PM

Hay my friend . Why dont you add facebook badge on your blog ? Thanks Good luck

Bonnie. November 13, 2010, 3:44 PM

All the factors are true. Sometimes a single mom has to be a dime and then some to be able to compete with non- mother single women in the dating field, and of course its harder for a single mother to find love or a suitable partner because no matter what, a single mother will always look for in the interest of their child. I know some say that when you date (as a single mom) you shouldn’t take your children with you, (hypothetically) but lets be realistic, we do, because that potential date may became your child’s potential step father. And that’s when we become picky of the men we want to date, and that’s also when we feel sort of guilty of setting our expectations too high and we settle for what ever comes our way, which usually doesn’t really work out in the end for anybody. I think single moms (like myself) need to balance things out, first of all we shouldn’t feel guilty when we expect a potential men to qualify for our expectations, and im not talking about the fairytale ones, Im talking about the bare necessities lol Love for you and your kids, understanding, and team work. aside from any background check =/ but seriously a single mom should also say straight up sooner than later about their kids, so the guys true intentions come out, now of course not all men are like that, some just want to get “some” and they’ll say anything a vulnerable dating again single mom wants to hear. We single mothers need to show independence but not so much that a men can sit around and do nothing while you take care of your own kids, because they are “your kids”.. no, just a little enough to say i can do it on my own but if you are willing to back me up, we can both get much more accomplished.
It also takes a real men to carry on the responsibility of taking care of another mans child, and even though society has portrayed most men to be jerks, but trust me good men do still exist in the world, so for all those single mothers out there, don’t let them choose you, you are allowed to choose them, just remember to follow your motherly instinct.

julie  November 21, 2010, 10:55 PM

I am a 31 year old educated single mother of a beautiful 18 month old as her father and I never married, and split when I was 7 months pregnant. I now live in FL and he lives in Ca so, other than a couple weeks here and there, I do it all alone. Recently started dating someone I went to high school with who is 29 and no kids nor does he have any desire for any. Problem he seems to have is that my daughter is of mixed race and the three of us together, well lets just say its obvious this is not her father…He hasn’t come right out and said that bothers him, but I know its a problem. Any other mothers have a situation like this? I’m afraid the tension about it is going to be the end before it begins which stinks because he and I are very much alike and grew up together…

Eligible Frank December 1, 2010, 1:40 PM

I am a 30 something, never married, no kids male. I have dated enough single moms to make the following recommendation.
As many single moms do not want to be stereotyped or painted with a broad brush, please try to refrain from doing this to the men who date you.
Additionally, do not hold them to a ridiculous standards or make them jump through hoops to exorcise the demons of your ex, baby daddy or some pool boy who treated you like crap.
I know that many will disagree, but I can only give you the view of an eligible bachelor. A single guy makes just as big a sacrifice when dating you as you do to him. More often than not, the single moms I have dated do not want anymore children, so if you are a guy like me who genuinely would like to have a child, you are giving up a lot for someone else. Don’t scare him off by making him pay for the sins of others.

Katie December 1, 2010, 7:30 PM

My situation is not really the “norm” I guess, but I am a single mom to a 3.5 year old girl. Her father and I separated when she was 8 months old and the divorce finally ended this past September…after 2.5 years of separation.

During our separation, I had a few relationships. The first with an old boyfriend who seemed to want a pre-made family, but then wasn’t quite ready for the responsibilities. The second was with a guy I grew up with who hadn’t changed much maturity wise since we were in elementary school. But the last is the one I’m with to this day. He and I dated before I met my ex husband, but he joined the air force and the distance was just too much for us. He’s out now and we’ve been together two years.

I’m not sure what my life would have been like if I hadn’t reconnected with my boyfriend because I didn’t have a lot of interest from guys because of my kid, and I was extremely cautious about introducing anyone to my daughter…even though she was still a baby when I started dating again. Add to that the fact that up until about a month ago, my ex was still begging me to come back to him. It would have been really difficult to maintain any semblance of a relationship with someone totally new to my life and circumstances. Since my boyfriend and I had dated before, and since we had kept in touch off and on after our break up, he was prepared for the situation and was able to offer support to me in ways he knew I needed. Over the time we’ve been together, he and my daughter have increased their bond and she adores him, but she can differentiate between him and her “real” daddy. He’s been slowly moving into a more prominent caregiver role, but since we do not live together, he doesn’t see her as often as we both would like. Still, I’m glad that we’ve kept their relationship progress at a slower pace to protect my daughter and to ease my boyfriend into a bigger role in her life.

I also consider myself lucky because my boyfriend understands many of the constraints I have on my free time because of my daughter. I had to move back in with my father due to the substantial amount of debt my ex left me in and while I just recently was promoted from part time to full time, I’m still not able to afford a babysitter so I can only go out when my daughter is with her father or a family member is willing to watch her. Guys I dated before took issue with this as they wanted to be more spontaneous, but my boyfriend has been amazing in his willingness to either come visit me at home or include my daughter in our outings. He also respects that in addition to having time constraints because of my daugther, I’m also limited in time due to work and going back to school.

So, in my situation, dating is possible, but as I said, I don’t consider my situation “normal” because I reconnected with an old flame instead of trying to figure out a new relationship with all I have going on in my life. Still, I think it’s possible to find guys who are willing to date single moms, but as others have said, we moms have to be careful to make sure we understand their true intentions.

Rob December 8, 2010, 1:32 PM

I was dating a woman for 1 year 4 months. I have two kids she has one. I love this woman more than anything. Her son and I don’t get along well because she won’t discipline him in front of me, and will take a nice little walk with him to have a private talk. I will discipline my kids in front of her so my kids know that she has authority. Over time her son and I are having more and more conflict. I turn the radio down he turns it right back up. He is 7. He doesn’t want to do work when I ask him to do it, but my kids are required to do it anyway. Or he won’t share and mine will. As a result of her son not being happy, because of course I am the bad guy, she stopped dating me. Actually she said she doesn’t love me, which is easier that bringing up the real issue. So her son wins out. I offered to work out the issue and compromise and she doesn’t want to talk about it. Father like son, and the boys dad lives in a real camper at his fathers house, because he is not required or motivated to work, so I wonder what will happen to the little boy as he grows. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My kids are not unwilling like that, they get up an work or I make them get up and work. Which the boy does what his money wants but not when someone else asks him to do stuff.
I was willing to make so many chances for this woman and little boy. I love them so much and I have lost 25 pounds trying to deal with this, she won’t talk to me any more.
Who thinks she will be back in a few months? Please tell me what you think

Brizzle December 16, 2010, 8:06 PM

Well I am a single young mother to an almost 3 yr old daughter. I’ve dated a few different men, and some were my age and others 5-10years older. Now I haven’t really looked for a relationship for my own personal reasons but the men I had were all very supportive and didn’t just want me for a “booty call”.
Only one man didn’t have any children and he wanted the very best for us. Another was looking to settle down and well I honestly think in this new day and age having kids from another person is honestly normal. :/
One thing i can’t seem to get past is how to gain that trust because i dont trust anyone.

jim December 25, 2010, 6:58 AM

All the single moms i’ve met tend to be on the more loose side of the tracks, so i can say i would never date one again.

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