By contributer: Joan Thatiah.
Motherhood changes a woman.
These changes are more intense if a woman is a single parent. Dating her is a different ball game altogether. From my own dating experiences, here are things that you should know about dating a single mum.
You will not be number one
The mother-child bond is intense. If you want to get with a single mum, do not expect her to place your wants and needs before those of her child. Do not try to make her choose because truth be told, I will not choose you over my child. Take solace however, in the fact that there is enough space for both of you in my heart.
Plans are not set in stone
Juggling work and motherhood is no easy task. When you are dating a single mother, you can’t just show up at her house asking to take her to the movies. You need to plan in advance. These plans however can be cancelled at the last minute should Junior be taken ill.
I am not looking for a father for my child
I may be raising a child on my own but do not assume that I am desperate for a replacement for my child’s father. He may not be in our lives but I do have male role models for him.I want to know you and enjoy your company. Stop trying to play daddy to my child.
The Ex Factor
When there is a child involved, it is possible that there is an ex lurking in the shadows. You have no reasons to get jealous or paranoid. We may be co-parenting but I am with you. If I wanted to be with him, I would be with him.
I have no time for games
The best thing about dating a single mum is perhaps the fact that she has seen it all and she knows exactly what she wants. She will not play mind games with you. She will also not sit by the phone waiting for you to call her. If you are interested in her, make your intentions clear. If I think you are too much trouble, I will steer clear of you. The only games that I have time for are those that I play with my child.
I am not looking to be rescued
You may imagine that because I am raising a child alone, I am looking for a man to rescue me. That she is looking to settle down as soon as possible is perhaps the biggest misconception about the single mother. I may have dreams of want to settle down sometime settling down sometime in the future but this is after I have found someone good enough not only for me but also for my child.
I can see right through you
If you are thinking of making a good time girl of that cute single mum you just met, don’t. This is of course unless she also wants the same thing. While protecting my little brood over the years, I have learnt to be intuitive. Do not pretend to be interested in me or to like my child. I can see right through your lies. Playing games will backfire on you.
You are not doing me a favour by dating me
One might imagine that because of her circumstances, you are doing a single mothera favour by dating her. You are not. While she will appreciate it if you pamper her, you will be lucky if you win her heart and trust. My single mum status should tell you that I am likely to have been hurt in the past and it is up to you to prove yourself worthy of me and my child.
You will have the talk early on in the relationship
While you are likely to take weeks or even months before having the talk with a single woman, I will put all her cards on the table early on. No, this isn’t a scare tactic. This is my way of gauging if you can handle me or not. Remember, I have no time to waste playing games.
I don’t want to talk about my kids over dinner
True, I love my child more than anything else on earth but I want you to stop asking me questions about him over dinner. It is nice that you ask me how he is doing but I want you to focus on me first as a woman and not a mother.
Do not make any assumptions
If I have been dating you for a while I might bring my baby along for a date because it is convenient. Do not assume that this is an invitation for you to start playing Daddy. If I suggest that we take my date to my place, this isn’t an invitation for sex. This could be what is convenient for me.
You will have to kill the PDAs
I am not uptight. You however need to deal with the fact that I will not encourage public displays of affection around my child. I like you and I like the fact that you are affectionate. I am however wary of the fact that excessive displays of affection will unnerve my child. When around him, a simple hug will do.