Will guys date single moms?

Readers: To read more on this topic check out: Dating in my 20s as a single mom?  or a personal account from Sabrina, “Dating as a single mother.” 

To read about cultural differences within relationships check out:

Why is he hiding our relationship from his family?

Cultural Differences Part 2: Am I being used? 

Dear Guys,

I’m a 24-year-old single mother of one child, and am interested in a guy who is in his late twenties, never married, and has no kids. I am currently a student intern where he is employed, so we have similar educational backgrounds and related professions. I will be finishing my internship soon, and would like to get a feel for whether or not he would be interested in getting to know each other after I am done. I’m concerned that he would be overwhelmed by the fact that I have a child. I’m not looking for a father-figure for my son necessarily since he has a great relationship with his biological father (we simply are not right for each other), but more so for companionship and someone to make sure that I take the time to have fun once in awhile. He seems to live kind of a bachelor lifestyle; however, in speaking to him it seems that this is because his life right now is able to afford him one. Do you have any good tips to see if he might be interested too? Also, what is your guy’s take on dating a single mom?
Thanks for your help!


Dear Rachel,

Thanks for writing. We’re sure there are plenty of other single moms, and dads, wondering the same things. We’ll just speak for THE GUYS here.

Hopefully this guy will decide to date you or not, based on who you are as a person, not the fact that you have a child. However, dating a woman with kids is not the first choice of most guys, especially guys who’ve never been married before, or who don’t have their own children. But each person is different, so nothing ventured nothing gained.

This guy is in his twenties, so he’s still a young man. He SHOULD be living the bachelor life because that’s what most guys in their twenties do, whether they have money or not. But this doesn’t mean he couldn’t fall for you, it just means he’ll be faced with a decision that he might not be ready to make. Does he really want to be a father figure right away? (It doesn’t matter that you aren’t looking for a daddy for your child. The fact is, you have a child, and whoever enters your life will have to embrace that to some degree in order to be with you.)

It sounds like you have a solid relationship with your ex which is great for your son. It’s also easier for a guy to walk into a situation that’s positive rather than dealing with a hostile and combative situation. We commend you for that.  But the truth is, having a child and an ex, could scare this guy away. (It would scare a lot of guys away.)

But many couples run into obstacles that are difficult. Religion. Ethnicity. Class. All of these have been known to create confusion and conflict. In fact anytime two people come from different backgrounds or have different experiences, there’s more of a chance of potential conflicts.

But even with potential issues out of the gate, this guy might not care. Here are a few reasons that guys in general might be open to dating a women with kids.

1. If a guy is super attracted to you he won’t care if you have a child. Or if he finds you fascinating.  Just make sure his intentions are true. Be careful.

2. If a guy has been married before. Or has a kid of his own. Now you both have similar experiences and the playing field is even.

3. If he’s just a cool guy who’s very secure with himself. This is a stretch for guys in their 20s but it’s possible. You’re more likely to find this with a slightly older guy in their 30s or 40s or older certainly. But it doesn’t hurt to explore all your options.

So that’s it in a nutshell. We hope we haven’t scared you off. If you’re into this guy, we say go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose really. But our biggest tip to you is be direct. Invite him over for dinner. If that scares him off, well he’s not the right guy for you anyway.

Hope this makes sense. Good luck and keep us posted.


If you have a relationship question, drop us a line on the Ask The Guys page. We’ll answer here or on our podcast.

Please leave a comment and/or a question.

31 Comments on Will guys date single moms?

  1. One thing to consider about your prospective guy’s point of view… He will be walking into your life and will never be able to climb higher than #2. Your child will always come first regarding your time and attention and he will have to be able to deal with that in order for your relationship to succeed.

    As someone who has dated and married single women, it’s not an easy thing to accept, especially if he’s childless in his own right.

  2. If a guy is super attracted to you he won’t care if you have a child. Or if he finds you fascinating. Just make sure his intentions are true. Be careful.

    I’d say this is true for about 80% of men in the age bracket mentioned here. A man’s brain is really not as complicated as a woman’s brain. As long as a man finds a woman attractive, the mental state required for short-term pair-bonding should remain active.

    He seems to live kind of a bachelor lifestyle; however, in speaking to him it seems that this is because his life right now is able to afford him one.

    This fact is conducive to the condition wherein sexual intimacy can occur between the guy and Rachel (that is, if the guy really likes Rachel). If the guy does not have an issue regarding his physiological and safety needs, then he could be trying to fulfill his need of having an intimate partner at this time.

  3. I know it isn’t helpful but I interpreted the guys’ response to say that it depends on the guy. Some men are able to step into that position but others are not. My feeling would be that you don’t really want someone who wouldn’t be able to accept your child.

