Man up fellas…why? Because you’re the man, damn it.

by mssinglemama on April 2, 2008

I didn’t say it … this blogging bachelor did. And I 100% agree with him. Men do need to “man” up. In his post titled, “What Men SHOULD Think.”


He says:

Men, get your act together before you go pursuing a long-term relationship or marriage. Don’t tell me that you have to be with this woman right now, because you love them so much. That’s just being selfish. If you care for someone, work your ass off to create a direction and future for yourself. What are you going to offer this woman you love?

Read the rest of that one, it’s awesome. But in his posts “What Men Think When You Tell Them (Part I and Part II)” he tells women not to talk about wanting children.

Talking about your desire or lack of desire to have children. I’m sure there are men who want to talk about that right away. They may be as excited to share as you are. BUT the majority of men don’t want to hear this from anyone unless it is their wife or fiance. Only discuss this when marriage has been agreed upon.

Wife or fiance? Uh-oh. Here’s my line:”so, do you want to have a kid, ummm….2 years ago?”

When I brought this up in a comment WMT had a very good response …

Single parents have a very difficult time dating. Between work and child rearing, it is nearly impossible to date. I think you are right to be up front about it. You don’t want to waste time and later find out that the person isn’t able to deal with you having a kid. As far as the rules on talking about your children? Use tact. I have no experience in this area, so I can’t say more than that.

So far he’s “Ms. Single Mama” approved, although take his advice with a grain of salt becaues he’s never dated a single mom…and as we all know, that’s a whole new game entirely. If even a game at all. More like dating in its rawest form.

As a 28-year-old, my dates are usually childless guys who’ve never been engaged, let alone married. So reading his blog is a refresher course on what these guys are thinking during a date. With that said…

When do you tell men that you’re a single mom?

I’m a big fan of upfront honesty. And as far as taking about your kid on the first date, what do you think? I use as much tact as possible but I never pass on an opportunity to tell a funny Benjamin story. Then I gauge his laugh. Is it awkward and forced? Or does he show genuine interest in my son?

What about you, do you have little secret first date tests for the guys?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

whatmenthink April 2, 2008 at 2:26 am

Thank you for the kind and authentic review. I appreciate honest criticism more than dishonest praise!


mssinglemama April 2, 2008 at 2:42 am

No problem…definitely just a little bit of a critique and more praise. I give you major props for putting it all out there!

And if you ever do go out on a date with a single mom … read my blog beforehand, okay? : )


jonb April 2, 2008 at 2:49 am

I give the guy credit for being honest. And being reformed myself, I must say being a single guy and going with a woman with a child or children is completely different. Now I will say for some reason I have had this abnormal knack for meeting and going out on dates with single moms. I think because I grew up in a household where my mom met a man who rose to the occasion (whom I respect beyond words) I have never treated single moms differently than single women. I feel that because of that, because I didn’t see just a woman with a kid, but a woman, I dated a number of moms.

I did find that they enjoyed simple things so much more, were not so selfish, and had a soft side and genuine nature about themselves. I believe it has something to do with being up for hours with a screaming child, cooking breakfast, having it thrown at you, and being peed on that gets rid of the pretense and bullshit that defines most single women(no offense, sibgle men are as bad or worse).

But to date a single mom is a big choice, and the normal rules DO NOT apply. A mother’s number one concern is her child. A man who is not serious, who cannot settle down, or is not together is harmful to a child. To play for a few weeks then be gone is no good. To be together but have the burden of another man-child to supervise, not just your own, yields nothing but contempt. As a mom you are looking odwn the road, so unless you have a way isolate dating from the child, then a man has to be a man, or get out.

