Single men without kids or custody of their kids may not understand what it takes to be a single parent, especially a single mother, as often the mother is the primary custodial parent (but not always). As a single mother, in order for you to go out on a date, you have to make arrangements for someone to babysit your children, find the time when you can simply relax and forget about the chores and responsibilities associated with raising your children, helping them with homework, taking your children to their school and after-school activities, and more. Going out on a date with a new man also means time away from your children that you may not be willing to give up.
|For a single mother, the most important trait to look for in a man you are dating is his willingness to accept the fact that he will never be your first and foremost|
At the same time, single fathers know what it is like raising children alone, and can understand and relate to you as a single parent. As a single mom, you need to be very selective as to what kind of men you surround yourself with.
While you probably are not looking for a new daddy for your children, you want someone who does not mind being around them. A good idea is to “test” and see a man you have been dating for a while and are getting serious about, by bringing him around your children. It has to be done in a pressure-free kind of way though. For instance, if a man you are dating stops by your house to bring you something while your children are at home and meets them that way. You may be able to immediately see how he acts around your children. If a man tries too hard to impress you by being unnaturally nice to your children, it may be an indication that while he does not possess great parenting skills and may not have substantial experience being around young children, he is accepting of the whole package.
Still, I don’t think that finding the right man who will understand and accept the whole package is an unachievable task. However, when I meet men in social settings, I always mention that I have children. Some men want to know how old my children are. I attribute that to the fact that some men may be more accepting of older children that don’t require diapers and sleepless nights.
Another obstacle I have encountered when I first started dating men was that my ex became very overprotective of his rights. “I don’t want your looser friends around my son”, he always said. But as our son grew older, my ex toned down a bit and I don’t think he feels there may be a problem if I bring a new man into my family. Understand that unless the father of your children is completely uninvolved with the kids, no other man will ever replace the biological father.
Understanding that while chemistry and other things are important in a relationship, one of the most integral components of a healthy relationship and in a man you are dating is his ability to relate to your children and the man’s potential to become not a father figure, but a good friend to your children.