Author Topic: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating  (Read 1934 times)

Captains wife

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My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« on: February 23, 2016, 01:04:57 PM »
Before I started dating, I was very concerned about dating as a single parent of a young child and many questions crossed my mind. What man would be willing to make the sacrifices to date me (with my busy life) and be involved with my son since he lives with me full time? My son is the most glorious kid, would a partner also think that? How did I feel about taking time away from my son in these years to date? How was this even going to work? Many friends told me that a man would be lucky to have both of us in his life but I am starting to feel skeptical this is ever going to happen - the reality seems different since I have been dating for 3 years. I am proud and so lucky to have my son and I am trying to be happy alone...but I have to be honest and say I am sad to be alone again.

In my dating life, I am always upfront about the fact that I am a single parent and that my son is my priority although I also make it clear that I make time to allow for alone time for the significant other in my life. I found so far there have been 2 key camps of men (sorry for the broad generalizations) - 1) Men who are interested in me until they realize I am a single parent/widow and run like the wind (had a few dates cancelled on me after we talked on the phone and they found out my "status") or 2) Men who say - "yes, great you have a young boy am happy to be involved" but then they really cant deal - i.e. my last boyfriend who claimed he wanted to be involved with my son as well as me, couldn't wait to teach him things like swimming etc. but then stopped making an effort to even connect with him while he visited us and actually complained that my son was at his summer house "too much" (i.e. 2 weekends only the entire summer last summer). Its also clear to me that he didn't take my son into consideration when he just left the relationship without a word (i.e. my prior posts).

Although I am on dating hiatus right now, I did start looking at Match.com last night, in my area and in Boston, and one thing stood out clearly for me - many men out there who would be in my age dating pool either don't want children in the picture or want you to have grown children. In my age bracket (mid 40s) they are "done" raising kids or don't want to at this point and want to enjoy life and have the freedom to do whatever. I am also restricted by the fact that the dating pool in my area (suburbs 1hr south of the city) is very limited so I realistically would likely meet a better match in the city (only 1 hour away is fine for me but so many men on Match.com want women within 5-15 miles of where they live).

I am starting to think it is going to be impossible to find a man that will accept me and my single parent status (with a young child) and my busy situation. I don't expect to find a "replacement" for my son's father but is it too much to ask for someone who would be willing to be a good male role model for him?? Maybe I really need to think about going it alone (my mother thinks so since I am so busy anyway)?? Can anyone add some perspective on their experiences of dating with young children? Words of encouragement?  I honestly feel a little defeated at this point.....



« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 01:11:22 PM by Captains wife »

RobFTC

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 01:34:30 PM »
Hi CW,

It's discouraging to get the reminders of the things that narrow the field when it wasn't real wide to start with.  I hear you.

I am 54, and plenty of age-appropriate women have launched their kids or never had any, and don't want to deal with mine.  I even ran into one woman who stated she wanted to find a man without any kids of any age, which I found simply weird.  That's all their choice.  Plenty also don't like my beard, or my face, or my belly, or my politics, also their choice.  Sad for them, because I am a catch, and not just on paper.  They click 'next' or swipe left at their peril.

I would say that you only need to look at others on the board who have recoupled to feel better.  Women and men with kids 24x7x365.25 have managed to find people who came into their lives and made friends with or even outright loved their kids.  Some of those bonds do my heart good!  There have also been some sad or even horrific stories (sigh).  That's a real concern, but if you trust your gut, I think you can trust that you can filter out most of the bad ones.

I did want to comment about the distance thing.  I am an hour north of Denver, and on the couple of instances when I have agreed to meet someone who lived that far away, the distance was a real obstacle.  On any one date, one or both can drive, but allocating the extra time to that all the time as an only parent was very daunting.  I could do it more easily now that my kids are teens, but women still have to seem extra awesome to merit the extra time and logistics.  It's also a way to see quickly who cares less about furthering the relationship.  I know that some relationships have overcome far more, though, so I will never say never.

Take care,
Rob T
There was something fishy about the butler.  I think he was a Pisces, probably working for scale.

Portside

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 02:41:29 PM »

I am starting to think it is going to be impossible to find a man that will accept me and my single parent status (with a young child) and my busy situation. I don't expect to find a "replacement" for my son's father but is it too much to ask for someone who would be willing to be a good male role model for him?? Maybe I really need to think about going it alone (my mother thinks so since I am so busy anyway)?? Can anyone add some perspective on their experiences of dating with young children? Words of encouragement?  I honestly feel a little defeated at this point.....

CW - I know it's hard, but try not to feel defeated. Guys that are a good match for you and also are willing to help raise children are there - but they are a bit harder to find. I was a bit older than you when I started dating again (50+) and had 4 kids - two younger ones still at home at the time so I understand what your challenges are. I also was very up front about having kids at home and how important they were to me.

Of course, there were a few women that absolutely wanted nothing to do with my kids too. Fine. At least they identified themselves early on. Honestly, it was their loss. 

It took some doing but I eventually found a saintly woman who wholeheartedly dove into the family and 'adopted', if you will, the boys without disrespecting the memory of my late wife. She is "Mom" in all respects except birth to them now. And that is the way both she and the boys want it.

It can happen, just keep your eyes open, your chin up and a smile on your face. Good men are there, even in Boston  ;)

Good luck - Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

momtokam

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 04:33:13 PM »
CW, I feel a lot of the frustration you are feeling.

I am 51, with a 17 yr old and 11 yr old twins. Men my age seem to come in 2 categories...

1. They are looking for 25-35 and want to 'finally' start their own families   or relive their youth...

2. Their kids are grown and gone and they want to travel at a whim and see the world....

I am not a fit for either. I can barely get to a meet stage as I am up front about my busy life and kids. It doesn't matter if I am a great catch or not. I know there are exceptions, but they don't seem to be crossing my path for whatever reason.