WHen to tell about the child? When to meet…Who knows what is right. I’m sure there’s a Doctor Phil approved time frame or rubric to follow, but the truth is every moment in life is different with differing circumstances and history. My girl and I met at a friends house(a guy she used to date…looooong story) and we all went out. Her and I wound up talking and she had to step away to make a few calls, to which I asked if she was calling her “Needy Boyfriend” (yes, the game was already afoot, lol). She replied she was checking on her son, I asked about him and told her about my God Daughter who is a year older. From there we moved on to other topics and sparks flew(to the guys, when in doubt, people watch and make fun of people, deep down we all like to laugh at other people). She attended a wine festival with me and had a liiiiiittle too much to drink, leading to me carrying her to my car because she lost her friends and ride home, her throwing up in my car, and passing out at my place. Hell of a first impression right? LOL. But before you judge her and the ex were preparing to go to court and she had found out he had cheated on her since the little guy was born. So I took her home the next morning and we talked and talked. We stopped at her sister’s house to pick up the little guy, and I was impressed and blown away by him. He was so smart, cute, and sweet at two years old, I knew there had to be something special about a mom who could do this on her own. Meeting her son early is why I didn’t judge her based on our first time out.

I guess the rule of thumb really isn’t a rule. It’s a guideline, and the truth is you will know the right time when it presents itself. Meeting her son brought us together, and though it has been challenging to go through the initial phases of dating, it has never felt wrong or harmful to the little guy.

To be with a single mom, you have to be a man. Being a man is not just finances, or being in at a decent hour. It is about accepting responsibility for your actions, it is about knowing there will be ramifications, and making a decision based on the information at hand. One must ACT, not react. My love and I recently had a crossroads where the reality of what we had became so apparent we had to confront it. Her son had reached for me for comfort when he fell on his head. Boom. It was real. I had to make a choice, because it wasn;t just me and her, but him as well. I made my choice, and although I find myself terrified at times or intimidated, I stand by my choice. I only hope now that we do work out and what we have gets us through our differences, because I would hate myself for ever hurting either of them.

Ladies, you have every right to demand that your man BE A MAN. You do not have the luxury of accepting anything less.
I have learned it is very difficult to walk the path of manhood. I know only because it is a daily struggle. Because of where my path has led me, I respect my mom for what she did as a single mom, and my father for loving not only my mother, but having the strength to love our family as well.

Men, if you aren’t ready, get out. These women have more on their plates than you could ever know. Love them, support them, and be real with them. They do not have time for your games or trifles. If you are not ready for that, have the decency to get out before you hurt them or their child.

end rant. ciao for the evening.


dadshouse April 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Ms Single Mama – “All Hail the Instant Family!” As a single dad, I hear you.

What Men Think’s insights are witty and most times accurate – in short, he rocks! Here I am a 40-something single man agreeing with a 20-something single man on matters of women, dating, etc. Something universal going on there, no?


singlemomseeking April 2, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Ms. Single Mama: I use the same first-date tactic… tell a funny kid story and watch to see whether he laughs or his eyes glaze over.

I greatly disagree with this guy re: “Only discuss [kids] when marriage has been agreed upon.”

What the–? So, let’s say that you’re a single woman who wants kids. You get engaged and THEN hear from a guy, “Actually, I don’t want kids.”

I don’t think the kid-issue has to be big or talked about in more than 5 minutes. But I think it’s crucial to know upfront whether someone wants kids or not.

It’s a simple “yes” or “no” question, most of the time. It’s also a huge deal breaker to be aware of BEFORE you get engaged.

I always ask the “Do you want kids?” question up front.

Many guys — in their 40s — have told me on a second or third date, “I’m thinking that two or three more kids would be perfect. I want to be surrounded by children.”

Yikes. I store that info. in a spot close to the front of my brain.


mssinglemama April 3, 2008 at 1:04 am

Must pull this quote out of Jon B’s comment:

To be with a single mom, you have to be a man. Being a man is not just finances, or being in at a decent hour. It is about accepting responsibility for your actions, it is about knowing there will be ramifications, and making a decision based on the information at hand. One must ACT, not react.

Ladies, you have every right to demand that your man BE A MAN. You do not have the luxury of accepting anything less.

Men, if you aren’t ready, get out. These women have more on their plates than you could ever know.


Lots of good tips from Jon B…these were my favorite lines and the moment when his little guy reached for him instead of his mom. Good stuff.


SMS – are you scared when they say that 2 or 3 more kids would be perfect b/c you don’t want any more? : )


Dad’s House – yep…we have insta-families! Hoo rah!


whatmenthink April 3, 2008 at 1:12 am

Jon B is right about its more than financial security to date a single mom. He lists what it takes to have a family and as it has been pointed out many times here, dating/marrying a single parent does indeed create an insta-family.


