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Read Letter

Dating A Single Mom

My dear Jil, this is the second draft of this letter. As you can therefore imagine, it is not exactly an easy subject to tackle.

To be very frank with you, the reality of our environment is that not all men can date single moms. And some men approach single moms gratuitously believing their choices are narrow.

Be that as it may, some genuinely find it psychologically daunting to date someone who “has opened the womb.” Some families will oppose vehemently especially if the young suitor has never been married. Being real!

Some will in fact believe you’re are “taking advantage” of the young man’s “inexperience.” Sorry! They may even allege desperation on your part and a seeking of a “second opportunity” that smacks of opportunism.

It’s hard to process but it’s what it is, and not every young man can face his family, especially his mom. It takes bravery. (Did I hear you say marriage is not for boys!) Given this background, the man who wants to date you as a single mom must be convinced of what he’s doing. He must appreciate your worth, or he’ll leave you in a lurch.

He must not be dependent on external certification of his decision or he’ll send you into an emotional spiral. The man who wants to date you has to accept your reality and so must you: you’re a single mom!

There are certain consequences to being a single mom when it comes to dating. If your child is young for example, your dates may sometimes be threesomes. The young lad/lass may also resent your suitor. Spontaneous dating will prove daunting where you don’t have a flexible child minder. These are realities. The man must accept your son/daughter. If not you’re going to have problems in that relationship.

The truth is, neither of you can wish the child away. And despite the wisdom from certain quarters I advice disclosure of your status. Timing of disclosure is up to you but the man shouldn’t feel like you lured him into a relationship with concealed information. I realise there may be fear of the man taking off on full disclosure but I’ll counter by saying such a man is not for you. If he cares enough for you your status won’t matter. May even make you more fascinating to him. A captivating responsibility juggling single mom is an alluring Marvel Comics heroine, a Stan Lee supermom fantasy.

Single momship can arise from widowhood, child adoption, divorce or mistake of youth. Mistake of youth is rife. There is the mistake of sexual experimentation gone awry – kid impregnating kid. There is the falling under the trance of an adult who impregnates yet repudiates paternity. The truth is, Mistake is like Kellogg’s cereal. It comes in varieties. Yet we all make mistakes. Some are just more visible than others.

Now, just as we observed, not all men are culturally evolved to accept “another man’s child.” Read about a man with that mindset in the Bible. His name was Onan. Couldn’t handle raising up a child for his late brother. His brother, the appropriately named Er was also wicked. Don’t date Onan or Er. It’ll be an Er-ror.

If a man can’t handle your status, don’t force the relationship. It will be a stumbling block for him. The right man for you will accept your status, naturally. He’ll love you, love your son and even claim him as his own. And you can tell by the way he relates to your son. He’ll look forward to playing with him, buying him toys and games. He’ll be the special adviser on girls, help him with his home work, take him out and maintain direct phone access. They’ll have their own “man” discussions. You’ll be jealous! These are good signs. Don’t lose that kind of man. He’s rare! But apart from cultural neanderthalism, the reason some men can’t date a single mom is finance! They just see costs in the horizon: school fees before a child is born! School fees x2 by the first child of your union! And some are afraid of the reaction from the father of your child.

But it’s one thing for a man not to accept your status, it’s another thing for you to struggle with it. I have met single moms who can’t accept their status and you see the manifestation in the treatment of the child. They blame the child and maltreat the child. They believe the child is keeping men away. And that is really unfortunate. You can’t blame the child. You can’t take out your frustration on the child. What does he know!

At the other end, I have also seen women over-compensate through worship of the biological offspring. They pamper the child to the point of deification. He’s their life! And the child soon begins to manipulate them. The boyfriend of course becomes excluded in this mother-child soiree. He soon resigns and leaves.

Some want to dump expenses of raising the child on the man without volunteerism. The man reads the auguries and takes off. Not all single moms are like these of course. There’s a healthy balance somewhere.

May you be wise. And may the good man come.

Your mentor, LA.


©Leke Alder 2013

Tags : Dating, Single mum

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