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Dating YUMs: The Moment of Truth

Filed under : Relationships, Single YUM

By: Imogen Moore

When Young Urban Moms tell the guy they’re dating that they have kids, its a big deal; and his reaction will let you know whether he’s a keeper

Telling a guy that you have kids is a milestone moment—and a test of his character.

Some guys have no problem dating a single mom. At first, they’re surprised, certainly… They give you that look that means they are rapidly readjusting their perception of you. You know that look. Then, the image of the cute, funny, intelligent woman becomes crowded with images of sticky, whiny two-year-olds clinging to the leg of their Hugo Boss suit.

But don’t fear, because the good ones recover quickly.

They sometimes even wave their hand and say: “It’s not an issue.”

I know we’re supposed to be grateful when we hear this. I know he’s trying to say that he sees us as a woman and not just a mom. I know we should take his nonchalance as a compliment, but I can’t help being bothered by it.

No matter what else is going on in our lives (whether with jobs, friends, family or men), being a mom is always the most important thing. Even when we’re absorbed with work or taking time for ourselves (I know this never happens, but I live in hope!), there’s a voice in the back of our heads that murmurs constantly about our children. And if a guy truly sees our single mom-ness as unimportant, it begs the question:

Why not?

After talking to some of my male friends, I have found a few possible solutions.

1) He’s lying. His actions over the next few weeks will tell you how he really feels. Either he’ll disappear for good, or turn into a whiny two-year old himself when your time is taken up with your kids instead of him. Like any woman in her right mind would choose 7:00 am soccer practice over a lazy Saturday morning in bed.

2) He means it. He means it because he knows absolutely nothing about kids and assumes they come equipped with a silent mode, like his iPhone. We wish.

3) He means it, because wellhe’ll never meet your kids. He only wants to go to bed with you occasionally, or just once.

4) He means it because he genuinely likes you, and truly believes (either through ignorance or frightening amounts of optimism) that the two of you can keep your dating life and your single parenthood separate.

None of these options are particularly appealing, or even within shouting distance of realistic. When we tell a guy about our kids, it’s usually because we like him and want to see where this will go. So when he says that it’s not important that you’re a single mom, the warning bells begin to ring.

Are we doomed to an exhausting relationship, where we’re off behaving as if we don’t have kids and can always find the time to look this good?

Or a fast disillusionment when he realizes that our lives are all about rushing home from work to collect our kid(s), desperately trying to think of a meal that is balanced, nutritious, cheap, easy, and satisfies today’s loud whines of “But I hate <insert vegetable name here>.”

Gentlemen (if you’re reading), the correct response when your date tells you she is a single mom is—put simply—the truth.

“That’s a big deal. Where do I fit in?”

Personally, I’m still waiting to hear that particular little pearl. And because I’m an optimist,  I’ll keep waiting.

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