  4. Everything you said to Rachel is true. Especially the part about the guy being in his twenties and that normally means that, yeah, he will be living the bachelor lifestyle- whether he has extra spending money or not. Chances are, he won’t be looking to get involved with a woman who already has a kid. Divorced women with kids are like Kryptonite to Superman. In his mind, it would be like getting involved in two relationships (one, with the divorced mom and the other, with the kid) that are dependent on the other. One can threaten or strengthen the other.

    If he’s just wanting to have sex with her, he won’t care.

    But, maybe the guy is different from most single bachelor-lifestyle living guys in their twenties. I wish Rachel luck.

  5. Someone I know told me his friends aren’t against dating a woman with a child. Why? No loft ideals, no secure in themselves, no belief in fates bringing them where they’re supposed to be. They do it because, in their words, “If she’s got a kid, chances are I’m going to get laid.”

    My faith in mankind is still reeling. ((0.o))

  6. I’m a single mother and I’ve dated a few guys since I became a mom. None of them had a problem with me having kids, but I realized it created many problems for my child and for me. Even if you are not looking for a ‘father figure’ your child will become attached to whomever you date, and if they leave that leaves the child feeling abandoned. I ended up quitting dating cuz my daughter just became too attached to the guys I dated, and out of the two serious relationships I had neither of them worked out in the end. She was devastated. I just couldn’t do that to her anymore. Just something to think about.

  7. I like your response to Rachel – honest, true and straight-forward. Once upon a time, I dated a guy who was a single dad and I was in my mid-twenties. When I think back, I didn’t mind the fact he had a child. Sometimes I offered to baby-sit or help the child with her homework. But I have to include in the story that, I didn’t take another step forward in that relationship. He asked me to move in with them and I refused. It wasn’t because he had a child – but because I wasn’t ready to commit yet.

  8. Enter your comments here…

  9. Agreed with all of the above…If this guy does have a problem with your having a child…huge red flag there girl…turn the other way as this is not a good sign.
    This you will only know by telling him in conversation and see how he reacts.

    The minute you worry about who you are in regards to how a new potential partner is concerned…is the minute you are already losing your confidence in who you are.

    Keep the facts straight and do not even hesitate to tell him about your child…saves everyone a lot of time in the end :)

  10. generation x // September 15, 2010 at 12:40 am //

    My honest opinion is that a guy in his twenties may be unrealistic. That stage of life for a guy is a “carefree” period where Monday Night Football, NASCAR, or even video games may take front-court on certain nights of the week (aka Friday Night). Note all the sports idioms in that last sentence. When I was in my 20s, I did not want to get married at all. At the age of 23, I went to visit a friend, a college football player, who had a real beautiful girlfriend. Her older sister was divorced with a two year old son. She was really hot – a younger version of Christie Brinkley. She wanted to go out, but I just did not really respond. I sort of excused myself out of the family room in an awkward way. The reality was that I just did not want to do it. I did not want to get married or date a single woman in the first place. A the time, I just thought marriage was really hard work. (I was right). In the midst of all that, a married woman did not have a chance with me at all. Come to think of it, I wasn’t too crazy about commitment with a single woman either. I preferred freedom, sports, video games, and a “stag” mobility.

    Things have really changed since I am older. My friend mentioned above got divorced. I have relatives who are divorced. I have some relatives who remarried with step children, etc. Divorce and stepfamilies are very common. As for me, I am open to dating a single mother now and am actually started. I have changed since my early 20s back in the 90s.

    What happened? The key concepts are maturity and a sense of realism. As an older guy I understand that many relationships don’t work out. I think adults should have the right to a 2nd chance. It just takes an older, more mature individual to get past the complexities. I think maturity adds patience and understanding. The key in your case would be to date men who are more mature with that sense of realism. The guy you like right now is in his 20s and is most likely very unrealistic. If he were in his 30s he might be mature enough to do it.

    The other factor is counseling. If the relationship with the ex failed, then why? Are you absolutely sure you will avoid the same problems? In addition, there is help and counseling available for step children and new step parents in blended families. How do I know this? I looked into it because I have fallen for a single mother.

  11. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that, things have changed so in the past. Especially if the child has a great relationship with his father then there shouldn’t be a problem.

  12. I’m a 26 year old professional who just finished dating a 23 year old mother of two. Everyone tells me I’m mature for my age and all I work for is a future with a woman and a family (of my own and to include someone else, if the woman is right). We took it slow in the beginning of our 3-4 month relationship. We didnt have sex for a month, just hung out, went to movies, hung out on the beach went to the mall etc.

    I was looking for the relationship and family structure but out of the blue she called it quits. Is out partying, dating other guys and living the “fast life”. Riding motorcycles (which I don’t recommend any single mother of two do by the way LOL) etc when she just praised at how mature I was and would be great for her.

    So it all depends on the girl too. I respect her decision, even though it was not the one that I wanted …to move on. But I think it revolved around NOT wanting to settle down and spend her young 20’s having fun before settling down as well!

