Online Magazine For Black Men
Loving the Single Mother

(Mybrotha.COM) - Patience and responsibility are two important characteristics men must have when dating single mothers. Some men pursue and eventually start relationships with single moms, throrouglhy unprepared for the roles they must play. Proper preparation may involve understanding the delicate processes of trying to fit into her life and the lives of her kids; both of which can seem extremely challenging.

Ideally, a man who pursues a single mother should ask himself the following:

"What type of behavior is appropriate around her child or children?"
"What should I expect from her as a mother and partner?"
"Can I build and grow a successful relationship with her and her children?"

All very important questions to ask, but not always easy to answer.

Your Behavior
These days, the number of single mothers between ages 20 - 40 seem staggering. If you're on the dating scene, it is very likely that your next love interest will be a single mom. Her children may or may not continue to interact with the father, but will usually have some contact with other men such as grandfathers and uncles. Nevertheless, special attention must be given in situations where a man's behavior can dictate whether he becomes a life partner, or just another date.

Here are a few tips for men who are considering life with a single mother:

  • Never plan anything without thinking about her children. If a date, or outing will include or exclude the kids -- let her make that decision. Statements like, "I've planned a date for us, so you need to find some place to send the kids." can be a deal-breaker.
  • Never attempt to discipline her children without first discussing it with her. Though she may care about you, her first and natural instinct will be to protect her kids. If you must correct an unruly child and your partner isn't around, be sure to mention it to her as soon as possible.
  • Don't be so quick to assume parenting duties. Picking them up from football practice, or driving them to the mall may seem friendly -- but can also create anxiety for everyone if the relationship fails to materialize.
  • You should also refrain from creating any self-developed friendships with her children. If she feels her value as a parent being undermined, you may regret it.
What To Expect From the Mother
Even though you may be attracted to a sexy single mom and wish to spend ungodly amounts of time with her, she has more to think about than just sex and dating. Her children will always come first and competing for that position is futile.

There are, however, several roles the mom must play when engaging in a relationship with a new partner:

  • Don't expect to meet her kids right away. Any responsible mother will allow some time to pass before introducing you to the family. What's comfortable for her may not be comfortable for you. But be wary of any woman who introduces you to the kids after only one or two dates. She has probably done the same with other men.
  • Most single mothers have full or joint custody of their children. If you meet a woman who doesn't have her kids at all (especially young kids) -- ask her about it. You may want to seriously consider why she doesn't have them and whether or not you should be dating her.
  • Allow her to dictate when you will interact with the kids, or whether or not you are a suitable choice to be around them. If you don't already have kids of your own, you have no idea how deep the bond can be.
  • If the child, or children's father is still in the picture, try to keep things respectful. He will probably have joint custody and his influence with his kids will always be present. It's natural to feel some jealousy, but don't try to "outdo" him, or allow egos to become inflated.
Can We Make It Work?
It takes a certain type of man to mentor and care for another man's children. A single mother who allows a man into the lives of her children also bears some responsibility. She must make sure her new partner knows her plans for the future and how he fits into the grand scheme.

Meeting a single mother is easy. Figuring out how to handle a potential family is where the heavy lifting comes in:

  • A single mother may not be as spontaneous as you would like. Her children are usually priority and it's in your best interest to understand this. Think twice before planning that spur-of-the moment trip to Las Vegas and unless discussed prior -- never assume you can spend the night in her home.
  • Part of your responsibility may involve knowing when to leave. Relationships don't always work out and if things no longer seem perfect between the couple -- consider how your continued presence may affect the kids. This is especially noteworthy when arguments or bad vibes are common.
  • Forget about the games. Most single mothers are not looking for casual or open-ended relationships. A majority of her compassion and dedication is to her kids, so she is likely to only respond to you if you're sincere, trustworthy, responsible, and serious about a long-term commitment.
Unlike men, women who seek relationships with single fathers may not have the same experiences. Most men do not have sole custody of their children and a new spouse would probably have less interaction with his kids.

But a man who wishes to be with a single mother has much to contemplate. He has to weigh options and consider the feelings of everyone involved. More importantly, he must remember that a long-term relationship will include more than just his partner.

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