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What Men Should Know Before Dating a Single Mother

Dating a single mother can be a blessing to all parties involved.

The Beauty of Dating Single Mothers

By Bruce Brown

            Once upon a time, single mothers were a rare sight in society.

However, the number of single mothers has increased over the years and is now prevalent in our dating pool. It is clear that, like other relationships, there are challenges that come with dating a single mother.

A woman is still going to be a woman. But many single men struggle with the idea of dating a single mother.

Fatherhood responsibilities are usually the first thing that single men fear. As if there is an instant void that needs to be filled.

Then there is the fear of dealing with the child’s father, which can be a hit or miss.

In reality, dating a single mother can be a really rewarding experience. 

Expectations

Whether it's just a casual friendship or something long-term, it is important to know what each of you is looking for in a relationship.

It's good to make your feelings known in the beginning to avoid any misunderstandings.

Sometimes it is difficult having that conversation with someone you just met and admire.

But by doing so, this will keep things honest and in perspective. That's not to say you have to make a lifelong commitment within days, but if you're considering dating a single mother, you definitely need to be honest from the beginning.

 

The “Filling the Void”/ “Playing Daddy” Complex

Understand that women know you are not trying to instantly play father to their children.

In fact, most single mothers are providing for themselves and their child quite comfortably without a male figure in the household. So the “fatherhood complex” should be recognized as that, and not as something that applies to all single mothers.

Vision Works manager and single mother Lynn Walls suggested, “A man should not worry about filling a void or playing the dad role in a relationship with a single mother. It’s important to earn the woman and son’s respect first and then see where or what role the woman wants you to play in that relationship.”  

As for the child’s father, you may have to address the gorilla in the room about the role he plays in their relationship. As long as you communicate your concerns with her directly, she will understand if you do it respectfully.

 

Limitations????

Part of dating a single mother is accepting that she has limitations.

Providing for a child is a full time job with a list of responsibilities. Often, the child, if not always, will be put first to ensure they get the love, finance, and attention they need.

This is true for many single mothers like journalist Samantha Vallejo who stated that, “Being a single parent is no joke! Anything I spend goes to my children first.”

With that being said, know that schedules can change at any moment. But if she is including you in her life, then she wants you in her life. Don't look at all of the cancellations and postponements as a sign of disinterest in the romantic side of things. 

If you are flexible and understanding, it will alleviate the many headaches inside of the relationship.

Bottom Line…

Pay attention instead to the woman you know and the relationship you’re building together.

When dating a single mother, it is important to give your relationship time to develop. Don’t rush to judgment about “playing daddy” or “filling a void.”

Be the kind of man who can listen to the things she’s going through without trying to “solve” every problem for her.

As previously stated, dating a single mother has its challenges. But it is in those challenges that create an opportunity to find a special lady. Offering support and encouragement will help build a stronger bond and a better understanding between the two of you.

Brown is a contributing writer for Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community

This article was published on Friday 28 September, 2012.
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