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Dating as a single mother
December 19, 2005
1:13 am
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hopeinhim
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Hey guys,
Noticing that I am getting a lot of advice now that my husband and I are heading for divorce. A lot of "focus on the kids" and "focus on your career".

I don't want to date right now. I alluded to that on previous discussion on the support threads.

I had a pastor once say that anybody you date could be a potential mate. But, I really think that someday I could have a little romance here and there and go on dates (no sexual relationships).

I would not expose a man to my children for a good long time.

Thoughts on single mom dating etiquette. What can the man that would date a woman be expected to put up with when there are single women out there with no children?

December 19, 2005
4:37 am
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Anam Cara
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hopeinhim
A single man can gain a lot from other's children . I met a couple the other night who had just got married - he was childless but had found so much warmth in having found a built in family. Mrs Doubtfire the movie had thing to say about this issue and besides a meeting of minds between you can make for much happiness!
Good hunting. AC

December 19, 2005
8:07 am
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Anonymous
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hopeinhim,

Dating a woman with children would introduce special challenges for the man, for sure. Not all men would like it. Those who don't like it probably won't ask you ask you out for a second date.

But I think if a man hits it off you, and likes children, he won't be fazed by them. He'd probably enjoy the chance to help watch them and relieve some of your burden as a single mother. You'd probably want to make a point of getting out together without the children from time to time, as you'd likely spend a fair amount of time together with them. But that's the way it should be: kids need your time.

December 19, 2005
9:28 am
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exoticflower
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I think a man can be expected to put up with whatever he wants before going to those single women with no children--namely because I don't want anything to do with a man that can't put up with a lot, he's just not on my level then! As a single mother I know that I need someone who can deal with a mess, can deal with coming second, can deal with not being my priority, and any man that can't take all of that can't take all of ME< and that means he misses out on the really amazing points too...someof which I have gained by being a single mother to begin with! Don't worry about it--there's a type for everyone. I have personally set personal boundaries for my daughters best interests and everythihng has to work around that. We are mothers, that will always come first, and if that isn't good enough for one guy, that guy isn't good enough for a single mother!

December 20, 2005
12:16 am
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hopeinhim
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Thanks guys,
I am so glad for your support and not feeling alone in this.

My 2 youngest (turning 2 and 8) are going to be knockouts and I have to keep that in mind. My STBX has 2 kids who live out of state, and I know that I embraced his children. And, his oldest who visited the most I will still be involved with. His younger son has only spent 3 weeks with me, so I will see how that develops.

I will continue focusing on the kids and my career. I know I need to take time so I don't pick the same traits, different man.

Exotic Flower - you said "daughters" - how long have you been a single mom? How many children do you have?

There is a type for everybody. If I met what I thought was my soulmate living in the same county as me - anything is possible!

December 20, 2005
12:42 am
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exoticflower
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singular daughter, actually, I meant for her best intrests. I have been a single mother for the most part since mid pregnancy. She is only 18 months old now but we've already got the sort of vibe that I want to b\preserve and know that I must date occourdingly, and ALSO that I must make her and I's relationship always the first thing. ANd always having ahealthy honest possitive relationship with her is major to me, it's so hard being a woman, you need strong female guidance and to feel really safe to hold your own--and anyway, she's going to be a knockout too! 🙂

I'm just really bad with punctuation, sorry for the plural mistake.

Your stbx is the father of both of your daughters then? What sort of healthy boundaries did he set up when the two of YOU became involved? Even jerk exs have been known to be good parents with something to offer in that area, not sure if that applies to you guys, but it sounds like it may be fairly healthy in that area?

December 21, 2005
12:51 am
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hopeinhim
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Ef,
He is the father of my youngest - we have a daughter together. He has been the stepfather, and the only father that my older 2 have known, since they were 2 and 4.

I don't think he will have a lot of contact with the stepchildren - in fact, I think it will fade to black.

But, he is trying to help - he is keeping them on his medical insurance for instance. Sunday night our little one was under the weather, so instead of picking her up he came over and I ran errands. He mainly snuggled with our 2 year old, but he interacted, or at least responded, to the older two children.