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QTMama April 3, 2008 at 1:47 am

I disagree – DATING a single mom does not in fact create an insta-family, it does, however, create the POTENTIAL for one.


mssinglemama April 3, 2008 at 2:10 am

You’re right QT. Definitely not insta-family, but to a guy dating us – it may feel that way. You know? They’re like – holy crap, this is a family! But we, single parents, obviously see it differently.

Thanks so much for pointing that out.


randomesq April 3, 2008 at 3:46 am

I’ve got to say that I also think the topic of kids should come up long before an engagement. It’s a pretty important issue for most people and too important to leave until you’re on the verge of deciding if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone.

I went to law school with a guy who had two kids and he never told anyone (he had them when he was just out of highschool). He did not have pictures of his kids up and it was like his big shameful secret. The shameful part was that he was secretive instead of proud. I still sort of think of him as an a**hole because of it.


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Noone April 3, 2008 at 4:12 am

I am not a single mother or a man, but if I were a man I would like her to tell me on our third date. That way I am not just going to act on the initial fear and panic men get, but I will think about what I already know about her, how I already feel about her and probably take my precious time in considering the logistics involved with dating a single mum.

I say this because I feel during the first date the guy has not formed any sort of attachment to you and it is just EASIER for him to bail on you once he hears that.

And some of them do just that.


C a r a


mssinglemama April 3, 2008 at 11:59 am

Cara – the jerks do that. The jerks who just aren’t that into you…which is why I always tell right away. That initial fear and panic can be quelched a bit by how, we, the single moms deliver the message too. I’ll go into this more in a new post….Thanks for commenting!

Random – that’s a sad, sad story.


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QTMama April 3, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Interesting … I was checking out the other night, just poking around. There is the question: Do you have children?

I was shocked at how many men put “Prefer not to say”

Why the hell not? I would NEVER agree to date anyone that had that box checked!!!


dadshouse April 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm

As a single dad who has been dating off and on for 8 years since my divorce (ie when I’m not in a relationship) – at first I’d tell women right off the bat about my kids. That scared a lot of them off. I was dateless.

So, on the advice of some single female friends, I started NOT telling them until the third date. Bad idea – not because women ran away (they didn’t, because by a third date they knew me better and were more attached), but because my kids are a HUGE part of my life. To not talk about them is weird. It’s like I’m keeping a shameful secret.

Now I’m back to working my kids into conversation immediately. I can usually do so in a way that’s amusing or topical, opening the door for a woman to enter or not as she chooses.

After 8 years I’m still single, and a lot of that has to do with me being a single parent. (I’m guessing Single Mom Seeking will say something similar, as I believe she’s been on her own nearly as long). I don’t hide the fact I have kids. I only date women who are okay with me being a dad – in fact, I only date women who LIKE that I’m a dad. Single parents bring a lot of great qualities to the table.


milo April 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm

I have a question to ask of the readers – both men and women, moms, dads, seeking or found – because it’s been bugging me…

Is it really that big of a deal to most people you have dated to have kids involved in their relationships? Does it maybe have to do with where a person comes from as far as family background?

I only ask because I personally come from a close-knit family…my parents have been together for 37 years and actually still like each other, and I have always felt while growing up that I was in a minority in that respect.
To me, dating a woman with a daughter is like second nature…maybe because I’m so used to kids, maybe because I’m a big kid at heart anyway, but I didn’t see the big deal about it. When you meet someone you truly care about who’s intelligent, driven, and just a great person, their kid is just an extension of those great qualities…granted an occasionaly messy, hyper extension of those qualities (I kid of course), but an asset to the relationship rather than a detriment…that’s how I see it anyway.

Like I said, maybe that’s just me, but I for one was thankful that I found a girl to really care about (and God knows I’m picky with women) who WAS a single mom – not inspite of it.


mssinglemama April 7, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Milo – depends. I think it depends on the connection…I’ve written a post on this –

So check that out.

So…how is it going, did you get the girl??? Sounds like it!!!!

I love this …

“Like I said, maybe that’s just me, but I for one was thankful that I found a girl to really care about (and God knows I’m picky with women) who WAS a single mom – not inspite of it.”


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