Yesterday evening I met with a really good “man friend” after work. We were discussing my blog and how some topics I have posted are relevant to men as well. We began discussing some of his obstacles that he has faced in the dating world. Where one, being his internal hurdle of whether he can accept that he will never be number one priority when dating a single mother. This topic peaked my interest…..as I am now considered a “single mom” so I definitely fit that category. The concern was that when dating a “single mom” often times dates have had to be re-scheduled or circumvented around the “single mom” children’s schedules. This included getaway trips and the like. Basically, when dating a “single mom” there really isn’t a “honeymoon” period per se. Hmmm…this was interesting.
Reflecting on my personal dating life and myself as a mother, I could see how some men that I have dated could be stand-offish and have fell back…..I will admit I am a bit on the extreme side when it comes to my sprouts. My kids are in probably every type of extra-curricular activity there is. You also have to account for all of the birthday parties, playdates and kids holiday festivities that I attend. Some men do look at me a bit overwhelmingly when I start to elloborate on my kids schedules.
However, I also view dating as an important aspect of my life as well. I do want to meet someone special that I can eventually share those aspects of my life with. So I personally feel I do allocate time for dating. I am very transparent to the men that I meet on my availability. I have a sitter that picks up my children so I will say at least two or three days after work I am available for an afterwork dinner, after adjusting for my time with the girls, evening gym classes and my son’s games. I also have my free every other weekends. A man can plan away for a getaway trip all they want (well….in due course)…on those weekends. If known well in advance I can always adjust my availability for the day or weekends. Of course I may not be able to act spontaneous and spend time with someone within an hours notice. Although, I will say my job and fortunately my sitter are pretty flexible….but what woman with kids or no kids wants to be asked out on a date or accomodate a man that they are “just getting to know” in such a short time span anyway? C’mon us women have to plan and prepare for these dates. Seriously!?!
The dilemma that I have also faced is that while I have all of this availability….men are hesitant to schedule a date in advance or they are too busy “indulging in their own swag” –refer to “Damaged Goods Ruined or Fixable” blog post. Then these gents become frustrated with me because my free weekend is now planned to spend with the girls or maybe I decided to check in on my son’s basketball clinic. It is my free weekend….while I do like to utilize it to lounge around at times with nothing planned….I am maximizing my “me” time and the things I enjoy in life….so plans that do not involve dating are made….especially by Friday the day my weekend starts. These men are not “capitalizing” on my availability to get to know me. So essentially you are missing out on the “honeymoon” period….or I am not a priority to you. So why make that gent a priority on my schedule.
I believe after awhile, once you begin to realize you really do like the gent you are dating and are interested in becoming more serious…then eventually the gent should meet the kids and get to know that aspect of your life. (That is another topic)
Will my kids always be number one? Of course. Why would a man want to come before a mother’s kids. A man should expect the “single mom” to make getting to know you as one of her priorities, provided you are doing the same. But a gent should not expect the “single mom” or any woman in that case for him to be her only priority.
When reflecting on my marriage, my kids father accepted that he was not the only person who was number one in my life once my son and daughter were born, but that he will be sharing the title with my children…which means at many times taking a back seat. And likewise I realized the same for me. Raising our children were our top priority, but we also had to carve out some time for us to rekindle our relationship.
When and if a gent and I make it to the next chapter past the dating phase….that person will become a greater priority to me. I hope the gent would be understanding of my situation and know that while he is cherished and loved he will never attain the sole title of being number one in my life.
Every man is not equipped to date a “single mom”. I get it….no pressure here and no hard feelings. There are many aspects to consider than just courting a lady in the long run….but initially dating a “single mom” should just be that. I don’t believe there is much difference than dating a woman with no kids that has a fulfilling life.