    In this weird relationship for me …the norm was flipped for both the woman and the man. But I can assure you that there are men out there in there 20’s who are damn well capable, ready, mature and responsible enough to take on everything a single mother brings to the relationship.

    I’m very glad I dated a mother of two. It actually taught me how mature I was and how I should be open to any relationship type.

    To wrap it up, I think society has changed. Not in whole, but there are young men out there who can warm up to the fact of family life in there 20’s if the woman is right for them.

  13. @Dustin…..thanks for sharing your opinion on this. It’s nice to see that men like you are stepping up to the plate,
    and not letting most of society dictate their actions.

  14. I am a 32 year old divorced mother of a six year old son who has been dating a 26 year old for over half a year. He actively pursued the relationship; I was very reluctant at first, primarily out of protection for my son’s feelings (I believe all children get attached to the prospect of a new “daddy”) and secondly due to our age difference. It is the best relationship I’ve ever known and I am happy every day I finally gave it a chance. I think it simply depends upon the people involved. Good luck Rachel!

  15. @LAS…you are exactly right. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s helpful to our other readers and listeners.

  16. im am 24 single and never married,and I can honestly tell you thay there are some great single mothers out there,my mom is one.but ever since I was like 12 I dreamed of meeting a girl,falling in love with her,get married,and have a baby together.if i date a single mother seriously,life according to my dreams wont be there.she has already given another man a baby and maybe even married him.it may sound selfish but I have a clean slate and I want someone who is in the same place in there life.like I said there are some awesome single mothers,but there is no reason I would want to date someone with exta responsibilities just to be with her.i have no need to be in a relationship that is gonna put extra responsabilities on me.

  17. @Kyle……And we can totally understand your point of view. Thanks for sharing.

  18. As an African-American man, single mothers unfortunately are about 80% of the dating pool. I’m 31 and made all of the so-called right choices, and now all of the attractive black ladies who overlooked me in my 20’s now see me as an option, but I don’t want them or their children. There’s absolutely NO one to date in the 28-34 African-American Female dating pool. ALL of them have kids and bad attitudes. It’s like I’m being punished for living a clean life. I can have all the sex I want with these women, but I want a meaningful relationship with a good woman. Oh well!

  19. @Mike……thanks for your perspective. If that’s the case, maybe you need to try and meet someone a little younger? OR is it possible you’re in the wrong part of the country? We’re curious as to where you’re located.

    Thanks again and good luck.

  20. @Singlemom2……..yes, good luck. Let us know if you have a question. Contact us through our contact page. All the best.

  21. I’ve dated a few single mothers. I don’t anymore for one reason: I want a family someday and most women I’ve dated who have kids already don’t want anymore.

  22. I am 23 and I am currently dating a beautiful single mother of two beautiful girls. We’ve been dating for 8 months now and everything is great between us. My relationship with the girls and with my girlfriend. Ive heard stories of many people having daddy drama children drama etc but that has nothing to do with us. There is nothing that i would say is getting in the way of us building a strong family foundation for a good future, other than the issues i have when i think of wishing that the girls where mine and not some other man. I really believe this is the girl ive always wanted she is great mom, great girlfriend and a great woman over all. I really want to get passed this but sometimes it really bugs me it wont be nothing like a regular family (my own). if there is anything you guys recommend for me to do pls do so cause i really want this to work for us.

  23. @Alebert……Your relationship sounds solid, and you seem devoted to this woman and her two girls. It’s natural for you to feel the way you feel. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your adopted
    family as well, but it’s different. Have you spoken to her about how you feel? Have you asked her whether or not she is willing to have more kids with you? Or if she even wants to have more
    kids? Modern families come in so many varieties that the good news is: Your family can look any way you envision it to look. We recommend getting some dialogue going with your partner. If
    she’s as cool as you say she is, she should understand how you feel, and want to try and figure out how to make it work. Remember to be positive first. Tell he how much you love her and her two girls, and that you feel lucky to have them in your life, etc. etc. Good luck. We’re pulling for you.

  24. I’m 20 and I have a little girl on the way my first child, I was engaged to the dad for a year and he promised me the family I have always dreamed of. We planned our little one and he left me for another girl 3 months after we found out I was pregnant. Now I’m worried there won’t be any men in their 20s to date that are ok with me being a single mother. I believe in love and want a healthy relationship around my daughter. I don’t though want to be bouncing from guy to guy with her involved or be living like a nun until I get older so men are more ready to commit. I would be more then ok with starting a bigger family with my husband in the future but will I even be given that chance in my 20s? Is it just a waiting game until they mature or is there hope to still settling down?

  25. @Ashley……Thanks for your question. Typically we like people to submit a question on the Ask the Guys page so we can give each question their just due. What we’re going to do is copy/paste your question and address it in an actual post, since we think you speak for many single people with kids in their 20s.