With my oldest son I was alone from 5 weeks pregnant on (basically just when I found out). I know how that is. Sounds like your focus is on your daughter - I think mine was too much on my husband. Don't get me wrong - I have been there for my kids, but I think he was a huge energy drain!

Good for you to have strong boundaries - if your daughter is going to be a knockout then be on your guard.

Thanks for the reply EF

December 22, 2005
11:20 pm
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Hi Hope,

It's so easy to forget the many of us have similar stories here.

I'm single AND the mommy of a beautiful, magnificent free thinking nine year old.

I think we have to remind ourselves that that our precious little angles are assets...each time the world of dating makes them seem like liabilities.

Keep thinking about the joy and gifts and the smiles that your kids bring to you on a daily basis. And the fun parts of your daily routine that each of you contribute something special to. And, the pride that you feel when they make the right decisions -not because they have to-because they want to.

The truth is any man who falls for you will be lucky to have his life enhanced by the presence of your "knockout" children. But, the reality is it takes a heck of a guy to be good at the job. The team (you and the kids) deserve only the best!!!

It's great that you're careful about who you expose the the kids too. You know, I dated a dude that I was really into: brilliant, expressive, intense... He seemed into me as well. He picked me up from work for a lunch date once and saw a picture of 'J' on my desk. He knew I had a son, we had discussed that superficially, but he'd never met 'J'. Well, I was on the phone when he arrived, so he had to wait for for a few moments.

The entire time he couldn't take his eyes of my kid's picture. He even picked it while he waited. This is not so strange in itself, I guess. But, during our lunch he kept asking me, "So when do I get to met your son, when can I meet him."

Words every single mom longs to hear, but for some reason his persistance spooked me-alot, and eventually turned me off. We eventually broke up. I didn't tell him exactly why.

I agree and disagree with your pastor. Yes, our the next date might lead to a relationship, which might lead to marriage. But-through no fault of your own-it could also be a total bust. Which I believe is not so bad if you're willing to learn from it.

I would suggest letting go of any expectations (as HARD as that can be) and making fun your only dating objective right now. It takes away all the pressure.

I hope it all works out well for you friend, you deserve the best!!!

December 23, 2005
12:45 am
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hopeinhim
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Y & R,
What a fresh and cool perspective. I am cutting and pasting that one.

The kids and I had a therapy session lastnight and I saw how much my therapist enjoys them - he was having a blast.

Of course with children, therapy is often play and fun, with a little exploration of more serious matters. I think I have a skewed view because I have not been with men who are whole and relaxed enough to really enjoy children. They have been too selfish.

Fun is the focus!

Smiles,

Hope

December 25, 2005
3:42 am
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luv2luvher
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I am not sure if this fits in here but I would believe dating a single mother would give a single childless man the feeling of security. I mean a woman that has child(ren) would be more mature and know what direction they must follow. I mean being a single father raising a child, I know for me I must not subject him to my relationship unless I felt it was moving to a very serious status and vise versa. I am not saying all childless single women aren't mature or what not, but for me I would like to meet a woman ready to find there place in life and ready to settle in for the long haul.

Luv2...

December 25, 2005
3:47 am
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Worried_Dad
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Well, if you are not available for developing a sexual relationship you would do well to state that at the beginning. Save yourself a lot of trouble.

But if dont want a sexual realtionship then why would you want "romance" Romance is usually about a ritual that leads to sexual bonding, committement, marriage, etc.

So, until you are ready to seek a romantic partner with the possibility of committment, maybe you should keep your relationships with men at the "friend" level, focussing on shared interests and activities, rather than "dinner and movie" type stuff.

Of course for those kinds of activities, you dont even need a man. Maybe you need to develop realtionships with women, so that there wont be so much sexual tension or expectation.

December 25, 2005
3:43 pm
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hopeinhim
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WD - Yes, I would definitely state no sex at the beginning. So, it would be friends only with men. If it became more serious then it would escalate. But, I plan on having the actually sex act wait until marriage this time. So, maybe I will not see marriage in my future. That would be okay, too.

You must remember some of my statements from other posts. I am impressed.............thanks you guys! Merry Christmas!

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