In the last 30 years or so, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how society views single, unmarried parents.
While stigma and perceptions vary by cultural group, and changes in acceptance have occurred at different paces, it’s now commonly accepted that there are unmarried people who have children seeking love and companionship.
Single mothers, particularly in Black communities, have been viewed both as strong heroines who are the backbones of their families as well as vicious destroyers of the traditional family structure.
Single fathers are often demonized as deadbeat dads or heralded for their involvement in their children’s lives.
Whatever the perception, the majority of single mothers and single fathers want to date, find loving happiness with a great partner and build a solid companionship that makes them and their children happiest.
Anthony, a single father of three, says that being a man with children by multiple women carries a stigma of him being irresponsible and incapable of fidelity and commitment. For a man, he says, dating with children is often easier when the woman of interest has a child too.
The woman of interest has the choice of accepting his parameters and working within them, or rejecting them.Marie, a single mother of one, says that dating with a son is challenging because she’s not only dating for herself, but to find someone suitable to help raise him and set a good example as a man.She acknowledges that there’s always the fear a man won’t be welcoming when she tells him she has a child, but that just lets her know she needs to keep it moving.She also has a personal rule of waiting a year before introducing someone she’s dating to her child, because she believes children are impressionable and she wants to avoid hurting her son as much as possible.
Kevin, a single man with no children, says he has no problem dating women with children and has had various experiences.One woman kept him and her child separate because their “friends with benefits” situation didn’t call for that level of connection.Another wanted her child to call him “Daddy” after only four months of dating, so he had to fall back from that situation.Kevin says that, for the most part, he’s had good experiences dating women with children.