I think with on line dating, it's too easy to say no when there are so many other options to choose from. I am positive I am passed by, before being given a chance, because of my situation.

I get the same thing, everyone says I am a great catch with great kids, any man would be lucky to join us. So where is he?

I had a one year relationship with a separated man with twin girls. He was very happy to blend families. The problem was his toxic ex and his unwillingness to stand his ground with her and move forward. But that is another story in itself. My kids never really knew, I think my gut hesitations were right and I'm glad I didn't involve them.

Since then I have met a few I have not clicked with, that didn't have kids or kids were grown, and a couple I see here and there, but mostly as friends, who also don't have kids. I have crossed on line paths with many scammers or 25 years olds. It's pretty ridiculous!

I hid all my profiles on Monday.....

Not sure where to go from here. I have started asking family and friends if they know anyone! No luck so far. I've tried meetups and I live in a big city!

I'm not looking for a new instant husband or new dad for my kids. It just would be nice to have someone in my life, that's all.

These are just my experiences so far in this crazy, post widowed dating life. I truly get everything you are feeling.

Trying

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 04:33:30 PM »
Does having a young child, full time, in your 40's, living in suburbia narrow your dating pool? I would say it probably (definitively) does.  It will take a very special man to see the wonderful package that you and your son are and that's what you deserve, a very special man. 

I'm also in my 40's and in suburbia but my youngest was 9 when DH died which I think is a little different. My boyfriend's kids, however, were 3 and 4 when we started dating.  I have to admit that their ages did give me some pause initially.  I have 3 boys of my own and wasn't sure I wanted to go back to that stage again. He's divorced so he has every other weekend without them for dating and we waited quite a while before I met them the first time and even longer before I became a person in their life.  They are great boys and seeing the parent he is one more thing I love about him.  It is going to make combining our lives more complicated because of the big age difference, 5 boys from 5-19 right now between us!  I could've passed up on an amazing guy to search for someone with older teens or grown kids but what a loss that would have been.  The other thing is that younger kids are pretty accepting so it has been so much easier for me to win his kids over than him with my older ones.

Hang in, there are plenty of great men out there and you only need find one of them!
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klim

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 09:05:04 PM »
I'm older, my boys are older but  still my responsibility, so not the same but here is my story.
When I started dating  I was not even sure what I was doing but I remember telling NG that I was  weekends only as during the week I had to attend to homework duty and that my boys come first. My guys were 15 and 17 , not exactly needy, and yet I needed them to know they were important and that I would look after them. The point to this story is that he liked that in me, that I took being a mother seriously. He said he had dated others that had not given their kids feelings the right priority and he rejected  them partly because of that. In other words he is happy to be dating a good mother.
Because of the age of my boys their relationship with NG is not as important as it will be in your case. But  I can vouch for the fact that some guys do want to date us partly because we are good mothers. 
 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 09:09:24 PM by klim »
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Sugarbell

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 09:50:55 PM »
I agree the dating pool is not what it was in my 20s single with no kids.

And yes...some guys will freak out at the situation...And some won't.

But really....when it got overwhelming with me...it wasn't so much about the guys out there-it was with me. And I needed a break from all of it...took 2.5 year break...When I got back into it...I knew exactly what I was looking for....I stopped worrying about what a potential date might want.

In a good relationship....but at times it's still stressful--cause my plate is so full. But he gets it...as best he can.

Also when my kids were really smell it was more overwhelming than now.

Maybe take a break??? Don't think about it....

they are out there....don't settle.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

TalksToAngels

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2016, 07:40:26 AM »
Just my thought not advise don't rely solely on a dating site to meet someone. Try to do a kids free outing. If there is someone for half these players on the internet than you may meet someone nice in everyday doings. If it bothers them to have kids they are not worth a minutes effort. You ARE a nice person.
You deserve nothing less than meeting someone who wants you for you, ready made family, and all !
Yes, don't settle. It's never worth it !

TooSoon

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 08:08:04 AM »
Hi.  Just want you to know that I understand.  The right man, the one who sees how amazing you are, just as you are, is not going to care if you have a small child or three heads or any other thing because none of that is going to matter.  My relationship has built-in challenges but what I will say is that I never knew that someone would ever like me just the way I am without conditions or areas that needed improvement.  I'm 43 and just now realizing this.  WTF?!  My point though is that the right man isn't going to see your son as an obstacle and as others have said I, too, believe that there is something inherently attractive about seeing the love between a parent and a child.  That selflessness speaks to the kind of person you are; it means you know how to love.  With the right person, none of these things are going to be obstacles; they will simply be things you figure out.

Anyway, I am just sort of rambling now but I read your post and it really spoke to me.  On a practical level, I'd stick with the city dating pool.  I think statistically you are more likely to find men who aren't somehow ensnared in the suburban mythology about kids, family, work and timelines.  I'm not being judgmental but I do think you'll find men with a more open outlook in Boston than the burbs. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting a partner in life.  I refuse to buy into some sort of idiocy that I'm supposed to be able to be happy alone; I get all manner of crap about being a feminist and how I should be able to go it on my own, how lots of women do it, like it is some sort of badge of honor or something.  Who wants to be alone?!  That's bullshit.  Being alone, especially with a young child, is terrible!  I wouldn't wish it on anyone!  Rant over.  xoxo

serpico

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Re: My Single Parent Status as it Relates to Dating
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 09:59:10 AM »
I would not recommend sticking with just the city pool.  By doing so you would essentially be pre-judging potential suitors, which is what you are hoping they won't do to you due to your child.  I will be marrying my fianc?e in July, and had I been picky about locations I likely would have weeded her out before giving her a chance.  What a mistake that would have been...
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