Dating a single parent has its challenges that often relate to struggling to find a balance and creating boundaries. However, single moms have it way harder in new relationships than single fathers. That’s primarily because children are far more likely to be in the sole custody of their mother than their father.
Many men explicitly don’t date single mothers for a myriad of reasons. For some, it’s because they want that experience of a first child to be shared. Sometimes it’s because the woman may have more than 1 child and it’s overwhelming. Some guys just don’t like kids. They don’t foresee themselves having any and they might not even like being around them. Whatever the reason, the expectation is that a single mother will be a pragmatist and not pursue a relationship in hopes of changing the guy’s mind; if no other reason to protect her and her children’s hearts.
As a man who has no issue dating a single mother, I’ve come to understand that there are layers to managing a successful relationship that will function as a ready-made family. As the adults, we tend to invoke our mature feelings onto our children and expect them to love who we love. If you’re one of the lucky ones (like the Simmons or the Smiths), then your family meshes almost immediately. However, if you’ve found yourself struggling to unite your adult love with familial love, the likely reason is because your children weren’t in agreement with your choice. When a child is of age to know that the man you love is not their biological father, they deserve to have a voice and to be able to form their own opinion.
1 of the authors for the highly-respected site, SingleBlackMale, did an insightful post regarding step-parenting through the eyes of a child-turned-adult. In the comment section, those who could relate had varying experiences on both sides of the spectrum. The prevailing theme in both the story shared and comments is that not every relationship you enter in should involve your children. Boundaries and the expectation of involvement and behavior need to be discussed among adults before you try to troubleshoot it on your children. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable with who you choose to love, it will create a permanent tension in the atmosphere. The more your force a relationship onto them, the more resistant your children will be.
In an article I did last year, I discussed how it’s the new guy’s job to find his place in a ready-made family. That still holds true, but single moms that are dating also have to often exercise discernment preemptively. As with anything else, there’s always going to be indicators to show you whether or not the new guy will fit well into the family unit. In the midst of you choosing to follow your heart down the yellow brick road to romantic happiness, make sure your children’s subjectivity always reign supreme.