Hi there. I don`t know if someone is reading this or someone might read this but I hope there is because I’m really looking for a piece of advice on how to deal with this situation that I am having right now. I am not even sure if this has something to do with this blog but anyways here it goes. Call me Adia. I am 24 years old. Studying and working at the same time. I got a son but he`s with his dad. We separated a year ago but we never got married. Lately (I’ve) got couples of suitors and definitely I don`t want to keep my having-a-son be a secret for whatever reason. I tell them straight forwardly that I have a son. For the second time now I got this guy who is courting me and I seem to like him too. Then when he learned about me having a son he started to stop the courting / dating thing. It saddens me. I really do not like how it affects me….I’m confused on how or much better to say that I am having a hard time dealing with this situation. I don`t like what I’m feeling.. eessh.. pls somebody..advice. :`( -Adia
Before we begin I’d like to ask our male readers to please feel to share your thoughts about this topic, below. Comments from the male perspective and (especially from) those who are married to (or have been married to) a single mom are helpful. Your comments will allow our single mom readers to better understand how guys feel about this subject. *Please not that all postings are pre-approved once submitted. Please be honest, but keep your comments productive.
Thank you for your question –and for reaching out to Stepdadding.com. You should be applauded for being honest about your child with the men you date. It would be emotionally unkind to let a man become attached to you without understanding the complete situation. Many men aren’t willing to be step-fathers and aren’t interested in having a serious relationship with a single mom. Many of these men are likely more interested in the physical aspect of the relationship than the emotional aspect. For this reason it’s very good that you tell them about your son. If they leave then you know they were looking for something less serious. By being honest you’ve saved yourself problems further down the road.
You are in a challenging position. In a recent online search of forums about the topic of dating or marrying a single mom the most common perception men expressed is that single moms have “baggage” (in the form of their child or children). Most men understand that marrying a single mom will involve extra work and responsibility –compared to marrying a woman without children. Culturally this attitude varies: Stronger in some places and less intense in others. Our research shows that many men in African nations are vehement about not marrying a woman with a child. The attitudes in some predominantly Muslim countries can also be very strong on this subject- though not in all. If you are in one of these cultures you might have a more challenging time finding a suitable Stepdad for your child than if you are in a more-western culture. I mention this to inform our broader reading population. The reality is that understanding the culture and broader attitudes is useful, but you are still working with the location where you live.
Another reality to be aware of is that when a man marries a single mom his odds of divorce are higher than his odds of success. In some western cultures the divorce rate can be as high as 73%. So even though men in these cultures are more open to the idea of becoming a Stepdad, they are also more likely to divorce than to succeed. As few as 28 in 100 couples will stay together more than 10 years! This number gets varies if you have multiple marriage, multiple children with different partners, etc. Men are aware that there will be more effort. For this reason, many are hesitant to make that commitment.
In the end, you are doing the right thing, Adia. If you do intend to marry someday you need to make sure that the man you marry will be a good and wiling Stepdad to your child. The majority of families in western cultures now have one parent who is not biologically related to the child. It is quickly becoming the new “normal” to have a step parent. The existence of Stepdadding.com is evidence of how many stepdads are out there. These are men who care about their families and want to do well by their kids. Be selective and continue to be honest. This will help you eliminate the bad guys and find the ones who are truly up for the job. You obviously put your child first. That’s a sign of being a caring mom. You want your son to have a strong influence at home, not just someone who is tolerating his presence. Keep being honest with the men you date. You will eventually find what you are looking for. It may take some time, so be patient and be realistic. Remember that we’re just men. You won’t find a knight in shining armor, but you will eventually find a man who is open to the idea and will make an honest effort.
Again, I’d like to leave this open to comment from any guys who would like to share the male perspective with Aida. Please feel free to post below.