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Thread: The final frontier of dating: Single parents.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    The final frontier of dating: Single parents.

    As I am coming to realize my options are comparatively limited (for a variety of reasons) and that the only women who seem to be actively interested in me are single moms, I am considering giving it a real try.

    On the dating sites there are some women who are high matches -- similar tastes, hobbies, lifestyle, etc. But they are single moms. So up until now I have politely declined their interest in me.

    I am definitely becoming more open to dating a single mom.

    So insights, ideas, suggestions, etc. are welcome. Shared experiences would be helpful.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Being a single parent i have to say I am not sure why we are so off limits. I understand your concerns and not wanting to be a daddy, however you are at an age when single parents may have kids that are grown. That is just a person with family in many ways. For myself I dont talk about my kids all the time, I don't have a lot of parent baggage, and I have a lot of specific interests.

    My only advice is to have an open mind. We are all different, our circumstances and experiences are different, so get to know people where they are at. There may be times when it is harder for a single parent to date so know if they are making that effort it is a big deal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    The world of single parents is vast, there is no one monolithic group.

    I would completely avoid mothers with very small children, I cant see how most of them could possibly have time for an outside relationship.

    I would avoid mothers with teen children who create drama (addiction, runaways, etc.) You can suss out that drama factor within a few dates. Same for crazy ex husbands, avoid that situation. The mom gets points for having a good working relationship with her ex.

    I would want someone who has been divorced for a while, say, minimum 3 years. If they have never been married at all, well, I don’t know what to say about that. I guess I would play that by ear, But that reflects a value that is not mine. I think if one has children, one needs to be to be married if living in the United States of America.

    Just because they have children doesn’t mean that they don’t want more so make your position clear, very very clear as you do in all you’ve your dating situations

    I dont think money is very important to you, so the “broke” factor of many single mothers probably will not be a problem. Doing free or nearly free things together would be your goal, I would think.

    I would avoid anyone with big debt, but that is hard to suss out early on. Listen for clues of overspending beyond income, student loan debt, credit card debt, debt to family members who have been “helping out” the single mom.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I am definitely becoming more open to dating a single mom.

    So insights, ideas, suggestions, etc. are welcome. Shared experiences would be helpful.
    When I divorced at 42 I knew if I were in a long-term romantic relationship again, it likely would be with someone who had kids. That wasn't a problem for me beyond the logistics of figuring out where I would fit in. But it did require a little consideration on my part. I seriously dated women with kids who were in college and with kids who were in primary school; women whose exes (the fathers) were actively in the picture and women whose exes were completely out of the picture. Some friends I didn't date were single mothers, as well, and discussed the challenges of dating as a single mom.

    My takeaways:

    - It's a little different if the children are grown up and out of the house, but a single mother will put her kids first. She has to -- in some cases, there is no other parent around. Be prepared for a child's sudden needs (illness, dating breakup, last-minute cupcakes, etc.) to supercede your needs. Understand mom's reticence to introduce you to her kids quickly; most parents do not want to parade an array of "overnight guests" before their kids and they're keenly aware of the message their sleepovers send when they're trying to teach their kids that sex is for committed relationships.

    - Unless the children are very small and you and mom end up as long-term moved-in partners, you are not "dad". Most of these kids already have fathers and, even if they don't, mom has been handling the job long enough that some newbie is not going to step in and take on the role. That's not to say it won't ever happen. But it will be a mutual decision made by the children and by you over time -- and it won't happen if either side does not want it. Clearly if you see the 10-year-old playing with matches and mom is somewhere else, you do something. But a lot of the rest of childrearing will be off-limits to you unless you are invited to participate. I say that as the grandpa who did not have either parent to our grandkids, but as the one who's far more involved with all their lives than the bio-dads.

    - You may not initially be received by the kids with open arms. My wife's (college-graduate) daughter stayed at arm's length from me at first -- partially because she did not know me (no, I didn't know her, either) and partially because she and mom had been a duo for about 20 years and my presence (especially as fiance/husband) challenged that. I think you will understand this particularly because, frankly, it's much the same if mom has a long-term pet. You're the interloper and now mom has someone else to whom she's giving time and attention. Just be aware of the dynamic.

    - Even though you're not officially part of the kids' lives, they're not just furniture. An ex-gf and I are still friends and she still comments on the impression I made on her teenaged daughter when I brought flowers to dinner the first time I met the kids because daughter's birthday was a few days into the future. Take an interest, chat, and be available if/when they reach out to you.

    Hope that helps.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #5
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Just because they have children doesn’t mean that they don’t want more so make your position clear, very very clear as you do in all you’ve your dating situations
    Particularly good advice for UL. I did not run into that situation -- more likely my girlfriends were happy being done with diapers and tantrums. But if one is strongly disinterested in more kids, that needs to be known early on.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    My stepfather was 28 years old when he married my 38 year old mother and got her 4 kids (ages 7-17) in the package. Can you imagine that? And he wasn't Mr. Rogers, or Dr. Spock. He was "uneducated" (a term I hate when it means someone hasn't gone to college but that's what he was), had had no prior marriage nor children of his own, and had had a rough upbringing himself.

    But what a great stepdad! He was more like a big brother. Being there for mom and for us, but never pretending to be Father. He was funny--he drew silly cartoons, took us on spontaneous trips to Times Square and Sleeping Giant Mountain and motorcycle races. The first time I set foot in Vermont was on one of these trips.

    And sometimes he would just erupt in fun nonsense--standing in the middle of the of the living room and shouting "Googly-OOMpa-OOMpa-Hooooonky-Tooooonky!!" And we would all laugh. But he was also the one who, when he moved in, brought his books of The World's Greatest Literature and other books, like those by Ayn Rand (OK, he wasn't perfect) which I would pore over.

    It was challenging, but he didn't seem to feel that we were a case of "taking the bad with the good" part of his relationship with my mother. I've always been amazed at his contribution to our family.

    I think you have the potential to contribute similarly to a family--as long as you don't walk in and make them get rid of all their stuff.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Catherine he sounds awesome!

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    Senior Member Yossarian's Avatar
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    Lot's of interesting conversations here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/datingoverthirty/

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    My dating life is essentially dying a slow death. Over the past year I have gotten fewer dates than ever. The only women who are interested have a lot of problems.

    5 years ago I would have been much more upset about my dating life dying a slow death, even two years ago I would have been really upset.

    But at the same time my dating life is slowly dying my worry over it dying is fading at roughly the same pace.

    I am 40 now, and mostly invisible to quality women. They literally look right through me.

    Looking back though, for a quirky guy from the Midwest, I have had a lot of great romantic experiences with a fair number of women -- a marriage, lusty flings, wild & kinky times, LTRs, a few FWBs, and lots of funny first dates.

    I probably had more love, romance, and tumbles in the hay than most guys. So I can be contented with my past. My present and future will likely be romantically lonesome. But I am adjusting, trying to focus on other things.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I would avoid anyone with big debt. Listen for clues of overspending beyond income, student loan debt.
    Excellent point IL. Who wants someone with a lot of baggage?

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