  26. Lusubilo // April 1, 2012 at 2:10 am //

    I am a 27 year old single mom of a 10 year old boy. I had him in my teens and have never been married. I’ve never thought of my single motherhood as a big deal in my dating until very recently. My son has grown up partly with his grandmother as I was pursuing my education. I now have an MBA and work as a business consultant so I am self sufficient. During that time I went through a couple of serious relationships that ended due to distance. Now since coming back home I have not dated anyone because I don’t want a casual relationship. Now a couple of weeks ago I started getting into dating someone who has known me for several years then out of the blue he says he didn’t want things to continue and when I asked why he says it was because he was no longer comfortable with the idea of me having a child. That really threw me because he has always known I have a child. I don’t have issues with my son’s father in fact haven’t heard from him in all the ten years. I live with family so I don’t have to deal with a baby sitter issues and I do occasionally spend the night out. I am totally self suffiecient money, car, home, medical insurance and I take care of myself physically and manage my home fairly well. I avoid rambling on about my son unless am asked about him. He is a very disciplined and respectful child and I don’t introduce him to my male friends so he has never had attachment issues.(these are the issues that guys seem to have a problem with). Is there really anything I could could do to seem more appealing or was the problem his really?

  27. @Lusubilo……..You don’t need to change a thing. It sounds like you’re very aware of some of the issues men might have when dating a woman with kids. (They might be worried about having to support the woman and child. They might be worried about always being second, or having to revolve their whole life/schedule around woman and kid. Etc. ) However, sometimes it really isn’t anyone’s “fault.” Sometimes guys just want to have their own biological family, simple as that. That’s not your issue, and not really theirs, it’s just the way they feel. Don’t take it personally, just move on and keep dating. We can assure you that there are plenty of men that won’t care, especially if they’re a little older and more mature.

  28. I’m a single mother of three!!! I met this great guy he has no kids, he spends a lot of time with me! He even help me with a party for one of my kids,he even took my kids to school one day ,he’s in his late 20’s he wants kids,I use to flip out on him a lot because I didn’t trust him its from past history, and just when he started to bond with the kids I messed it up and now when he come over its awkward I have to separated the kids from us he’s nerves now and scared to get close again I’m sad he really is the nices guy I ever met, he’s a hard working man nice car house great job uggggg Im thinking about ended it because I can’t let my kids run up stairs or keep them apart when he comes over,andi have no drama all my kids are by one man!its only been almost to months of us dating I know things moved fast but I’m ready for him I don’t think he wants me!!!help me please

  29. @Pinky804…..What did you do to mess it up? Is it possible he’s using this as an excuse to push you away? Fill us in some more so we can get an accurate read. Also: How long have you dated this guy? Are you exclusive? When did you start involving him in your kids’ lives? Meaning, how long after you were dating did he start hanging out with your kids? Let us know and we’ll get back to you. Please take the time to help a fellow reader. VOTE on our Ask the Audience page. Thanks.

  30. This post struck a chord with me… I am crazy about my teenager’s teacher (37). I am about 6 years older, and I get plenty of looks, but I feel like he is out of my league! However, there seems to be an “instant attraction” between us. Intense eye contact, “brow flashing”, odd little moments, etc. We email about my kiddo, but also some non-school related things, and it feels like we are “sharing” a little. We have limited face-to-face opportunity so we aren’t really “talking” in person yet! When we bump into each other at school, it’s small talk, but sparks fly. Although, he is SO “hunky” that every female aged 11-67 is nuts about him. I hear that I’m attractive, look much younger than my age, and am “the complete package” but I do have a kiddo. (And this teachers is “all that” and a bag o’ flaming hot cheetos.) I do think he suspects I’m interested, and he doesn’t seem turned off by that… So I’m hoping he’s waiting until the end of the school year to ask me out, preventing awkwardness with my kid in his class.) This summer will end any “accidental” bumping into each other, and that tears me up. My gut says he’s interested in me too, but I am so captivated by him that I’m having a hard time waiting it out… Any thoughts about this predicament I’m in?

  31. @Blondie…..Okay, slow down here. Remember, he’s got to be careful. (You don’t as much) The repercussions are large for him. And not just now when your son is in his class, but next year and the years after that. Dating a parent of a student may not be frowned upon—although it will raise eyebrows in the community—but it’s certainly not the greatest idea for him if he wants to continue teaching in the school system he’s teaching in. That said, let’s say there’s no issue there. He may be interested, but how exactly he’s interested is still to be determined. Your child could be an issue for him, but not necessarily. It’s hard to say exactly how he sees you. Guys have a thing about MILFs. You’ve heard the term right? If he sees you that way, you’ll just be a fun conquest for him and a story to tell his buddies. Of course, you may not mind this. Why don’t you see how this plays out after the school year is up.

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