Today’s question piggybacks on a previous question: Will guys date single moms? Please read that post for more information about dating with kids. Or dating someone who has kids. Also read a personal account, “Dating as a single mother in my 20s.”
Please use the form on the “Ask the Guys” page to leave us a question.
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 three 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 okay 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 when men are more ready to commit.
I would be more than okay 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 guys mature or is there hope to still settling down?
Thanks for your question.
There’s always hope. However, most guys aren’t ready to settle down in their early twenties. They’re busy pursuing careers, women and fun. But most of all they’re peeling away the layers of childhood, trying to discover the kind of man they want to be. This process can take years and years, and that’s why many men aren’t ready for a commitment in their twenties. They are focused on finding themselves as they vie for position and rank in this competitive world.
The father of your child exemplifies why men get a bad rap. He was interested enough in you and the relationship when he was getting what he wanted or when it was all talk, but when the consequences—albeit wonderful, your daughter—of his actions emerged he couldn’t deal with the situation and left. We can see how this would leave a bad taste in your mouth, and make you skeptical and concerned about all guys in their twenties, but don’t let him “speak” for all men. We’re not all like that.
Your instincts are good Ashley. You certainly don’t want to be bouncing from guy to guy, especially with a child in tow. While dating different men is fine, we would recommend keeping your dating life and home life as separate as possible until you are fairly confident the guy you’re dating is in it for the long haul. Which means, you might not want to have men stay over too often, especially as your child gets old enough to know. (And believe us, if she is old enough to see, she will be old enough to understand on some level what’s going on. And ultimately be confused.)
It’s always best for any child to have consistent people in their lives, male and female. Ideally you will have an amicable enough relationship with your ex so he can be involved. However, if that’s not possible, hopefully someone will step up to the plate. Perhaps a brother? Or your father? That is until you are involved with someone you love and respect.
And that brings us to your question. You read the previous post and our answer, so you understand that any time you add another “difference” to the dating equation things can get more complicated because there is just that much more to sort through. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t ever work out. It just means BOTH people have to be VERY committed to making the relationship work.
Examples of differences:
Age: People dating someone much older or younger. (Watch our videos on the topic)
Race/Ethnicity: People from different cultures, countries, backgrounds. Read previous post: Why is he hiding our relationship?
Religion: People raised with different beliefs.
Marital Status: Divorced people dating single people.
Parental Status: People with kids dating people without kids.
Dating and relationships are complicated enough without adding more factors into the equation. Figuring out if you want to be with someone for a lifetime is a big decision. But when people truly love each other, most of the time they will try and work through whatever is dealt to them. And sometimes these “extra ingredients” are actually time savers. They often weed away quickly, the people who shouldn’t even be there.
Ashley, your first priority will be your child, and you certainly don’t want to waste your time with guys who don’t get it. So your child will help you cut through the BS. Life is full of surprises. We’re sure there’s some young guy out there who will be more than happy to welcome you and your child into his life.
But you’ll only meet that person by getting out there yourself. Finish school. Or start school. Take some classes that interest you. Join a book group. Say yes to invitations. Get a job doing something interesting. (If possible) Elicit the help of your friends and family—you’ll need support with daycare, etc. and emotional support—so you can move forward with your own interests and goals. And by doing all of that, it’s more likely you will meet some great person who shares many of the same interests and values that you do.
Good luck. Please leave us a comment here in the comments section. Or a follow up question. We’ll respond here as well.
ps. Let your friends know about us. Thanks!
Some other questions for THE GUYS: