A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding a Manperson

by mssinglemama on November 28, 2010

Blast from the past posts:

Remember when Benjamin used to call every man on the street “Daddy?”
I missed the third anniversary of starting my blog. Typically I give myself a pat on the back for making it this far without either a) quitting or b) losing all of my readers. And then I offer up a recap of my milestone self-discoveries about men and dating as a single mom.

Conveniently for all of you, and keeping with the spirit of this full-disclosure blog, you get to learn from my dating mistakes or accomplishments. But, just remember, you can’t have one without the other. Learn to learn from your mistakes and you’ll be half way there. And besides, you owe your children that much. You’re not just dating for yourself anymore. So how do you learn to date responsibly? How do you break the bad habit of dating men who are bad for you? It’s not easy.

Here’s how I figured that out for myself.

1. First and foremost…  accept this fact: Prince Charming does not exist, neither does “the One” and no one is going to rescue you (but yourself).

2. Recognize that you have baggage. And own that baggage. It’s yours, not his.

3. Learn how to love yourself first. And then ask yourself – would you date you?

4. Then go man shopping. You can only get back out there by getting back out there, but don’t lose control. You are the one choosing who you want to be with and when.

5. Forget about your ex. He is your ex for a reason.

6. Dump that guy who just can’t commit. If he’s not ready, and he’s dating a single mom, than he has an alterior motive. Note: he may not be aware of these motives. After all, he’s just a guy. Can you blame him for hanging around your sweet self when you keep opening the door and letting him in? You need to know what you want if you ever want to find it.

7. Step outside of your dating box. Ditch the bad boys and date someone you wouldn’t necessarily see yourself with. After all, you’ve picked the wrong guys all along. Could it be that it’s you–not them? Just a thought. I know, this one was very hard for me to realize. I didn’t realize it until an entire year after leaving Benjamin’s father. And even then, I found it hard to break my mold and date genuine nice guys.

8. When you do find him you will know because being with him will feel like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. He will always, always answer your calls and he will do just about anything to spend a minute of his time with you. But, neither one of you will be desperate for each other (remember: don’t mistake love for lust).

And for the guys – the best How to Date a Single Mom advice on the Internet. Lots of sweat and tears went into that series.

Ahhhh… that should keep you all busy catching up for a while.

I love you all. And thanks again for being here. What a lovely trip this blog has been. Has anyone received their manifesto yet? I’m dying to hear how they’re doing out there.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Thrifty Vintage Chic November 28, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Been thinking about the Manifesto … haven’t gotten it yet!! And congrats on 3 years … I just celebrated Year 1! So excited to see what Year 2 brings, now!! And, as far as dating goes, I am taking a bit of a break …


Kimberly November 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I just stumbled onto your collection of thoughts on single mom and the dating world. It’s as if you’re in my head! I realize that your posts have been written over the long haul, but thank you so much for collecting them into such an easily accessible format.

I’ll be back to read then ponder. Then read then get honest with myself. Then read and….


Savored Life November 29, 2010 at 8:27 am

Great list, though I do believe in “The One”. (funny, that’s my last blog entry…) Having three little munkees and an ex like mine is A LOT to accept beyond the connection and love between just he and I. The love between Romeo and I is BIG; bigger than I could ever imagine. I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason. After all that I have experienced, Romeo’s entrance, intermission, reappearance & the life we’ve had for the last nine months prove this. Perhaps my “hopeless romantic ” side *needs* to believe this too. “The One” is the partner that is perfect for me. I don’t feel like I’m settling for anything. I feel like WE were MEANT to be together…

I’m just so happy I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m so excited to build OUR life together…


Stac November 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

I also believe in the one.


David Rickert November 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Great post – a good summation of all that you’ve learned. Thanks again for coming in and talking to the kids – good feedback again.


Anna S May 8, 2012 at 11:40 am

I agree, very interesting post. I enjoyed reading it!


Sarah November 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I think #1 is important. We see a lot out there “don’t take any crap from anyone and if he has a single flaw drop him like a hot potato”.

While of course I don’t believe that I should go for the first one who comes along, I also believe that I should be conscious that I have a few flaws myself and should give other the benefit of doubt before start accusing right away at the least sign of something I don’t like.

I would translate this by “give the guy a chance before rejecting him”.


soon2bsinglemom November 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I think #3 is so, so important! My divorce will be final 3 weeks from today and I’m looking forward to my single life…for a while. I know I want to get married again someday but am really excited about getting to know myself all over again.


Cissy November 30, 2010 at 2:46 am

I loved reading this post! I have been following you for almost TWO years now. I remember writing you and immediately getting an email back from you with encouraging words. I am so incredibly grateful your voice is out there…I agree with all but #8 is so so true. It took me two years to find this feeling again. 🙂


LadyLuck November 30, 2010 at 11:13 am

I received and sent the manifesto over a month ago so I know it’s out there somewhere! It’s fun to wonder who has it now.


mssinglemama November 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Love hearing all of your feedback to these theories of mine. All definitely up for debate! It’s funny how each of us has our own definitions and experiences with love.


Swati Bharteey November 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

#8 is SO important – I really think warm blankies are lasting whereas sudden bursts of fire are…well…fun when you’re 20 but not meant to be kept around :-).

So happy you are creating a new life!



Diana Mulkern November 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I have not received my manifesto yet! Anxiously waiting though! I am trying to date. Met someone great. He was divorced said he was over her. 3 months in that is not true. Crushed me. I finally tried and thats what i got! Dont know where to go from here. Any advice?


Candice December 1, 2010 at 12:25 am

This is my favorite post of all three years! It takes the cake. It is like the 8-step program for single mamas everywhere. Mama-non


mommybella December 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

Wow three years… It’s been three years for me too… three years as a single mom. while living the 3 years every day felt like forever, but now that we look back on them time has flown by and our lil boys are more like lil men.


liz December 4, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I would add that a step in there should be- crap I forgot. I really had something to say but I forgot it entirely when interrupted yet again to fix a toy train. grrrr


Liv December 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I’m running across this post at a time when I’m really feeling less-than-optimistic about finding someone great. So many bad dates, failed relationships, and I just cannot take one more internet dating site. Any advice about where/how to meet great guys?


Nick Stanham December 23, 2010 at 5:27 am

I think it must be really hard to find someone reliable and I wish you all the best of luck !!! there are good guys out there.


popculturprinny December 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Great blog! Glad I stumbled upon it. However, I’ll have to disagree with you because I DO believe in “the one,” and just wrote my first blog about that very subject. Although, I’ve never been married and have been single for a loooonnng time. So maybe I should rethink this theory. 🙂 Anyway, my first blog entry is called “Ode to Jake Ryan” – http://artimitatinglife.wordpress.com/ (Yes, it’s about the guy from Sixteen Candles). And hopefully, one day I’ll find “him”…

Thanks for sharing!


Stephanie January 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Just reading this. Good advice.

I gotta wonder…do any of you other single moms feel like you will never find the right person? I’ve been single for 4 years (DD is 3.5), and that’s how I feel.


NaNa March 19, 2011 at 12:42 am

Hola! Shalom you lovely ladies! I am new to this blogging stuff. Just stumbled (quite happily) upon this and feel a bit relieved.
You see, I too am a single mama, 35, teacher, homeowner,,,I think i got it “going on”,,but I have been single for 4 years now. I can HONESTLY say that I have not ever had a healthy relationship even though I have been in 3 major ones and the longest was 7 years.
These past 4 years have been a great period of learning and growth. Just tonight in fact, I deleted my on-line profile on a dating site. I am over the drama of “dating”.
I dont understand why I am single. Its not like a bad thing,,,right? But i just feel like I am missing out on something. I live in a small town and about 98% of the poeple my age are either married or in relationships.
I spend WAYYYYY too much time with my daughter (she’s 10) that she begs me to go out and date.
I go out but with whom? when i go out by myself, men think i am looking for ” a good time.”
My girlfriends either live in another state or city and the ones her are mom and wives.
So, in my sheer and utter last attempt to find some kind of sanity…I luckily found this blog and feel much better. Reading your thoughts and opinions is quite refreshing and nice. Hope to be on here more


NaNa March 19, 2011 at 12:51 am


I feel like that sometimes,,,but we have got to keep the faith and BELIEVE. I believe that God has a wonderful man for me. It is HIs time and in our time, we work on ourselves and just be prepared. Be prepared for the man.
Already be exercising regularly and taking care of your health and feeeling that incredible LOVE for yourself.
There are going to be times when we get down and feel like crap (much like when we are dieting) but this is when we need each other and remind ourselves that we have a choice. We can choose to be upset at our situation. Or we can choose to accept it for what it is and enjoy the journey. We create it after all.


Viktor July 13, 2011 at 6:47 am

Well said. All right. Interesting information, but that would not make a mistake in choosing your second half – see their compatibility with your partner before the wedding. For those who want to find a partner compatible with your ideal date of birth, then come through my signature on the Card of Love.


Becca October 4, 2011 at 12:30 am

I was thinking as I was reading, how does Benjamin’s father feel about your blog? You reference him, and I was just wondering I suppose how you two communicate and if he has a problem with the blogging.


Bruce February 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Being a man this one article really caught my eye… and of course I have four daughters ages 18-24 so women and dating is an interest of mine from that perspective even if they are not single moms. … They do come to me frequently about boys… as a parent, Im concerned that one day one if not more may be a single parent one day. Just by the odds. Single parenting is on the rise for 20 somethings. Divorce has consequences we cannot escape. I always instill into my children 1) learn to take care of your self first 2) relationships are a form of partnership, theres give and take and 3) be with the one who fuels your energy and makes you better.


Erin Marie March 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I remember reading your blog for the first time. I was in a relationship after my divorce that wasn’t moving any where. I felt like I was the only one- until I read your blog and saw that I was right where I needed to be. Your blogging inspired me to write my own about being a solo-mommy and I have learned so much. Thank you for being such a personal inspiration to me! Happy bloggiversary!!


Hillary July 13, 2012 at 6:46 am

Great post and #8 really resonated with me.

Love your blog as well. Look forward to getting through more of your posts.


Elle August 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I love some of what you figured out and have to say you go girl. Here are my pics….. #2 Bravo!!! Most folk try to get rid of baggage. You hit it right on the head with that one. Own that baggage and be proud of it. #4 That’s it. Hunt. Women need to learn how to hunt. You call it man shopping. I say hunt with animal instinct. #8 You know what type of love you will accept. This is good to know in the dating scene. It will cause you not to waist your time.

These are just my favs. The others have valid and useful points but these are the most important.


Abby December 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

Loveyour self first that’s the key! At elastin my book. If I’ve learned anything in my yearandhalf As a single mom it’s that. Congratulations mssingle mama aka beauty, keep up the good work!


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