Dating As A Single-Mom: Team: Gent w/ Kids or Team: Gent w/o Kids

My post-divorced dating experience as a single mom has been quite interesting and intuitive. I have dated gents that have yet to start a family and gents that are divorced and/or single fathers. I have not discriminated and have experienced a couple of great connections from both sides of the camp. From my dating experience here are a few observations.

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TEAM: Gents w/ Kids:

Pros:

  • The gent that is also divorced has a custody schedule as well. Therefore, he gets that you are not always available. He is understanding and more willing to work around your schedule.
  • You are comfortable shifting the conversation about your sprouts and discussing the highlights and challenges in raising your brood. They get it, and you can share tips and learning lessons with each other and have a good laugh of your mishaps as parents.
  • Your short-term and long-term relationship goals may be in sync. They are more likely to purposefully date at a measured pace. They may not want more kids or if they do, possibly only one. A possibility of a blended family is sort of ideal to both of you. They are on the same page about entering a  second marriage. Small and sweet. Just go to the Justice of Peace Please! The relationship may be about learning and cherishing each other and not about establishing a family.
  • Are more patient and resilient to change. They have serious relationship experience and have or are raising children, thus understanding or tolerate your blow-ups, quirks. They get that you cannot be perfect all of the time.
  • Put forth effort to be a better man than he was in his previous relationship to prevent repeating past mistakes. This is in reference to the divorcees or men who had a committed relationship with their mother of their children and it didn’t work out. He has learned what didn’t work and is in search for the right fit, as is you.

Cons:

  • Sometimes their child custody schedule is not in sync with yours. This provides challenges in dating. His weekends without the kids may not coincide with yours. This becomes challenging as time shared together is always an important factor to establish a bond.
  • The ages of their children may not be compatible with yours. In this case, a man with children who are almost grown may not want to engage in a relationship with a woman who has younger children. In his mind he has passed the diaper and pre-school years and does not want to re-visit it.  These gents have recently gained more independence in their schedules and are not anxious to get into a relationship with a woman who has kids that can constrain their zest for living an active lifestyle. Or the man has younger children and does not want to deal with the barrier of entering older children’s lives.
  • They are not quite yet over their ex-wife or baby momma. The gent may be freshly divorced or is taking awhile to get over his previous relationship. He still carries a substantial amount of emotional baggage. He is slow to open up and trust someone with his heart.
  • They are not interested in settling down. They have their children and are not seeking anything serious. It is about living the Bachelor life to the fullest.

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Team Gents w/o Kids

Pros:

  • They (most not all) are spontaneous. They generally have more free time on their hands. They are more readily available to spend time with you.
  • They have an active social life, which they are happy to introduce you to. Their lifestyle provides an escape from your reality.
  • Provide colorful conversations that are not around family life and children. This can be refreshing to engage in insightful conversation with adults that are not always talking about their sprouts.
  • If timing is right, are searching to find someone to settle down with and are intrigued and appreciative to get a glimpse in your lifestyle as a mother. They visualize you possibly being a mother to their future sprouts. They take you more seriously and respect you as a woman, especially if they are a product of a single-mother household.

Cons:

  • Not always understanding of your constrained schedule. These gents can be inconsiderate at times when attempting to arrange dates and become pouty when you have last-minute cancellations due to family commitments/ emergencies. They are used to being number one priority and while aim to be understanding, is not settling to take a back seat.
  • At first open to you having kids, but do not come with terms of the reality of dating a woman with kids until further along in the dating process. This can lead to emotional wounds, if the single mom becomes a bit vested in the relationship.
  • If never married and with no kids, the skills to progress a meaningful and sustaining relationship are not up to snuff to your relationship experience.  As a divorced single mom, you may not have the patience to allow this gent to develop these qualities. After all you are raising your children and want someone who can come with the same level of relationship experience as you.
  • Lacks empathy when sharing stories of your brood. While receptive to the conversation, they don’t really get the effort and commitment it takes to raise children. Yet, are quick to provide suggestions based on their own childhood or what they have witnessed with friends with kids.
  • Differences in future desires to have more children or not may become a deal breaker. In this case, ask early on what they are seeking. As a woman, you may not want to revisit the diaper phase if that is already behind you. Or the gent may want a couple of children and you do not see that in your future.

The Right “FIT”

I say find the right “FIT”. There are a plethora of fascinating and wonderful gents out there, but each other’s desires may not be in sync. It does not mean that person is not perfect for someone else, just not for you. For me the search is continuing. There is always someone there that you are extremely compatible with, but the timing of where you are in life does not commensurate with theirs. It is alright, as I am optimistic that there is someone out there that may or may not have kids that matches your wants and desires in life. Am I pro gents w/ kids or gents w/ no kids? The jury is still out!

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4 thoughts on “Dating As A Single-Mom: Team: Gent w/ Kids or Team: Gent w/o Kids”

  1. Great observations. Another possible con to dating a gent with kids is if the kids don’t mesh well, he may tend to side with his own children and yours can feel left out or rejected. I’ve experienced that first hand and it’s not fun!

  2. As a divorced and remarried mom with kids, I think you have a lot of really great thoughts here, in particular the idea of finding the right FIT. Because there is no one right answer. Before I remarried, I dated (among others):

    – Older guy with kids almost grown. We had a great connection, but we had what I call “stage of life incompatibility.” He didn’t want to do diapers again, and I don’t blame him. Thankfully, he was honest with me early on.
    – Guy my age with a very busy, active single lifestyle – never married, no kids. He tried to hold my baby girl, which was sweet but I could tell he wasn’t comfortable. My mistake was that I didn’t talk to him; I unilaterally decided we weren’t compatible and I pulled the plug. He ended up married to a woman who also had a busy, active lifestyle and I could not be any happier for them.
    – Older guy, never married, no kids. Great sexual chemistry but no real compatibility. So we stayed friends with benefits as long as we lived near each other.

    I ended up marrying a guy who is younger than me (never married, no kids) but he wanted a family. And since he was a preschool teacher in high school, he was a natural with my then-2- and 4-year-old. And he didn’t feel emasculated by staying home and letting me be the breadwinner. Seriously, I hit the jackpot.

    But to your point – all of this requires you BOTH to be upfront with each other about what you’re looking for and how well you fit each other so you can decide sooner rather than later to either pull the plug or see where it’s going.

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